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Down at Brown nestled--in the foot-hills of Providence the famine in foot-ball victories has been of equal intensity and greater duration than it has up among us city folks in Cambridge. And on long winter nights the alumnie wolves can be heard starting their long quavering howls as they thirst for the blood of one Mr. Tuss McLaughry, coach for some time now at the Providence institution.
When the aforesaid alumni gather in their clubs on cold afternoons with the wind and sleet driving outdoors and a tall amber glass at their side, their thoughts turn naturally to football. Obeying the dictum which is being laid down for all loyal alumni of the great American halls of learning, they don't say outright what's on their mind. None but the less uncultured of them, the ones who didn't get full benefit from the ivy, cloistered walls of Brown, say right out, "Let's get rid of this guy McLaughry."
But after the first glass has slid down and the boy has brought the second in, even the very nicest of them are apt to pose the purely philosophical question, "Are we doing right by our boys to let them go on losing like this? Shouldn't something be done about it?" And then the man behind the Herald Tribune says, "Do you suppose they're getting a really sound grounding in fundamentals?" After this the third one over in the window rouses himself violently from his lethargy by drawing on his almost dead cigar and states, "It's not so much the fundamentals, but the don't seem to be getting the plays." No direct word of rebuke, of course but the idea gets around.
At this point the man who does things when "something ought to be done about it" walks in after a bracing workout in a steam cabinet, gets the idea, and immediately seats himself down to write a letter to the athletic director, one of those chatty epistles which want to know fundamentally, "What the hell?" and with the writer's glass (for some strange reason it's almost always '08) displayed prominently.
The heat is on down at Brown, and this bids fair to be an important year in the career of Tuss McLaughry.
And just at this point the fairy tale, fiction element enters the picture in the person of John McLaughry, son of the coach.
John is everything his father was back in those terribly good old days when Brown was more than a stepping stone to the Navy game. And it may be John, along with a couple of other Brown players, who will be the one to lead his father's team from the morass of defeats it's sunk into back onto the firm ground where the coach is invited to do the speaking at the right clubs instead of being spoken about.
John is a powerful blocker. He captained the undefeated Freshman team last year. He brings with him a bevy of enthusiastic other young Sophomores who aren't way up on linesse but are on natural ability and enthusiasm. The onus is on John, and he looks like the guy who may be able to bear up under it.
Monthly candidates may borrow this as an idea for a story.
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