Who cuaght the forward pass that last Saturday got Harvard her second touchdown and tied the score? The answer, according to a number of papers is Cracker, but later evidence indisputably proves that Macomber was on the recieving end of the toss. This question has been asked repeatedly since the game; the resulting general misunderstanding has direct bearing on the question as to wheter Harvard players shall or shall not be numbered. Would not any mistake of this kind have been avoided if they even had worn numbers as did the Princeton players?
The chief argument's against numbering the players seem to be: first, that the spectators, are not sufficiently interested to look up the names that go with the numbers: second, that the strongest proponents of the system are the newspaper men, who should know the players anyway and are not qualified to write about the game if they do not; third, that having the players numbered would give away to scouts from other colleges the details of essential plays.
A moment's thought will show that the first objection is not a sound one; anyone who was in the Stadium during the game and heard the spontaneous shout that arose from the Harvard rooters when the long pass was received must admit that everyone wants to know whether it was Crocker or Macomber who caught the ball. The fact that the newspapers-many of them-named the wrong man is not due to the individual ignorance of the men writing the stories. There is a representative of each team in the press box who announces the man with the ball after each play. That these men, who have been watching their teams all year, should make a mistake in such an important detail, shows that there is no dependable means of identification.
It would seem that there is some basis for arguing that by giving the players numbers the details of each play would be thus betrayed to the vigilant eye of the scouts. The answer to that objection is that no scout is sent out who does not know each player when he sees him. Two Yale scouts watched Saturday's game from the top of the colonnade, knew every player on both teams, and dictated the most minute details of each move to a stenographer-not in the least handicapped by the fact that the Harvard players were unnumbered.
The contention has recently been made that agitation for numbering Harvard players "is largely the result of suggestions from sources that need but slight attention." This statement inevitably recalls the dictum of the National Rules Committee, in a note under Rule 3, section 3, saying: "The committee recommends that all players be numbered."