Football Days - Memories of the Game and of the Men behind the Ball
242 Pages

Football Days - Memories of the Game and of the Men behind the Ball


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Published 08 December 2010
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Football Days, by William H. Edwards This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Football Days Memories of the Game and of the Men behind the Ball Author: William H. Edwards Release Date: March 25, 2006 [EBook #18048] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK FOOTBALL DAYS *** Produced by Stacy Brown, Suzanne Lybarger, Brian Janes and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at FOOTBALL DAYS MEMORIES OF THE GAME AND OF THE MEN BEHIND THE BALL BY WILLIAM H. EDWARDS PRINCETON 1900 WITH INTRODUCTION BY WALTER CAMP YALE 1880 MOFFAT, YARD AND COMPANY NEW YORK 1916 C OPYRIGHT, 1916, BY MOFFAT, YARD AND COMPANY NEW YORK THREE VICTORIOUS PRINCETON CAPTAINS HILLEBRAND, COCHRAN, EDWARDS Dedicated to John P. Poe, Jr. Princeton '95 HONORED AND BELOVED BY HOSTS OF FRIENDS, HE REPRESENTED THE HIGHEST IDEALS OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL, NOT ONLY IN LIFE, BUT IN HIS DEATH UPON THE BATTLEFIELD IN FRANCE. AS I THINK OF HIM, THE STIRRING LINES OF HENRY NEWBOLDT COME TO ME AS A FITTING EULOGY: VITA LAMPADA There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night— Ten to make and the match to win— A bumping pitch and a blinding light, An hour to play and the last man in. And it's not for the sake of a ribboned-coat Or the selfish hope of a season's fame, But his captain's hand on his shoulder smote, "Play up! play up! and play the game!" The sand of the desert is sodden red— Red with the wreck of a square that broke, The gatling jammed and the Colonel dead And the Regiment blind with dust and smoke. The river of death has brimmed its banks, And England's far, and honor a name— But the voice of a school boy rallies the ranks, "Play up! play up! and play the game!" This is the word that year by year While in her place the school is set Every one of the sons must hear, And none that hears it dares forget. Thus they all with a joyful mind— Bear their life like a torch in flame— And failing, fling to the host behind, "Play up! play up! and play the game!" GREETING I value more highly than any other athletic gift I have ever received, the Princeton football championship banner that hangs on my wall. It was given to me by a friend who sent three boys to Princeton. It is a duplicate of the one that hangs in the trophy room of the gymnasium there. How often have I gazed longingly at the names of my loyal teammates inscribed upon it. Many times have I run over in my mind the part that each one played on the memorable occasion when that banner was won. Memories cluster about that token that are dear and sacred to me. I see before me not only the faces of my team, but the faces of men of other years and other universities who have contributed so much to the great game of football. I recall the preparatory school days and the part that football played in our school and college careers. Again I see the athletic fields and the dressing rooms. I hear the earnest pleading of the coaches. I see the teams run out upon the field and hear the cheering throng. The coin is tossed in the air. The shrill blast of the referee's whistle signals the game to start. The ball is kicked off, and the contest is on. The thousands of spectators watch breathlessly. For the time the whole world is forgotten, except for the issue being fought out there before them. But we are not dressed in football suits nowadays. We are on the side lines. We have a different part to play. Years have compelled a change. In spirit, however, we are still "in the game." It is to share these memories with all true lovers of football and to pay a tribute to the heroes of the gridiron who are no longer with us that I have undertaken this volume. Let us together retrace the days in which we lived: days of preparation, days of victory, and days of defeat. Let us also look into the faces of some of the football heroes of years ago, and recall the achievements that made them famous. And let us recall, too, the men of the years just past who have so nobly upheld the traditions of the American game of football, and helped to place it on its present high plane. WILLIAM H. EDWARDS. MY CORNER "Fond memory sheds the light of other days around me." PROLOGUE They say that no man ever made a successful football player who was lacking in any quality of imagination. If this be true, and time and again has it been proved, then there is no more fitting dedication to a book dealing with the gridiron heroes of the past than to a man like Johnny Poe. For football is the abandon of body and mind to the obsession of the spirit that knows no obstacle, counts no danger and for the time being is dull and callous to physical pain or exhaustion. It is a something that makes one see visions as Johnny saw them! There is no sport in the world that brings out unselfishness as does this great gridiron game of ours. Every fall, second and scrub teams throughout the country sacrifice themselves only to let others enter the promised land of victory. It is a strange thing but one almost never hears any real football player criticise another's making the team, either his own or an All America. Although the player in this sport appreciates the loyal support of the thousands on the stands, every man realizes that his checks on the Bank of Cheers can never be cashed unless there is a deposit of hard work and practice. Perhaps all this in an indistinct and indefinite way explains why football players, the country over, understand each other and that when the game is attacked for any reason they stand shoulder to shoulder in defence of what they know down in the bottom of their hearts has such an influence on character building. And there is no one better fitted to tell the story of this and of the gridiron heroes than Big Bill Edwards, known not only as a player but far and wide as one of the best officials that ever handled the game. "A square deal and no roughing" was his motto, and every one realized it and accepted every decision unquestioningly. His association with players in so many angles has given him a particular insight into the sport and has enabled him to tell this story as no one else could. And what names to conjure with! The whistle blows and a shadowy host springs into action before one's misty eyes—Alex Moffat, the star of kickers, Hector Cowan, Heffelfinger, Gordon Brown, Ma Newell, Truxton Hare, Glass, Neil Snow and Shevlin, giants of linemen. But I must stop before I trespass upon what Bill Edwards will do better. Here's to them all—forty years of heroes! WALTER C AMP. WALTER CAMP. Yale's Captain, '78-'79. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Hillebrand, Cochran, Edwards My Corner Walter Camp, Yale's Captain '78-'79 The Old Fifth Avenue Send-Off Old Yale Heroes—Lee McClung's Team We Beat Andover Lafayette's Great Team House in Disorder Hit Your Man Low Repairs The Old Faithfuls Jim Rodgers' Team Cochran Was Game to the End On to New Haven—All Dressed Up and Ready to Go Hillebrand's Last Charge Al Sharpe's Goal Touching the Match to Victory Alex Moffat and His Team Old Penn Heroes Pa Corbin's Team Breakers Ahead—Phil King in the Old Days Lookout, Princeton! Barrett on One of His Famous Dashes; Exeter-Andover Game, 1915 Bill Hollenback Coming at You "The Next Day the Picture Was Gone"—Jim Cooney Making a Hole for Dana Kafer Johnny Poe, Football Player and Soldier Northcroft Kicking the Field Goal Anticipated by the Navy and Feared by the Army Cadets and Middies Entering the Field Two Aces—Bill Morley and Harold Weeks Vic Kennard's Kick Sam White's Run King, of Harvard, Making a Run; Mahan Putting Black on His Head Princeton's Team "Nothing Got by John DeWitt" John DeWitt About to Pick Up the Ball The Ever Reliable Brickley—A Football Thoroughbred—Tack Hardwick The Poe Family Just Boys Hobey Baker, Walter Camp, Jr., Snake Ames, Jr. The Elect How It Hurts to Lose Cornell's Great Team—1915 One Scene Never Photographed in Football Harvard, 1915 The Greatest Indian of Them All Learning the Charge Billy Bull Advising with Captain Talbot Michigan's Famous Team Columbia Back in the Game, 1915 Close to a Thriller. Erwin of Pennsylvania Scoring Against Cornell Crash of Conflict. When Charge Meets Charge Ainsworth, Yale's Terror in an Uphill Game Two to One He Gets Away—Brickley Being Tackled by Wilson and Avery Snapping the Ball with Lewis. "Two Inseparables"—Frank Hinkey and the Ball Marshall Newell McClung, Referee, Shevlin and Hogan CONTENTS I.—PREP. SCHOOL DAYS. 1-17 My First Glimpse of a Varsity Team—The Yale Eleven of 1891—Lee McClung —Vance McCormick—Heffelfinger —Sanford—Impressions made upon a Boy—St. John's Military School —Lawrenceville—Making the Team —Andover and Hill School Games. II.—FRESHMAN YEAR. 18-29 The Freedom of Freshman Year is Attractive—Catching the Spirit of the Place—Searching for Football Material —The Cannon Rush—Early Training with Jack McMasters—Tie Game with Lafayette at Easton—Humiliation of being taken out of a Game—Cornell Game —Joe Beacham's Fair Admirer in the Bleachers—Bill Church's Threat Carried Out—Garry Cochran's Victories against Harvard and Yale. III.—ELBOW TO ELBOW. 30-41 Dressing for Practice—Out upon the Field —Tackling—After Practice, Back to the Dressing-room—How a Player Finds Himself—The Training Table—Team Mates—A Surprise for John DeWitt's Team. IV.—MISTAKES IN THE GAME. 42-53 If We could only Correct Mistakes We All Made—Defeats might be Turned into Victory—The Fellow that let Athletics be the Big Thing in His College Life—The '97 Defeat—No Recognition of Old Schoolmates—My Opponent was Charlie Chadwick—Jim Rodgers the Yale Captain—The Cochran-De Saulles Compact—Cochran Injured—His Last Game—Ad Kelly's Great Work—Mistakes Caused Sadness—Cornell Defeating Princeton at Ithaca in 1899—No Outstretched Hands at Princeton for our Homecoming. V.—MY LAST GAME. 54-67 A Desire to Make the Last Game the Best —On to New Haven—Optimism—The Start of the Game—Bosey Reiter's Touchdown—Yale Scores on a Block Kick—Al Sharpe's Goal from the Field —Score 10 to 6, Yale Leading—Arthur Poe's Goal from the Field—Princeton Victory—The Joy of Winning—The Reception at Princeton. VI.—HEROES OF THE PAST—EARLY DAYS. 68-92 Treasured Memory of Those who have Gone Before—Where are the Old-time Heroes?—Walter Camp—F. R. Vernon —Camp as a Captain—Chummy Eaton —John Harding—Eugene Baker—Fred Remington—Theodore McNair —Alexander Moffat—Wyllys Terry —Memories of John C. Bell. VII.—GEORGE WOODRUFF'S STORY. 93-101 His Entrance to Yale—Making the Team —Recollections of the Men he Played With and Against—The Lamar Run —Pennsylvania Experiences. VIII.—ANECDOTES AND RECOLLECTIONS. 102-124 Old-time Signals—Fun with Bert Hansen —Sport Donnelly—Billy Rhodes and Gill —Victorious Days at Yale—Corbin's 1888 Team—Pa Corbin's Speech when his Team was Banqueted—Mr. and Mrs. Walter Camp, Head Coaches of the Yale Football Team in 1888—Cowan the Great —Story of His Football Days—He was Disqualified by Wyllys Terry—Tribute to Heffelfinger—Going Back with John Cranston. IX.—THE NINETIES AND AFTER. 125-163 The Day Sanford Made the Yale Team —Parke Davis—Sanford and Yost Obstructing the Traffic—Phil King—The Old Flying Wedges—Pop Gailey —Charlie Young—An Evening with Jim Rodgers—Vance McCormick and Denny O'Neil—Dartmouth and Some of Her Men —Dave Fultz—Christy Mathewson at Bucknell—Jack Munn Tells of Buffalo Bill —Booth Tells of his Western Experiences —Harry Kersburg—Heff Herring at Merton College—Carl Flanders—Bill Horr. X.—COLLEGE TRADITIONS AND SPIRIT. 164-180 College Life in America is Rich in Traditions—The Value of College Spirit —Each College Has its Own Traditions —Alumni Parade—School Master and Boy—Victory must never Overshadow Honor—Constructive Criticism of the Alumni—Mass Meeting Enthusiasm —Horse Edwards, Princeton '89—Job E. Hedges. XI.—JOHNNY POE'S OWN STORY. 181-193 Private W. Faulkner, a Comrade in the Black Watch, Tells of Poe's Death —Johnny's Last Words—Paul MacWhelan Gives London Impressions of Poe's Death—Anecdotes that Johnny Poe Wrote While in Nevada. XII.—ARMY AND NAVY. 194-225 Character and Training of West Point and Annapolis Players—Experience of the Visitor Watching the Drill of Battalion —Annapolis Recollections and Football