1st Army-Navy Game in 1891, by Walter Camp 120 Years Ago

November, 1891 – Outing Magazine

Walter Camp Reports on the First Army-Navy Game

… Speaking of the importation of the game leads us to a new phase and one which promises even a more extended progress of the game than that through the schools and colleges. In 1890 a match was instituted between Annapolis and West Point and the enthusiasm provoked was remarkable. The West Point men had not enjoyed the same privileges as their more fortunate opponents in the way of previous outside matches, nor had they played the game in preceding years, as had the Annapolis men. In spite of these odds they put up a very plucky fight, and it is safe to say that if the game once obtains a foothold among these men its fascinations will make themselves felt so strongly as to perpetuate it wherever they go.

These men are making a study of the art of war, and there is no sport known that in its very nature so mimics that art as the game of football. The tactics, the formations, the strategies, the attack and defense, all belong equally to the military commander and the football captain.

English and American commanders have both recognized the similarity of the football tactics to the tactics of war, and more than one has said that a good football player will make a good soldier….

From “The Lost Century of American Football” – www.LostCentury.com


Exciting Stanford Football Game 117 Years Ago

November 12, 1894, Monday – Sacramento Daily Record-Union


It Was “Hot Stuff” From the Start to Finish

The Stanford Students Won, But They Discovered They Were in a Game

The best football game that has ever been played in this city, and one of the hardest contests that has taken place on this coast, was witnessed at Snowflake Park on Saturday by about 500 people.

The Stanford University team and the Sacramentos were the opposing elevens, and the stubborn fight made by the latter team was a source of surprise to everybody present.
Victory rested with the Stanfords, but the Sacramento boys have reason to feel justly proud of their work against a team which has for a long time enjoyed the advantage of Walter Camp’s coaching.

Had Oscar Taylor, the great ex-Berkeley team player, arrived in Sacramento a week sooner than he did, it is more than likely that the score of yesterday’s game would have been very different, and favorable to Sacramento.

Those who attended the game were greatly surprised at the work of the team which appeared on the field to represent this city. The majority of people half expected to see a contest similar to that played when the Berkeley team appeared here two years ago. The score at that time was something like 32 to 4, but yesterday’s game was an entirely different affair. It was the unanimous opinion of those present who understood football that the home team, with good coaching, can be made a working foe for any of the ’Varsity elevens…

The Stanford men expected a very easy thing, and after the game very frankly admitted that they never wanted to play a harder game. The score was 6 to 0 in their favor…

From “The Lost Century of American Footballwww.LostCentury.com

125 Years Ago from the Father of American Football

October, 1886 – Outing Magazine

By Walter C. Camp

Division of labor has been so thoroughly and successfully carried out on the football field that a player nowadays must train for a particular position as much as he would on a ball nine. There is, however, the same call for a general preparation which is met with in all athletic contests.

During the summer it is well to take a few preliminary steps toward the more active work of the real football season. Half-backs and backs ought to practice kicking some daily throughout the summer, while rushers need only take any kind of exercise which shall improve their wind.

With the beginning of August men who have been smoking during the summer should begin to forego some of their pleasure. Let this be done gradually, so that by September the man is fit to go without the weed altogether. With September the real work commences.

The first day or two will prove hard—particularly so in case of the heat holding on late. When this happens it is advisable to begin playing as late in the afternoon as possible and take extra care to have repeated intermissions. As soon as a cool day comes a regular game should be played of two three-quarters, and this will make every man feel the need of training.

If a man has never played the game before he should certainly read the rules and spend a few days in watching the men, so that he shall have a fair idea of the meaning of the terms.

The few cardinal points to be noted are that the ball must not be batted with the hand or thrown forward; that if it has been last touched by one of your own side behind you, you are off side and cannot touch it; that you cannot tackle an opponent unless he has the ball, and that if you are fairly held with the ball you must say, “Down.” You can “heel” a ball caught on the fly from a kick, or throw forward, or bat, by an opponent, or from a “punt out” by one of your own side.

Remembering these facts will keep you busy the first few days. Every player should begin his course in the rusher line. It is there that he will learn most quickly what to do, and, particularly, what not to do. For the first few days you will go home utterly worn out and discouraged, and yet before ten days have passed you will be able to stand fifteen or twenty minutes’ rushing with comparative ease. When this point is reached it is time to decide for what position you are best fitted.

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