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No. 2.


We are a pleasure seeking people, and in the chase for what we call happiness, are restive under wholesome restraint and do not like to have any duty held up before us as an admonition to a change of policy. We read the poet's statement that happiness is our being's end and aim, and devote too much time in grasping whatever goes before, evading our outstretched hand and luring us on into the paths of idleness and, mayhap, moral degradation. If a man is known by the company he keeps, he can also be guaged, morally, by the pleasures he seeks. Life must have some periods of recreation, some surcease from toil, anxiety, and nervous strain. It matters much, however, to one's moral well-being, how the mind is trained to view and define pleasure. The popular idea of pleasure is frequently connected with acts that smack of moral delinquency. Some can have no real zest for a pleasure that is found wholly without the domain of sin. Our children are left unaided by their elders in

the selection of their amusements and sports. Youthful excesses are winked at and excused by the plea that boys will be boys. "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy", we are told. Yes, and all play and no work makes Jack a fool. Rightly to blend mental and physical effort, on the part of the young, seems, in the light of events, to be a problem incapable of solution. There are pleasures that are universally recognized to be harmless and innocent, but our young people are not induced by their home and school training to seek and find therein the wholesome bodily recreation which their animality craves. The harmful sports, apparently because they are such, make the strongest appeal to the animal part of life, and the young are permitted to rush headlong into them with the approval of their elders, or but a mild protest from that quarter. The harmful sports are those that incite to idleness, those that demoralize and brutalize, and those that are secured and enjoyed at the expense of other peo

ple's just rights. of football, as it easily holds first

Of these the game is practiced to-day, rank. Basket ball These are

comes as a good second.

the college games that demoralize educational effort and loosen the moral fiber of those who participate in them. To excuse them under the plea that they afford proper physical development, is to war against sense and set at naught the teachings of experience. Five deaths within a month, on the "gridiron", is not a strong argument in favor of the physical development theory under which football practices are winked at. The list of the wounded is not given. The sporting club is the idler's heaven. The sporting tendency is at war with habits of economy and industry. If "manliness" is cultivated in the contests of brute strength, we are in sore need of a new definition of the term. Thomas Hughes wrote a helpful book on "The Manliness of Christ." Comment is unnecessary. The athletic club brings into college life that which wrecks just and necessary discipline and fathers sports that promote indecency, brutality, and cruelty. The members of the football team will not hesitate to stand in the presence of one another with naked bodies. When they put off their clothes they divest themselves of all sense of modesty and propriety. A selfrespecting man would be reluctant to show his naked body to a community of prairie dogs. These young men are kept in college at great pecuniary sacrifice to their parents, and any just recognition of what they owe to those at home would impel them to make the most of the opportunities which surround them. If there is abuse here, public sentiment, rather than law, must apply the remedy. It is more important that public sentiment should frown down football than that law should prohibit it.

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The press is a strong molder of public sentiment, but it is also a moneymaking agency. It will not always educate aright, if it must do so at a pecuniary loss. There is hope, however, in the reflection that a newspaper will rarely put itself in the way of a strong, resolute, righteous tide of public senti


The football enthusiasts have filled the columns of the press with reports of games and pictures of participants. Yielding to what was supposed to be a strong demand, from a not inconsiderable part of the reading public, newspaper managers have devoted more and more space to reports of football exploits; but, even in so doing, they have recognized the eternal fitness of things by placing these reports in the columns given up to news of the prize rings, race course, and other events so keenly enjoyed by those who inhabit the "sporting world."

There is a manifest tendency on the part of parents and others interested to look more closely into the morale of the football craze. The noisy acclaim from certain quarters, which greets the feats of the athlete on the "gridiron" does not make inaudible that voice of warning that is reaching, with effect, the ears of sensible people. An earnest protest against the dangerous and brutal concomitants of the game, is met by an editorial in one of our papers, in which it is stated that "just now there seems to be a certain milk and water condemnation of football." That "milk and water" is becoming stronger, and football advocates have been forced within a defensive line that is daily contracting in length and dwindling in height.

It is quoted that some one said long ago that England's battles were won on the playgrounds of Eton and Harrow. Then follows the invincible logic that our battles must be won on the "grid

iron." The time when brute force decided battles has gone by. A boy, armed with a repeating rifle, could stand his ground unscathed against the onset of Achilles and Hector combined. It was not much effort for David to slay Goliath. The mightiest pullback, holdback, or catchback of the football team, with all his budding honors thick upon him, with bandaged limbs and bathed in arnica, would be no match, physically, for a reasonably strong and agile foe. Besides, it must not be forgotten that he is thrice armed who has his quarrel just; and there is not much justice, manliness, or decency in the average football conglomeration.

The only way to give promise of doing great things hereafter is to begin the performance of something worthy now. Fulfillment does not always step close enough to the footprints of promise. The young man who neglects his college duties for the "constant practice", the "incessant practice", required of a member of the football team is not the one who can be relied on to fight his country's battles when duty calls him to her defence. The student who knows naught of filial obedience and respect, is not likely to make patriotic sacrifices for the public good, or show himself a respecter of lawful authority, hereafter. "As the twig is bent, the tree's inclined." The thoughtless, selfish fellow who uses his parents' money, obtained by the sweat of their faces, not in making the most of the educational opportunities about him, but in fostering a sporting spirit that is the promoter of idleness and lawlessness and at war with all noble and generous impulses is giving no evidence of future service to those of his own household, to struggling humanity within his reach, or to the state in her time of trial and need.

A student fails in class standing, owing to his senseless devotion to so

called athletics. He becomes manly by neglecting duty and spending unprofit ably the money his old gray-haired mother earned for his college support over the washtub and ironing board or by taking service as nurse or domestic in some neighbor's family. The "unexpected that happens" generally has its origin in reasonableness. The one in mind, as this account is given, sealed his devotion to sport, not by the sacrifice of life, but by the fracture of two ribs, and was carried to his room where he lay three weeks without attending a college exercise. His mother from the steams of the washtub hastened to his bedside. I looked at her wrinkled, tear-stained face and heard her say with choked utterance, "Doctor, I'd do anything for him.” What sacrifice, think you, would her son the long-haired exponent of football and a believer in "gridiron" ethics make for the warm-hearted, devoted, self-sacrificing being who gave him existence and watched over his helpless infancy? "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!" A devoted sister secures a position in the public schools and sets apart half her earnings to the college support of her brother. With the rest of her salary she supports herself and her widowed mother. For more than two years that brother has frittered away time and money at college. In the front of the football team and at the tail of his class, he is cultivating the manliness that seems inseparably connected with certain phases of college athletics. These are not isolated or exaggerated instances of the effects of the game of football in demoralizing college work and loosening the moral fiber of students. Devotion to the game is a sure indication of lessened interest in legitimate college work. Lawless tendencies, easily suppressed before, become active and unblushing under the "col

lege spirit" awakened by the organization of an athletic association and the nondescript uniforming of a football team. The library reading ceases altogether or degenerates into a revel in the sporting columns of the newspapers, spiced with admiring study of the brutalized countenances of distinguished sports and toughs. The work of the college literary societies which is, at least, of equal importance with any one line of scheduled college exercises is given but little attention, the sporting tendency deadening all interest in forensic exercises. The college paper, the exponent of student life and thought, holds existence by a slender and constantly weakening thread. The reader looks in vain for thought-suggesting contributions but is confronted with columns of sporting news, reported in bad English and bristling with terms and phrases that suggest plagairism from "the thieves' lingo."

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The athletic association, which, under proper organization and control, might do so much for the physical wellbeing of the whole student body, is dominated by a few restless, lawless spirits in whom the animal propensities are thoroughly developed, and its advantages if under existing conditions it can be said to have any - are monopolized by just those persons who, physically, have least need of them. A select few, chosen for their capacity to exert brute force, represent the athletic association in the only sport or exercise for which thought is exerted or provision made, and the other members of the organization are crowded into the ranks of the "rooters", with privilege to pay expenses and cheer the contestants with spirited howls and incessant clamor.

That legitimate college work can go on properly under such conditions is impossible, and the fact is well known to every educator of experience, how

ever reluctant he may be to give testimony. The thought of many students is centered more in the doings of the football team than in their lessons. The coming contest is the chief topic of conversation in college halls, and it takes a week of animated talk to explain the cause of a defeat. The games succeed each other in rapid succession. "One woe doth tread upon another's heel so fast they follow." The excitement incident to one contest has not subsided when another event of still more absorbing interest is announced. So it goes on, from term to term, throughout the college year, and the cost is seen in neglected opportunity, poor scholarship, idle propensity, and a low ideal of attainment and duty.

The game of football is not without its worthy apologists worthy, at least, in that their high positions in society or public service give force to statements which from other sources would be laughed to scorn. Some noted heads of colleges and universities damn football with faint praise; others more boldly range themselves under the banner carried by the "bruisers" and "rooters" that take possession of the "gridiron" and its environment. Public officials turn their backs on official duty and dignity to enjoy a sport whose brutal features ought to be as obnoxious to them as the contests of the prize ring or the sickening scenes of the arena in a bull fight tournament. A President finds relaxation from official responsibility in witnessing, under proper chaperonage, an unusually exciting and closely contested football game in Cincinnati. A prospective candidate for that high office dons a "sweater" and evokes tumultuous applause from "the boys", by giving the "pigskin" a vigorous kick as the opening act of a game which was but another advance in the work of demoralizing college life. How pub

lic men, with respectable antecedents, will lower their dignity in the hope of spreading political sails before a favoring breeze! Said a well-known politician and office-holder: "If the risk of football can be lessened, I would favor it, but in any event I believe in foot ball." The amount of faith some people can have, on occasion, in ignoble things is one of the marvels of the times. The only response that comes back to the mild suggestion of the popularity-courting college presidents and public officials that the football game be freed from some of its brutality and danger, is the reply, curt and to the point: "The rules are not in need of modification: they are now practically perfect."

What are an old mother's tears, a sister's fond hopes, or human lives, to "sports" in search of manliness or politicians in quest of office? Thistle or eider down sifted gently on a crocodile's back would make more impress than the entreaties of mothers and sisters upon the brutal natures of professional sports or the cool, calculating dispositions of the average place


Rev. Dr. James R. Day, a Methodist clergyman, and chancellor of Syracuse University, New York, approves of the "gridiron" because "a man who goes through a season of being trodden upon and knocked down deserves fairly a diploma in the art of self-control." Sometimes the diploma takes the form of a funeral notice. The fortitude of some people in bearing the knockdowns and drag-outs of others, is, at times, very touching.

In the next column to that in which the Rev. Dr. expresses his willingness to see college students "developed" by games that contain "necessary elements of roughness and danger" we find an account of a football contest the word game in such connection is a

misnomer-between teams representing Baldwin University and Heidelberg University, the one at Berea, the other at Tiffin, Ohio. I quote some sentences from a report whose reading would glut as insatiate an appetite for blood and bruises as that of the chancellor of Syracuse University. Evidently the "general epidemic of reform", which the chancellor-clergyman looks upon with such misgiving is not strongly in evidence in northern Ohio. "Capt. Reed, of Keene, Ohio, has concussion of the brain and is still unconscious. Fullback Young, coach for Baldwin, is suffering from injuries to the head and is still delirious. The Baldwin men claim that the Tiffin team put in a 'ringer' on the second half, who, after throwing Reed down jumped upon his head. He repeated the performance in the case of Young. Reed remained unconscious and was carried to the train in that condition. After a search of several hours, Young was found wandering about in an alley and taken to a hospital."

In view of such events is it strange that President Elliott of Harvard, in his approval of football as an agency for developing "manliness", should modify his usual transports by using the following language? "Everybody can not play football. (Evidently not, without the design is to give the surgeon, the coroner, or the undertaker all combined a fast-increasing and lucrative business.) It is only the strong and well-built men who can expect to play the game with any degree of success."

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Such a statement smacks of truth and gives the lie to the assertion that football exercises, in educational institutions, is needed to invigorate the physical organism of students whom overattention to study is hurrying to premature graves.

An excerpt from a report of a

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