“I had the reputation of being a good-natured player, and indirectly heard it rumored many times by coaches and football players that they would like to see me fighting mad on the football field. The few Syracuse rooters who journeyed to Easton the day we played Lafayette had that opportunity. Dowd was the captain of the Lafayette team. Next to me was Barry, a first-class football player, who stripped in the neighborhood of 200 pounds. Just before the beginning of the second half I was in a crouching position ready to start, when some one dealt me a stinging blow on the ear. I was dazed for the time being. I turned to Barry and asked him who did it. He pointed to Dowd. From that instant I was determined to seek revenge. I was ignorant of the true culprit until about a year afterward, when Anderson, who played center, and was a good friend of mine, told me about it. It seemed that just before we went on the field for the second half Buck O’Neil, who was coaching the Syracuse team, told Barry to hit me and make me mad.”
COLLEGE TRADITIONS AND SPIRIT
College life in America is rich in traditions. Customs are handed down class by class and year by year until finally they acquire the force of law. Each college and university has a community life and a character of its own.
The spirit of each institution abides within its walls. It cannot be invaded by an outsider, or ever completely understood by one who has not grown up in it. The atmosphere of a college community is conservative. It is the outcome of generations of student custom and thought, which have resolved themselves into distinct grooves.
It requires a thorough understanding of the customs of college men, their antics and pranks, to appreciate the fact that the performers are simply boys, carrying on the traditions of those gone before. Gray-haired graduates who know by experience what is embodied in college spirit, join feelingly in the old customs of their college days, and in observing the new customs which have grown out of the old.
These traditional customs, some of them humorous, and others deeply moving in their sentiment, are among the first things that impress the freshman. He does not comprehend the meaning of them at once, nor does he realize that they are the product of generations of students, but he soon learns that there is something more powerful in college life than the brick and mortar of beautiful buildings, or high passing marks in the classroom. When he comes to know the value and the underlying spirit of the traditions of his college, he treasures them among the enduring memories of his life.
The business man who never enjoyed the advantage of going to college, is puzzled as he witnesses the demonstration of undergraduate life, and he fails to catch the meaning; he does not understand; it has played no part in his own experience; college customs seem absurd to him, and he fails to appreciate that in these traditions our American college spirit finds expression.