Many were the injuries in this game. It was a hard fought contest. There were interesting encounters which were known only to the players themselves. As for myself, it may best be said that I spent three weeks in the University of Pennsylvania Hospital with water on the knee. I certainly had plenty of time to think about the sadness of defeat—the ever present thought—“Wait until next year”—was in my mind. Garry Cochran used to say in his talks to the team: “We must win this year—make it two years straight against Yale. If you lose, Princeton will be a dreary old place for you. It will be a long, hard winter. The frost on the window pane will be an inch thick.” And, in the sadness of our recollections, his words came back to us and to him.
These words came back to me again in 1899.
I had looked forward all the year to our playing Cornell at Ithaca. It was just the game we wanted on our schedule to give us the test before we met Yale. We surely got a test, and Cornell men to this day will tell you of their great victory in 1899 over Princeton, 5 to 0.
There were many friends of mine in Ithaca, which was only thirty miles from my old home, and I was naturally happy over the fact that Princeton was going to play there. But the loyal supporters who had expected a Princeton victory were as disappointed as I was. Bill Robinson, manager of the Princeton team, reserved seats for about thirty of my closest boyhood friends who came over from Lisle to see the game. The Princeton cheering section was rivalled in enthusiasm by the “Lisle section.” And the disappointment of each one of my friends at the outcome of that memorable game was as keen as that of any man from Princeton.
Our team was clearly outplayed. Unfortunately we had changed our signals that week and we did not play together. But all the honors were Cornell’s, her sure footed George Young in the second half made a goal from the field, fixing the score at 5 to 0.
I remember the wonderful spirit of victory that came over the Cornell team, the brilliant playing of Starbuck, the Cornell captain, and of Bill Warner, Walbridge, Young and the other men who contributed to the Cornell victory. Percy Field swarmed with Cornell students when the game ended, each one of them crazy to reach the members of their team and help to carry them victoriously off the field.
Never will I forget the humiliation of the Princeton team. Trolley cars never seemed to move as slowly as those cars that carried us that day through the streets of Ithaca. Enthusiastic, yelling undergraduates grinned at us from the sidewalks as we crawled along to the hotel. Sadness reigned supreme in our company. We were glad to get to our rooms.
Instead of leaving Ithaca at 9:30 as we had planned, we hired a special engine to take our private cars to Owego there to await the express for New York on the main line.
My only pleasant recollection of that trip was a brief call I made at the home of a girl friend of mine, who had attended the game. My arm was in a sling and sympathy was welcome.