There were in Michigan two players, brothers, who were far apart in skill. Keene says one was of varsity calibre, but wanted his brother, too, to make the Eleven. “Once,” says Keene, “when we were going on a trip, John, who was a better player, said, ’I will not go if Joe cannot go,’ so in order to get John, we had to take Joe.”
Fitzpatrick tells of an odd experience in football. “In 1901 Michigan went out to Southern California and played Leland Stanford University at Pasadena, January 1. When the Michigan team left Ann Arbor for California in December, it was 12 deg. below zero and when they played on New Year’s it was 80 deg. at 3 P. M.”
Stanford was supposed to have a big advantage due to the climate. Michigan won by a score of 49 to 0. Michigan used but eleven men in the game, and it was their first scrimmage since Thanksgiving Day. A funny thing happened en route to Pasadena.
“Every time the train stopped,” said Keene, “we hustled the men out to give them practice running through signals and passing the ball. Everything went well until we arrived in Ogden, Utah. We hustled the men out as usual for a work-out, and in less than two minutes the men were all in, lying down on the ground, gasping for breath. We could not understand what was wrong, until some one came along and reminded us that we were in a very high altitude and that it affected people who were not accustomed to it. We all felt better when we received that information.”
Michael J. Sweeney
There are few trainers in our prep. schools who can match the record of Mike Sweeney. He has been an important part of the Hill School’s athletics for years. Many of the traditions of this school are grouped, in fact, about his personality. Hill School boys are loud in their praises of Sweeney’s achievements. He always had a strong hold on the students there. He has given many a boy words of encouragement that have helped him on in the school, and this same boy has come back to him in after life to get words of advice.
Many colleges tried to sever his connection with Hill School. I know that at one time Princeton was very anxious to get Sweeney’s services. He was happy at Hill School, however, and decided to stay. It was there at Hill School that Sweeney turned out some star athletes. Perhaps one of the most prominent was Tom Shevlin. Sweeney saw great possibilities in Shevlin. He taught him the fundamentals that made Shevlin one of the greatest ends that ever played at Yale. He typified Sweeney’s ideal football player. Shevlin never lost an opportunity to express appreciation of what Sweeney had done for him.
Tom gave all credit for his athletic ability to Mike Sweeney of Hill and Mike Murphy of Yale. His last desire for Yale athletics was to bring Sweeney to Yale and have him installed, not as a direct coach or trainer of any team, but more as a general athletic director, connected with the faculty, to advise and help in all branches of college sport.