Yet there is something beyond the scores to be considered. In the first halves of the Princeton game and the Pennsylvania game, the eleven played a game which none of the other college teams with better records could excel. But in both games Harvard was beaten fairly. The reason, which all agree, was that Harvard players had not the physical endurance of their opponents. In both the Princeton and Pennsylvania games man after man was injured and the whole team fell off in its play in the second half.
The reason for this lack of strength and endurance is what must be found out. Some believe that the training has been too hard and long. But it has been, in fact, lighter than in past years, and no heavier than the Princeton and Pennsylvania training this fall. The question of how long and how hard the training shall be can safely be left to the coaches, the trainer and the medical advisors.
Others think the first eleven should have been chosen earlier, kept more distinct from the second eleven, and drilled for a longer time in team work. The evenness with which many of the candidates were matched and the many injuries to prominent players made the choice of a first eleven difficult; and while it does seem as if it would be better to choose a first eleven earlier and to give them constant care and training as a team, even at the expense of a possible minor mistake in the first choice, yet this question can also best be left to the trainers.
Many other ideas about the Harvard system of training have been held and many comments made. The often heard suggestion that the dampness and fogs arising from the marshes near the field had a bad effect on the players' health and strength should be carefully considered and its truth or groundlessness determined. If the present location of the Athletic Field is to have a bad effect on the athletic teams, it should be changed at once and at any cost for a more healthful spot.
At Princeton a practice of strengthening the ankles and knees of each member of the eleven by adhesive plaster or elastic bands, even in ordinary daily practice, is very successful and might well be tried here. It takes time and cannot of course wholly prevent sprains or wrenched knees, but it makes the chances of serious injury very small.
Now, with the season's experiences and lessons fresh in mind, is the time to begin preparations for next year. If all men who expect to try for the team next year will exercise regularly and keep in good condition and training during the intervening time, there will be less likelihood that the team will fail from lack of mere physical strength and endurance.