President Lowell, in a speech delivered last Wednesday, characterized organized cheering as "barren, poor, and meagre," and "with less modulation, less means of expressing degrees and varieties of emotion of any kind than any other form of expression--with the possible exception of the fog-horn."
In the last analysis, these statements are true, but no one realizes better than President Lowell that the ideal he has in mind has never been reached. Man has been unable to devise any method by which he may express his finer emotions in common with his fellow-men, and it seems impossible that he ever will. While organized cheering is in theory far from perfect, still it seems to be the only method by which hundreds of enthusiastic and care-free supporters of a college team can give vent to their enthusiasm and the spirit of loyalty, manliness, and sportsmanship that is overflowing in them. As such, organized cheering is a worthy and desirable institution, but it sinks into the worst kind of unsportmanship when used only to drown out the signals of the opposing quarterback, or to rattle the other team when it has the field. At recent intercollegiate contests this element has been brought forth most markedly, and it has been forgotten that the game should be won on the field, and not from the stands. It is against this side of organized cheering that President Lowell, than whom no college president could be more heartily in sympathy with the students, is in reality aiming, and the correctness of his conclusions cannot be denied, for under this artificial pressure, organized cheering does indeed lose its sincerity and justification.