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To the Editors of the Crimson:
There has been much comment recently upon the value of the Harvard cheer. It appears that the trouble depends quite as much upon the spirit of the men who cheer as upon the character of the cheer itself.
Consider the cheering at the ball games this year. The visiting teams have been given better cheering by a handful of supporters than has been given to the Harvard players. At only one game has the Harvard cheering been good for anything. And then the undergraduate wonders when the team does not play with dash and snap. He appears to believe that when he has paid for his ticket to a ball game he has done his duty. So he sits upon the bleachers with a calmly critical mind, cheers when some especially brilliant play is made to relieve his own excitement, and during the rest of the game allows nine men to work their hearts out--and flays them if they lose.
The cheering ought to be a fierce spur and stimulus to the men who are competing for the College and not a safety-valve for a critical spectator. If there is fierceness and determination in the cheering there will be fierceness and determination in the playing. Every undergraduate should feel it his duty to encourage and cheer on the team, just as he believes that the team should work for the University. Every man should come to the practice and cheer the team in the daily work, and, in the games, should cheer with the same persistence, fierceness and dash that he expects in the playing of the team.
The inefficient, half-hearted, drawling cheer of this year has been worse than nothing. No other college gives its team so little support in the way of cheering. If the nine showed no more spirit in its play than the College has shown in its cheering, there would have been little chance of winning the Princeton game, and there would be less chance of winning the games which are to come. E. H. NICHOLS '86.