Letter from a Graduate of Yale.
EDITORS DAILY CRIMSON:- I am inclined to think that the statement in one of your late issues, that Harvard has never beaten Yale at the Rugby game, was not wholly correct. Twelve years ago, in the fall of 1875, if I remember rightly, the Yale students who had for several years successfully played against Princeton and Columbia, the old-fashioned game, on the suggestion of Harvard men adopted the new style. In that year the Harvard team who had had the advantage of two or three years experience, found it an easy task to vanquish the Yale team, weak from lack of experience. I have a faint remembrance now, of the general feeling of mortification among the students because of that crushing defeat, and the determination to retrieve the next season. How apt pupils they were is shown by the fact that since that time Harvard has never defeated the men whom she first taught to play the Rugby game.
I think that it has always been a surprise, not only to Yale men but also to the general public, that Harvard, with the largest number of students of any of the competing colleges, and with so many large preparatory schools where the game is played, as feeders, has never beaten her antagonist at this game which she first introduced into American colleges. The explanation of that fact, Harvard men must know better than anyone else.
For this notable record, so gratifying to Yale, I think two, besides other reasons, can be given. First, the influences and generalship of Walter Camp, deservedly called the father of the American Rugby game, has been most potent. When Yale suffered that first defeat he was playing the old-fashioned game in the Hopkins Grammar School team of this city; but, entering college in the following autumn, he shared in the first of many victories in November, 1876. Since that time his efforts and wise counsel have always been at the service of the team. When he was in college he was not only an admirable player, but he dignified the game by infusing into it skill, strategy and generalship surprising those unacquainted with the facts. Many a glorious victory for the blue has been planned as carefully and thoroughly as a general plans a campaign. The second reason, somewhat akin to the first, is found in the hearty co-operation of old foot-ball players among the alumni and their willingness to coach the team toward the end of the season, even at some sacrifice of business or professional interests.
This year Harvard seems more likely to win the championship than for several years before; and if she does, she will deserve it because of faithful training. But we should not be human if we did not confidently hope that when the sun sets on Thanksgiving Day the blue will still float above the crimson.
Yours very truly, YALE GRADUATE.