General Stagnation in Athletics - The Fall Athletic Meeting - Inter-collegiate - Columbia vs. Rutgers - The Lake George Affair - The Classes.


NEW YORK, Nov. 18th, 1882. - Columbia may well be called the Rip Van Winkle of American universities, for she surely has fallen into a sleep from which there are no signs of her waking before a great deal of the sweet bye-and-bye has become part of the happy long ago. Everything seems to have come to a standstill. Foot-ball, for which the fall regatta was abandoned that it might occupy all our attention, seems to take it out in occupying. The cricket club is non est, and cannot attract enough attention to get up a decent funeral. Base-ball, towards which we had somewhat of a leaning a year ago, seems to have lost all its leaners, and the only thing which appears to have any life is our great and only repudiated lacrosse association.

Since my last letter we had our annual fall games. They were held at the Manhattan Athletic Club grounds. The reasons given for holding them there instead of at Mott Haven was that the Athletic Association desired larger audience than there have been for the last few years. The venture was successful, and it is no exaggeration to say that there were as many as fifty spectators on the grounds. More than half of them were competitors, while the other half were marshals and judges of walking. The attendance of the fair ones was unusually large, and it must have been comforting to the competitors in the lonely walk-overs to watch those two beautiful daughters gazing down at them with admiring glances.

The records for our games of this year were startling, almost as much so as the costumes of some of the competitors. The mile run was taken in beautiful style in 5 minutes 22 3-5 seconds. The 220 yards dash was taken at 25 seconds from the six yard mark. The mile walk was won in an easy lope after an infliction of 10 minutes and 25 seconds, heel and toe. Mr. Porter prevented the meeting from being a complete success. He broke the record made by himself at the last inter-collegiate contests in the hammer throwing. The distance covered was 87 feet and 11 inches. Great indignation was expressed against the gentleman for so far presuming as to break a record.

There has been some talk about founding a literary magazine here, but the gentleman having the enterprise in charge has abandoned it in order to devote all his energies to foot-ball. Everything has been given up to that glorious sport - everything from chapel to poker. It would certainly be more lucrative to us if we should abandon everything but poker. I sadly fear that is is our last resource, and I have no hesitation in saying, that should an intercollegiate poker association be formed my alma mater would not be found in the rear ranks. Harvard, Yale and little Rutgers would find it less easy to "rake in a jack-pot," than to kick a goal.


Speaking of Rutgers reminds me that we were beaten even by their team at foot-ball; but there is soon to be a return match, and we hope to retrieve ourselves. To be sure there is not much glory in defeating a Rutgers team, but it is certainly preferable to being defeated by them, except perhaps, for the fun we of the college press would gather from reading their indiscribable sheet for the next few years, when every number would contain some allusion to "the time we licked Columbia."

It is the universal opinion here that the University of Pennsylvania fellows are spoiling for a fight. The way the Magazine editors go off half-cocked is certainly amusing; but when they accuse us of being afraid to row them last summer then we "larf most immoderate." If Columbia had ever signified her intention of entering the regatta at Lake George, the university might have some cause for complaint, but as we never expected to enter that regatta or give the University of Pennsylvania any reason to think we would enter, all their charges are as "empty as the wind." As for rowing Princeton - but that is too absurd.

The classes are now fully organized. The most important organization, that of the senior class, is as follows: President, Herbert Livingston Satterlee; vice president, Eberhard Lamest Pupke; secretary, Augustus Dickerson Baker; treasurer, George Henry Barnes; historian, Abraham Valentine Williams Jackson. The seniors are trying to determine what sort of an entertainment to give during the winter. The class is about equally divided for a social and a literary entertainment. The outcome of the whole affair will probably be a mixture of the two with not enough of either to make a success.