December 17, 1902
The game of foot ball is being carried to ridiculous extremes by the students of many universities and colleges of the country; and it is high time that the faculties of those institutions were calling a halt in that direction. Outdoor games or exercises of some sort are not only healthful to the student who is occupied the major part of the day over his books; but the lines should be drawn at games that smack too much of cruelty and brutality. Most states of the Union have enacted laws forbidding pugilistic contests, on account of their tendencies to cruelty and barbarism; but how much better is foot ball, a sport(?) at which boys-yea, men-become so enthused that they strike, kick and tumble over each other after a fashion that would impress a by-stander who knew nothing of the game that a regular “Kilkenny cat fight” was going on. Some one has aptly said that the main difference between prize fights, such as the slugger Sullivan indulged in, and the foot ball of today is, that in the former game, when an opponent is knocked down his adversary gives him time to get up before trying to pound the life out of him, while in the foot ball game all the players jump on each other in such a violent fashion that the nether man is fortunate if he gets out without broken or fractured bones, to say nothing of sprains and bruises. In the dark days of the world, before the dawn of enlightenment and civilization, gladiator contests, bull fights, chicken mains, etc., were the attraction with the heathen and the barbarian; but to a large extent all these cruel sports have been supplanted with amusements more elevating and civilizing. However, the game of foot ball, as now frequently engaged in, appears closely akin to those degraded sports of primeval history.
It is sad reflection upon some colleges and universities that such amusements have their growth and strength within their sacred and enlightened walls. Let a halt be called. Let foot ball be wiped out. Let us progress, not retrograde, in the way of healthful amusements as well as in the way of enlightenment and knowledge.