The following extract on foot-ball from an article in the January number of Outing, by R. M. Hodge, of Princeton, is the first of three which will appear on the same subject in the CRIMSON. The other two are written by J. H. Sears, of Harvard and Walter Camp of Yale:
"The foot-ball season of 1887 has been of extreme benefit to the game. It marks an era in the growth of American foot-ball.
"The improvement in the general play of the teams contesting in the great matches over preceding seasons has been never so remarkable. And a very marked difference is apparent in the playing of Yale, Harvard and Princeton since they last met in New York three years ago.
"And foot-ball has evidently, with the season just closed, passed its probation as a college sport.
"At last the rules of the game are adequate. The rights of the player are now protected as well as defined, and the matches can be decided always on the merits of the game, and the result put beyond dispute. The umpire scheme has proved a wonderful success. The new official has been able to protect the game against foul plays through his power to enforce the penalties the rules prescribe. All the displays of temper in this year's three great matches are to be counted on the thumbs, and were summary punished and atoned for.
"For two or three years foot-ball has been undergoing a crisis which seriously threatened the game as a college sport. During this period Harvard was forbidden foot ball for a year and Princeton the opportunity to play on any but a college field.
"Now the umpire-referee system has supplied an executive for the enforcement of the rules and the rights of every player are reasonably assured. It is by this time an axiom with players that the manifestation of temper is a practical acknowledgment of the superiority of opponents.
"Holding in the line," always the most besetting of foot-ball sins and the most prolific cause of slugging in the past, has been kept in wonderful check this year, if any comparison be made with former years; but it may still be called a pet sin, and some of the points scored on the Polo Grounds this year were certainly accomplished through its agency. But fortunately the result of none of the games was apparently affected thereby.
"Harvard's attempt for 1887 seems to have been to overcome with unprecedently heavy rushing, the always sharper tackling of Yale and Princeton, and Harvard's success at this kind of game has been remarkable. Harvard produced an eleven of enormous weight both in the rush line and behind it-and this great physical power was concentrated with considerable skill. The Harvard system is very superior to the heavy rushing game that was so assiduously practiced by all three colleges some six years ago.
"Yale and Princeton with lighter teams than Harvard counted on their smaller half-backs to do, with fewer, perhaps, but certainly longer runs, all that Harvard could accomplish with rushes many and short. And Yale demonstrated by her game with Harvard that it could be done, and what was lacking besides to secure the balance of advantage for victory Yale achieved through better kicking. Princeton could hardly be expected also to equal Harvard in rushing with a rush line of a gross weight even more disproportionate to Harvard's than Yale's, which from the start of the match was crippled by the loss of the most powerful and skilled rusher of it. But the Harvard-Princeton game was certainly a splendid demonstration of what the rushing of a heavy team can do when it is not exactly provided against. The possibilities, however, of the defensive ability of a light team have been indicated by the fact that Princeton's line checked Yale's attempts at rushing with less difficulty than Harvard's even heavier team than Yale's could do.
"Yale showed what her last game with Princeton, and its weather, had taught her, that what she might lack in rushing must be made up in kicking; and by playing a judicious kicking game Yale made herself champion over both Princeton and Harvard. And yet Yale's kicking was certainly no development on the punting of former years.
"Yale's punting was not great in distance; it was effective only through the skilful use made of it. There has been no long punting at all this season, unless we accept Ames' kicking in the Harvard Princeton game.
"It is singular, but not one of the colleges has this year produced a punter who has entitled himself to rank at all with Watkinson, Savage, Moffat Richards, Harlan, Shaw, Mason, Camp, Winton, Cutts, Watson and McNair.
"In reviewing the growth of foot-ball the past season there is nothing more interesting than to notice the marked individuality of the style of play developed by Yale, Harvard and Princeton. And this is the more striking when we reflect that the more evenly are the teams becoming matched, the more distinct does the individuality of the play of each college appear. As yet, however, Yale and Princeton have more in common in their respective games than have either of them with Harvard.
"The past season has been one full of discouragement to Princeton. The wearers of the orange and black must not be supposed to have forgotten their favorite sport. The difficulty has been that one resource failed after another so unexpectedly, and so often, that Princeton had to play her big matches before her eleven was ready. The first captain left college, the second was lamed in the first game and lost the whole season's practice with his men, and a third captain was practically in capacitated on his first play in the Harvard game. How numerous and sudden have been the exigencies that retarded Princeton's preparation, will be appreciated on considering that in no two games during the autumn could the same rush line be played. Never the less Princeton was confident of defeating both Yale and Harvard-until she met her last surprises of a loss of another player in her first big game, and of a "Yale weather" day upon her second. But Princeton's discouragement has ended with her disappointment."