There is some compensation for having one's nose ground into the sod two hours every afternoon for two months if that operation makes a place for one in collegiate football history. A pommelled ear aches the less when it hears the tribute of a cheer, and the pain of a twisted knee is forgotten if that knee helped to push the ball over the enemy's goal line. But what of the second team the black jersies, for whom there is endless drubbing and few cheers, plenty of pains and only a thin official notice?
The answer is this: by literally climbing on the second team, the varsity reaches victory. Tackling dummies, skull practice, and punting and passing are all valuable. But so long as "fight" remains the basis of football, the second team is indispensable. Furthermore, the accepted custom of "scouting" makes a spirited execution of the opponent's plays by the second team absolutely necessary.
What of the spirit of these men whose touchdowns go unheralded except in the locker room? Most of them have no hopes of making the first team, barred from that honor by lack of weight or lack of an inherent knack for playing the game. Day after day they must play opposite their friends with simulated emmity, and their exertions are more valuable as their opposition is more real. On Saturday afternoon, in civilian clothes, they sit on the sidelines twisting their felt hats out of shape in their anxiety and inability to help. These men under Coach Knox give the lie to the charge that there is no sport in college athletics: they exemplify, more nearly than it is often reached, a disinterested love of the sport for its own sake.