A recent correspondent of the Alumni Bulletin makes the rather startling suggestion that Harvard be represented next fall by two Varsity, football teams instead of one, and that while one plays Yale at New Haven the other play Yale (who is also to have two teams of course) in Cambridge, the winner being the college which amasses the largest combined score. In this way all ticket-difficulties would be abolished, and the proportion of players to spectators would be increased.
All this is very promising but it is not unlike lighting a fire with flint and steel because the matches are in the next room. The increase in participants in athletics is undoubtedly desirable but it is equally possible under the present system. In 1876 there were constant appeals for more candidates for crew because a winning eight was impossible with only fourteen candidates. Last spring crew drew over a hundred and fifty upper classmen: and the other major sports vary from fifty upward. The trouble is not with them for they care for their share already.
But now the minor sports are where crew was twenty five years ago, and further expansion should come and will most easily come through them. But so far it has not.
This condition is particularly prevalent in winter, the heyday of the warm fire and the good book. Then although major sports are least active the minors in general are the poorest in material. Athletics may be valuable, athletics may be almost necessary, but they hold little interest in January.
Yet in minor sports one may find exercise in almost any form, can find everything save perhaps the glamor of being a possible "college hero". In short in them lies the key to all general participation in athletics and until their ranks are overcrowded, there is no reason to decry the lack of an opportunity.