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There are times in the course of human events when silence is more effective than the written word. Those times, however, are limited. When the football teams of two old and large American universities play each other in such an atmosphere as was evidenced over the last weekend, silence on the part of the college journals is indicative either of supreme callousness or supreme dullness. For no one had to be particularly adroit to realize that there was evident animosity displayed within the Harvard Stadium last Saturday.
No effective good can be accomplished by ruminating upon that feeling. To hide it beneath any casual silence is but to increase it. And that the CRIMSON has no desire to do. Rather is it the purpose of the CRIMSON to get at the root of the matter and attempt in some fashion to eradicate what is at best puerile and futile.
For years Harvard has adopted a patronizing attitude toward Princeton, culminating in the obviously undiplomatic incident of the early fall when Princeton was certainly treated in a cavalier fashion by those in charge of athletics at Harvard. This, of course rankles in the hearts of both Princeton undergraduates and graduates alike. Princeton for some time has felt it eminently necessary to remain a part of the Big Three. Even colleges must retain prestige. And Princeton has derived no little part of hers from the fact that she has long been included in the Big Three. Placing those two facts together, then, one readily understands why such phenomena as those of the last weekend can occur.
With such a background of bad feeling the Princeton team is "out to get Harvard". Irritated by its own complex, which is accentuated by the superciliousness of certain Harvard gaucheries, it wants to knock this "superior" person, John Harvard, into the middle of next week. That it can be done the CRIMSON is ready to admit. That it must be done in the way and with the spirit now evident the CRIMSON deplores sincerely.
There are in every college people with little taste and less judgment. And it is those people who help to keep alive such misunderstandings as this which has made a traditional game between worthy rivals a hark back to the Roman gladitorial combats with mob action as the climax of a college athletic contest. The CRIMSON admits that the Lampoon extra sent to the stadium immediately after the game last Saturday was a clever parody. The CRIMSON is not unwilling to rejoice at a rejuvenation of Lampoon esprit de corps. However, the CRIMSON believes that the notice of the death of Coach Roper placed on a paper which was circulated among the Princetonians as an authentic CRIMSON can only be paralleled in poor taste and bad judgment by the editorial which was published in the regular number of the Lampoon, circulated before the game. The one was enough to make any Princeton player see red; the second was enough to keep him seeing red from now to eternity.
Such demonstrations of poor taste are never taken at their real value. That is asking too much of human nature. And it is just such trivial breaches of common sense, not to mention fact, which make the spirit of the Harvard-Princeton game that of a prize fight. It is just such follies which lay the basis for intense animosity to send teams battered from the field and undergraduates in to war dances of victory.
All this, then, must be eradicated. Princeton and Harvard are too ancient rivals in athletics, too much a part of the best traditions of American education to allow themselves to linger in what at best is a petty feudalism. The CRIMSON very sincerely and seriously wants to continue the annual football game with Princeton. It hopes that in the future facts will take the place of fancies, that the bad taste of a small element in other university will not dictate the opinion of either undergraduate body, that there will never again be a time when the stands are audibly antagonistic, when the teams become central elements in a turmoil of tea cup war. Such phenomena are intrinsic parts of all that the college of today and of the future must attempt with all its power to drive into permanent oblivion.
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