Note and Comment.
To the impartial and unprejudiced observer of foot-ball games during the past season, it must have been decidedly apparent that the game, as played by the principle college elevens has very little that will entitle it to public favor. The game is still a violent struggle, where beef counts for almost everything. Two lines of seven men each stand opposed, and what do they do, or rather what do they not do? They push, jostle, wrestle, block, kick, pull, tear and fight with each other. Football is still a game in which men undergo the risk of injury, and serious injury. To quote one example, five out of the twenty-two men in the Harvard-Yale game had to retire from the field on account of their injuries. Faces were badly battered and bruises were the rule, not the exception. There is no fun in it for contestants, less, if anything for the spectators. In the modern Rugby game there is very little kicking done. The game consists chiefly of running with the ball. It is easy enough to see that kicking the ball will put it in possession of the other side, and therefore the ball is rushed, and ground is gained that way. Now no body of men can stand up for an hour and a half in this sort of a game where there is more pushing and pulling than there is handling of the ball. Fists are not infrequently used, and in the Harvard game I saw two men pulling at each other, hitting at each other and wrestling behind the referee's back. He was near the ball all the time, and they were end men, so that be only occasionally got a glimpse of them. Now we hear it stated that Harvard showed more knowledge of modern foot-ball this year than ever before. This means simply that Harvard answered the tactics of its rivals and met force with force, fists with fists. Doubtless foot-ball can be made an interesting sport, but it is far from being that to-day, and there is room for much improvement. Very many who have seen the contests of this year will admit that they would rather go to see a first-class slugging match than the mean, under-handed tactics that characterize Rugby. The season has been far from being a success, and ended in a fizzle. The convention should have ordered the Yale-Princeton game to be played over, which Princeton was ready and willing to do. As far as the championship is concerned, although there is no championship of 1886, Princeton holds the supremacy of foot-ball to-day, by reason of Yale's failure to wrest it from her, just as anyone holds the first place until he is deprived of or forfeits it. There is ample room for legislation next year. One thing is assured - the match between the leaders in 1887 will be played on neutral grounds, and with a neutral referee. The custom of having the captain of another eleven is an excellent idea. The selection of referees might be made with propriety at the annual meeting, and should be made obligatory by at least the day before the game. This would prevent a repetition of such scenes as we had at Princeton this year. Nor should anyone be selected as referee who has ever been connected with one of the competing colleges. Again, the time of beginning the games should be fixed, and no contest be allowed to begin after a stated time before sunset. The game in and around Boston was never more popular than now, nor was there ever more interest taken, and the result will be a fine crop of new players. Accidents have been but few, and the spirit of the game has been such as might well be emulated by stronger elevens. Next season New England will have the present strong inter collegiate eleven, besides the Tufts Williams League, and one in which Technology. Trinity and other elevens will figure. Dartmouth and Brown are both anxious to be admitted to the fold of some association. With proper legislation next year and the proper attempt to profit by the weak points of the past season, the game in 1887 will be the most prosperous on record. - New York Clipper.