When we were much younger we had the enlightening experience of reading a book about a Yalie named Frank Merriwell. The climax of the volume came when lithe, brave, dauntless, handsome Merriwell snagged a 60-yard pass out of the hands of a pair of burly Harvard men and ran ninety-nine yards for a touchdown to win the game for an underdog Eli eleven. The crowd cheered and young ladies swooned and we put down the book and decided not to spend our collegiate career, in New Haven.
Today again a juggernaut Crimson powerhouse is slated to run rampant against the valiant and undaunted Bulldog, and except for the ten thousand or so men of Harvard, the entire nation, or that part of it that is aware of the game, will be rooting for the spiritual descendants of that Merriwell man. Nobody loves us except ourselves. We are the team to beat, the dragon for St. George to kill, the Persians to be turned back at Thermopylae.
It seems to us that since the prehistoric days when some insignificant mastodon up and slew in combat the mighty tyrannosaurus rex, the favorite has taken a licking. Look at Goliath, for example. All we know about him is that he was "of great size" and a "champion of the Philistines." Obviously he was a good man, if a bit unpopular withal. And then up steps, that little upstart of a David and overthrows him by means that even a Yaleman wouldn't sink to. Goliath is undoubtedly one of the most abused characters in history, just because his enemies happened to write about him.
And so it has gone on from the day when the English drew their long bows and upset the flower of French chivalry at Creey and Agincourt to the cra when American fight fans finally decided that Jack Dempsey was an underdog and deserved cheers instead of boos. The hearts of millions of women will beat a little faster today every time some back named Seymour or Harrison or Frank or Booth or whatever this generation's names are gain a yard or two. And Peabody and Pfister and MacKinney and Lee will be playing the roles of the villainous favorites, but they will have a chance to get back at the "little man" for his centuries of oppression and triumph. They will be playing to efface the memory of the defeats of favorites. They will be fighting to send these eleven cocky underdog Dink Stovers back to New-Haven with their bulldog tails between their legs, and to prove for once and all that the favorites can be heroes.