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The very mention of secret practice curtailment brings upon its author a flood of resentment and vituperation. In nine cases out of ten this abuse comes from inability to differentiate between curtailment and elimination. It is an established fact that some secret practice is a necessity. Success in important games is well-nigh impossible without an element of surprise. Coach Roper at Princeton has, however, decided to allow everyone to watch the team in the remainder of this season's daily workouts. Perhaps a few new plays may be rehearsed on the sly, but in the main practice will be open to all. The reason for this action is Coach Roper's expressed desire to have the undergraduates see at first hand the details of an established football system.
Football extends for a period of over two months. In that time under the usual present system of secret practice the ordinary undergraduate is able to view his team in actual play exactly eight hours; that is the maximum amount of playing-time in the customary schedule of eight games. If the policy of "football for all" is to be in any way encouraged one of the first steps is to allow all to watch the coaching of this game. Too few spectators today know many of the real underlying principles of football. If for a limited time each day, or on certain days of the week, students were admitted to the Stadium, interest and enjoyment on Saturday afternoons would be greater than ever.
Let it be repeated that entire abolition of secret practice is not to be expected or wished. When new offensive tactics are being rehearsed the Stadium should be closed. There are however many features such as kicking, interfering, and general defensive work, which can given a great deal of pleasure to weekday onlookers without giving away stock secrets. It should be to the interest of those who have the good of the game at heart to make football more of an open book and less of a mystery.
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