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The question has again been raised as to the advisability of numbering, the players on the football team. Anyone who has watched the Princeton eleven must have noticed how convenient the numbers were; at a glance it was clear who caught the forward or gained on an off tackle run. It was not necessary to wait for the tardy and uncertain services of the score-board.
The apathy of the coaches and players toward thus increasing the pleasure of the spectators is as incomprehensible as it is real. They sometimes go so far as to advance the defence that the audience does not care who makes the play or that the public knows all the players anyway. Yet anyone who has watched a game from the stands will emphatically deny the first statement; and he also knows how difficult it is to recognize a person when he is effectively disguised in a uniform and headguard. As for the argument that numbering will enable scouts to learn the plays, it is above all the scout's first business to know all the players at a glance.
Altogether, then, the opposition is due rather to inertia against innovation than to anything in the proposition itself. But it is quite time that the authorities took cognizance of the feelings of the onlookers in this matter. It is only decent that we should make as comfortable as possible the public that takes so much interest in us; most of all we owe it to our graduates, who, though unable to follow the season closely, turn out loyally for the big games. Harvard should fall in line.
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