At Soldiers Field the other afternoon, the press corps was discussing the coming game with Washington University of St. Louis. That game, forecast as an "excellent inter-sectional contest" in last week's H.A.A. football program, will be played in the Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Little was known about the visitors from St. Louis, said by the program to be Harvard's fourth opponent from west of the Mississippi in 79 years. As the scribes watched the varsity gird itself from high atop Critics' Roost, they pooled what information they had, helped along by their keeper, W. Henry Johnston, the sports publicist.
Someone recalled that the last time the H.A.A. had used the phrase "excellent intersectional contest," it was to describe the game with Stanford, which opened the 1949 season. The Varsity went west then and returned alive, barely.
"We don't seem to do too well against western teams," said a voice from the top rung of the Roost. "How's Washington been doing?"
"Very well," said Johnston. "Undefeated, you know." He went on to explain that the Bears, as the Washington team is called, whomped Missouri Mines, 27-6, in their opener and edged Wayne University of Detroit last week, 13-12. Someone else chipped in with the information that junior varsity coach Henry Lamar, who scouted Washington in both these games, had described them as "rough."
"Their 132-pound halfback is supposed to be pretty good," Johnston said.
"One-hundred thirty pounds!" the corps chorused unbelievingly as they searched Johnston's straight face.
"That must have been a typographical error in the program," suggested a distinguished looking guest.
"No, the way I understand it, this fellow has been filling in since the regular halfback dislocated his elbow," said Johnston. "He's fast and shifty."
A resounding tackle by a jayvee line-man drew attention back to the field momentarily. A full-scale scrimmage was going on.
"I read the other day that there are four people named Utz associated with the team," remarked a sophomore scribe. "Could that be right?"
"Yes," said Johnston. "Irv Utz is the coach and he has three sons playing."
"Leesee," said a funny fellow from the rear. "That means we will be seeing Papa Bear and the Three Little Bears." No one laughed.
On the field, Coach Jordan pointed to the field house. Another day of practice was over and the players streamed off the field.
"Just one more question, Mr. Johnston," someone requested. "I'm writing the program story for my paper. What are Washington's colors?"
"Myrtle and Maroon."
"Myrtle Ann who?" demanded the freshman scribe, deciding then and there he would take his girl to this one.