The recent defeat which the freshman eleven received at Andover seems to be having a very injurious effect on their prospects for success with Yale. The men are not playing with their old snap and vigor, while the interest in the game seems to be rapidly diminishing.
This is the dangerous part of the season for freshman elevens, when the novelty of the game has begun to wear off and the change of weather makes the practising a little harder. It was thought, however, that '87, anxious as they seemed to be to surpass the record of their predecessors would not allow any temporary inconveniences to stand as obstacles in the path of improvement. Their unexpected defeat seemed to thoroughly disconcert them and a corresponding depression has followed their former confidence. No better lesson could be taught the freshmen than the one they received at Andover unless they persist in taking it the wrong way. The eleven is supposed to be only in partial trim during these preparatory games, so success or failure are one and the same so long as a steady improvement goes on. But this improvement does not seem to be going on as it should be and although some time still remains before the decisive struggle with Yale, nevertheless the team ought now to be in much better condition that it is. The men seem willing to work but they must have encouragement, for without this their work would amount to nothing.
Games should be arranged with all available clubs, for it is absolutely necessary that the men should play in their proper places if they are to learn to play together. In addition to this such of last year's freshman team as are not engaged should also be willing to come out and give the new-comers the benefit of their experience. The whole college too, is directly interested in the result of this contest and now is the time for them to contribute largely to the chances for Harvard's success. Upper class men can furnish encouragement and advice, but the work must rightly be done by '87, for the greater share of the praise is to be theirs in case they win. A change must come for the better, and the only danger is that it will come too late. The whole college stands ready to help '87 in the necessary "brace", and we trust the freshmen will take this in hand immediately, and that improvement will be rapid but steady from now until the Yale game.