Football Days eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 400 pages of information about Football Days.

Going from Princeton to New York one Friday night some years ago, I was told by the conductor that the Carlisle football team was in the last car.  I went back and talked with Warner.  The Indian team were amusing themselves in one end of the car, and thus passing the time away by entering into a game they were accustomed to play on trips.  One of the Carlisle players would stand in the center of the aisle and some fifteen or so men would group about him, in and about and on top of the seats.  This central figure would bend over and close his eyes.  Then some one from the crowd would reach over and spank the crouching Indian a terrific blow, hastily drawing back his hand.  Then the Indian who had received the blow would straighten up and try, by the expression of guilt on the face of the one who had delivered the blow, to find his man.  Their faces were a study, yet nearly every time the right man was detected.

Who is there in football who will ever forget the Indian team, their red blankets and all that was typical of them; the yells that the crowds gave as the Indians appeared.  They seemed always to be fit.  They were full of spirit and anxious to clash with their opponents.

[Illustration:  THE GREATEST INDIAN OF THEM ALL]

I recall an incident in a Princeton-Carlisle game, when the game was being fiercely waged.  Miller, the great Indian halfback, had scored a touchdown, after a long run.  It was not long after this that a Princeton player was injured.  Maybe the play was being slowed up a little.  Anyway, time was taken out.  One of the Indians seemed to sense the situation.  The Princeton players were lying on the ground while the Carlisle men were prancing about eager to resume the fray, when one of the Indians remarked: 

“White man play for wind.  Indian play football.”

In 1915 Warner went to the University of Pittsburgh.  Here he has already begun to duplicate former successes.  Cruikshank, Peck, and Wagner are three of Pittsburgh’s many stars.  Probably the greatest football player that Warner ever developed at the Carlisle Indian School was Jim Thorpe, whose picture appears on the opposite page.  Unhappy the end, and not infrequently the back, who had to face this versatile player.  Thorpe was a raider.

Billy Bull

Billy Bull of Yale is one of the old heroes who has kept in very close touch with the game.  He has been a valuable coach at Yale and the Elis’ kicking game is left entirely in his hands.  He is an enthusiastic believer in the game.  Immediately after leaving New Haven in 1889 he started to coach and since that time he has not missed a year.  Years ago he inaugurated a routine system of coaching for the various styles of kicks.  “My object,” he said recently, “has been to turn out consistent rather than wonderful kickers.  As a player I was early impressed with the value of kicking, not only in a general way but also in a particular way, such as the punt in an offensive way.  For more than twenty-five years I have talked it up.  For a long time I talked it to deaf ears, especially at Yale.  I talked it when I coached at West Point for ten years and was generally set down as a harmless crank on the subject, but I have lived to see the time when every one agrees on the great value of this offensive kick.

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Project Gutenberg
Football Days from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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