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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 27, 1907, Image 7

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The San Francisco Sunday Call.
UP TO DATE FOOTBALL AND HOW TO PLAY IT
NO. 1 THE ON-SIDE KICK BY JOHN B. FOSTER
John B. Foster
TO be a good football player a
pair Of stout legs is necessary, a
certain amount of agility and
nimbleness, ability to endure,
plenty of pluck and determination,
quick Judgment, a sound body and a
brave heart. No boy should engage in
the game without the consent of his
parents, and if there is doubt as to the
physical fitness of the ambitious young-
cter he should be examined by the fam
ily physician before he becomes a can
didate for a team.
Many an accident on the football
field has been attributed to the rough
ness of the game, when, as a matter of
fact, the Injured players never 6hould
have undertaken the sport, because they
\u25a0were suffering from maladies which
were aggravated rather than ame
liorated by football.
One death has been caused this early
In the present season because a college
man persisted In playing football when
he had been warned against the game
by both his parents and physicians. He
was not physically perfect, and the
violent exercise was the surest way to
hasten his demise. There are instances
where football has proved to be bene
ficial to some youngsters and to some
men approaching college age. This is
more especially true of those whose
lung capacity is not very greatly de
veloped. Football frequently has proved
a fine tonic where the young players
have been carefully watched and not
permitted to overexert themselves, in
addition to receiving the best treatment
after they were through on the field.
These words of caution are not out
of place before entering on a descrip
tion of some of the methods of play.
Football, applied judiciously, not only
will be found helpful physically — for
there is no person who plays it but Is
exhilarated by the pastime, even if
fatigued by the exertion— but will be
found of much advantage mentally.
The drill and discipline in a football
•eleven are one of the finest experiences
which a young man can undergo.
To be successful in football there
must be perfect team work. All the
units must combine into a harmonious
whole working for one end and I one
purpose. There are occasional brilliant
personal plays in the game, but they
are usually the working out or a suc
cessful footttAll scheme, and not due to
extraordinary personal merit on the
part of the player.
Fumbles and Muffs
Now and then a fumble or a muffed
punt will give some player the chance
of a lifetime in a game of importance.
If he happens to be near the ball he
may pick it up and run the length of
the field, scoring a brilliant touchdown
which shall become a matter of foot
ball history. These plays are the ex
ception and not the rule.
Young players must not begin foot
ball with- the Idea that it is a hit and
miss game. It has its element of lack,
as baseball and other field sports have,
but Its luck is less pronounced than In
almost any sport that can be mentioned.
Were any team to undertake to play
American football and trust to luck it
would be no match whatever for .an
eleven that had . been well drilled and
well coached in play* that are & part
of the game.
Every member of a football squad,
and particularly, every member of a
regular team, must know exactly
where to place himself and whom to
"takecare of* on the other side-when
a signal is given. He must: protect
the ball which: ls being advanced by
his own team, and In addition to ! that
must ward off the forwards and backs
of the adversary In so far as It oc
curs to his part of the field to do so.
It is essential that he shall block
the part of the defense which it ls,his
duty to block, even If the opposing
player is on the - farthest ;• side rof : the
field from the ball.. Coaches who han
dle roung player*; frequently say one
of the hardest tasks they . have Is to"
keep the boys f roxn . following ; on the
heels of the ball." : An end,' for^ instance,
whose business it is to look rafter -the
opposing end of the other team, will
forget that' part of his duty, and . the
moment the ball is put Into play will
rush in behind the ball; eager to.be in
the thick 'of the scrimmage, i and not '
mindful of, the fact that the end.whom
he should have blocked may be the
very player, who intercepts the ball.- .
Sometimes it is necessary for the
ends to play well put or for the backs t
to shift so that they are at one side of
the play, and when they trail the ball
and forget they are -as important : at t
one place as another when they, have
their man to block they, Jeopardise, the
possession of the ball by/ their own
team. *
Obedience Is Everything'
Players who begin their football ex-;
perience in school or college: teams':
must obey implicitly the orders of the
captains and coaches. In a large var
sity team the player who would refuse
to accept the orders of the captain or
of one of the coaches would quickly be:
dropped from the football squad. It r
is not the personality of the football
player which counts for so much as it
is his disposition to become a very
useful cogwheel on a big machine.. The
younger boys who play football the
less their inclination to be "bossed,"
but football cannot be played success
fully unless there is a "boss" who in-:
sists that his orders shall be faithfully
carried out.- /
There are personal typeß in football, .
as in baseball, which are peculiarly
adapted* to * certain positions on an
eleven. One boy with the ability to :
kick well M-ill make a successful full
back and perhaps, would: not; be much
of a success as an end. Another, whose
sense of observation is acute, Judg
ment good and head COol, . will make a
capital quarter back. He will be quick
to catch the weaknesses of his oppo
nents and take advantage of them. He
will realize the strength of his own
eleven and use it to the best advantage.'
When he sees- that his opponents have
a bad hole in their line or that they
are weak in handling' punts he will
begin to direct- his attack where, they
are most likely to. fail. If he; Is a
smart general he ,will keep it up un
til, he has scored. "
Fleet boys, with plenty of strength,
lots of. grit and no , fear of conse
quences, boys who can handle the ball
well when they get, lt. into their hands;
make good ends under : the new, rules.
The position of end is now one of the
most important \u25a0- on a football % team
playing - the American game, , and «if
there is one place more- than another
where a young player can. shine to. ad- :
vantage it is on the right or -left flank.
Aaturdy, deep chested .boy, 'well set
on his feet,; will make a* good center.
He must be cool, never permit himself
to be flustered, must be * able to ? pass
the bair to the quarter with accuracy,
even; when.he can almost 4 feel that /all
the; opposing, eleven is charging upon
him, and' he must '; never " be afraid .to
smash into 'the line and ;try to ; bloek
the ball when he is playing on defense.
Boys who are broad shouldered and
like to brace " cueir s strengthen ; compe- \u25a0
tition against others make good guards.
If they can run in addition to stopping
line breakers they are co much the bet
ter for- their,- teams. ,' There I is . nothing;
which gives more Joy to. the heart of a
coach than to find that in hit material
he : , has ; men'; strong enough " for,; guards ;
who are almost as fleet as the backs.; =
,'.The l tackle Is i a ', lively T chap,' ; and" he
must be a line breaker; as well at ! an
expert: In;. lnterference ,and^ clever tin ;
defending the ball when the backs are
• carrying It* 1 " The, tackle ; isn't ; quite ) so
*\u25a0; important las he -was ' two " and threo
years ago. when a system of plays was .
built almost wholly around him as the
custodian of the"baHlwhen]it;was;tO;bel
advanced.:}. Tale carried, the tackle back.
play to • further limits than ; any of the
big teams and was by far the most suc
cessful with ilt- because the! men ~,weVe
:oached to. such great perfection. ;
Almost: all boys want I to be backs. ,
There Is. a position; which appeals to
the youngster,' who sees possibilities of m
wonderful .runs, plunges through"a line- f
[n which a hole has beenfconvenrently;
opened by the; forwards,^ fine catches
of long punts, f an occasional \u25a0\u25a0 kick; per^ : .;
haps and generally ."something: doing',
all the time. The : backs will always be
spectacular In f ootball,>but | in the : new »
game they have'strong, rivals in;
some lof the linemen, more especially if
the linemen i happen to be active and
Beet of foot themselves. ;, . . . ,'"'\u25a0
It is taken for granted that the ..-,
football' aspirants know, all. about the
lineup and how Jto assume/ their; posi
tions. That is the veryprimarV of the ; .
game. The lineup Is not such a: rugged
affair as it' once was, owing to the neu- yj
tral xone ; which ;Is nowl in" existence^
The center has a better chance s to, hani>
die the ball accurately, andlf he makes /
mistakes ; In \u25a0 delivering It UOithe quar-/ ;
ter backit is more likely to 'be* the; re-" ;
suit of his awkwardness. Hhan; because j;
there has been interference "by the op- ;
posing side. ; . " - ' " : :;
The players; must ? keep; within their
line, as officials will not tolerate^offside -
play and are qulck'to penalize It.: Therej
is nothing; which; is more demorallzlnif^
to & j good ; eleven ; than"^ to "\u25a0. have {some |
brilliant play, run {.off only to' loseT its"
benefit because some ; member, in " his ,
haste ; to ; get ; away \u25a0 with the ball,", wasjy
far. over' the line when i t ; was put Into);
play. Young players . are : cautioned par- .
tlcularlyi to~,begin x right SwhenU they :
start ; in ; the game^-f-make; a f : resolve ; not '9
to be" offside at any; time. A 1 ii t tie . care T
In ; this respect -In the beglnningo'may v
save an ; ]; important | match I for,; a .team |
some day. There"lis'a*tendency;on:theJ
part of - some ', boys ; ?to t edge lan r inch 'for 4
two over, the line and then a few inches I
more,' trusting to; elude ; the eyesight of S
the umpire and beat the"; ball: a foot or -_
two as ; the play is begun.' \u25a0 - •\u25a0 -
That may sound" clever to^ brag about, ±
but it lsnot goodfootball.^The foot or?
two I that s may h be '£ picked f up" no w v and \u25a0- \u25a0»
then because a' playerj has "deceived '\u25a0. the %
umpire I Home; day^ may hbe \ the] fatal er-*f;
ror ; which ; starts " a", disastrous-d efeat;.;;
Any team which had made a brilliant
gain at' the crucial i point * in"* a? football y
contest would? not she' likely^ to^be lye ry/
happy; because a penalty/; was ;enf dreed -
for. being; offside iwhen ;. the '•> offending '-,[
player deliberate! y;jßtole; ground^ trust-|
ing ; to escape .the * umpire's /vigilance.^;\-'
;NewiPlayß in Vogue. ?
? Since the 'new,* rules ; have been ;: ln
vogue ; there . are ; certain jplays ; in • f oot-1
bair which ]have {come jvtoJ have J specific s
names". ,:"Four or) flvel years? ago | almost?;
everything,^ calculated^ to s 'advanced the f
ball -.was \u25a0 referred " to \as •• aT" certain- kmd I
of : : tThere\were backs
formations,', the , famous f guards'^ back 'of f'
Pennsylvania; £ before"? that ? the -S turtle t
; back,; the flyingwedge and f the' Harvard I
tandem^J; The latterAby^thelway^is: still ?
used by r ;thel crimson, ahd| is-(notVa ; : badi
ground 'gainer.' when ' a" small -distance* Ist
necessary to make the ; 10 yards. 1 ? ~ : I
':] Now^we have • the onslde kick, a playl!
characteristic and % fullyif developed jasls
being *" somewhat | dlfferentf from I other s |
football 1 formations ; S thel forward I pass,y
;whlchS is t equally^ typical;^the^double^
pasa/iWbich'has^come.into^vogue'again;^
the I fake • punt ? and f the ) fake j pass, plays §
.which ! are decep tive'and ] f requently^weli |
Carried s out,\ : . where three S| years £"ago^
there was little of such effort ' owing , to
the fact that nine-tenths of .the -ground
gaining, was .thefresult: of mass -plays;'
upon'a certalnVpart of the line. ; '
?;« The '\u25a0\u25a0 onslde ? kick l was r the^ first : of the r.
new. plays .which any one unlversity^un- 1
dertoOkto perfect.and'it is rather gen^
erally .] conceded' that' Yale was: f urther.'
advanced; Oni the '\u25a0 onslde kick and better!
qualified'' to ;?make ; ; use 'of: it ; than any
team, which played in 1006. (\u25a0 : - i
vS,The onslde -kick lS;thi8:!It la a:punt'
delivered * over ; the^heads . of ; theMeams |
to; a point • in < the^ fieldz/rlts > ad-
vantage^to.rtheiattacking team lies ;in"
theTf act': that when ithe ball strikes the
ground - the ; players of the side « making
the r kick are ; on"' side— that - Is, , they arc
at liberty toTplck ' up ; the ball llf It has
not ; gone out^ of -bonds and j continue ; to
run^.with lit ttoward A the I opposing : goal; -
if :it^isipossiple^for;them to -advance it ;
farther: : Of icourse; ? the" defending, side'
is'on side also and may plck;up 7the'ball
lf' possible) tnd run' back ;wlth it j Into ;
the ; territory of f the ." players who put
the ball in play. - \u25a0
;kVA\tersel definition 1 of the onslde kick
is that" the ball'.ls "anybody's ball" after
it strikes! the f ground.,;- : V
It must) be : that football ,
was "reformed" ibecause'j all
teamshad acquired the theory; that pos- \u25a0
session? of : : the ;^baliv> was
That 3 Induced i the s mass? plays. f At team \u25a0
would 1 fight jWith* bulldog 'lnsistence? to.
advance ? the K ball "n foot by s f oot.t^ and "
;wbuldi really ;play>no'" : foqtball;whateyer.f
It f was '-merelyja "question, of A lining* up i
11 ;; men^i to 2 knock* ll?men^out^of X the I
way.i^Thel onslde ; kkief,k f , was "introduced",
to . teach" football-players :j i that * posses^
sioniOf i the :ball; is not; so/much* an^es-^
sential af ter; allrrln other.; words/that a*;
teanv may, risk ! and "dare :j more : and • still )
!t>ej playing^ football :in/anl acceptable;
manner^acceptable H6itheC attack | and ,
not^such'tt'punlshmcnt; to, the defense:^
i - Most I of j the % f oo tball'l elevens ii which ;
began^ to; use! the Jonsldej kick! resorted!
." tt» ; it ; as; ft v method r of- lastj resort.i If i they J
had ;not|advanoedjtherb«ll|a*sufllcl«iat'.
number^ •f|yards 1 »n; downs I they, ; tried \
: the * onslde 2i kick. .\, It: fi was k I Hobson's \
:choice?inlanyl»veht,*.for; the <bali; would'
r very«llke!y,lbe",-lost';lf \ another!' attempt
i was : made i,to -get; through jthe line -with
fa"* mass play. ,
:A!Someloftethe;;unlversities, more dar
' in g,^ tried |the f onslde | kick %on r tlie T sec
'ondidownrf hoping! to / catch lthelr/6ppo-i
nents s off Vgruard, £ and - frequently/; were
successful. * • "
$m The iVftluablelpolnt ; about i thin : play] li " \u25a0
I that | It Usjaf great j ground* gainer- whenl
; it ? works If Jitl fails fto?siicceedi
ilt !mayib©;a'costly 1 f ground- loser,|but!at,
ileastlSOl per/cent! of tthel plays 'probably;
!Will|result*infnOiWorse|thanfpuntslon*
I the' third; down/j Itf has ian^ advantage
'over.fal punt s for/distance] solely <in|that*
the ; usefulness of ' the ; kick ; may iba \ in
- ,--,-; , •\u25a0-. .\u25a0 - - -- \u25a0•:
'-}. creased; fourfold because of ,the oppor- j
Itunlty -'? to r run .with; the ball af ter vit»
f strikes'* the Jground. . ; ' - ' , : ;
S In - diagram" No^ 1 : : accompanying this
?J article s'aHdonventlonal;:^ formation ;.- is
rfgiven .for*; thei-llneup? for.ithe Vonslde
5 kick. ? V It 5 really i doesn't r4r 4 matter/; much ,
f.what'sort of a lineup \u25a0is used. ; The more
fltf resernbleslthe Jordlnary /lineup for a.'
\ground*galninK|playithel more likely
a that; it IwtlUdecelveithe (defense.' It: is
r |.well!;toXhave:|the^ends';play/out well
ig toward^ the » boundary s. lines, as ; it ; will
I; help »: scatter"? the % defense 1 ; and ; make, it .
| easier rj forSthe \ attacking ?3 side"-'. to slip
£ and ? seise " the * ball *when'- it .
|{; strikes 'the i field.
?i|«. Diagj»m>Nori 2 Ishows ' one • method ;of
\u25a0?irtartlngithe.Jplfty. l !K.The ; ball is snapped,
4 back I to I the > quarter '.by k the? center,^ and ;
% the j quarter] passes X it ; to]; the * left \ hair-?
'; back.* ;: The \ latter, '\u25a0}. instead v Of r running -\u25a0
* ? forward ; orl kicking z where he a stands;
\u25a0 $ runs s toward J the ; right half back's : po-: ;
• sitlon protected tby * the"| right * half back,
Athe:funbaekfftOdithelauarter;back. > : The,
i 1;i 1 ; forwards^ of ' course^ are busy,= trying ; to |
th« forwards , of the oppos-
Sins eleven. . • :
|*gfAfterithe'left halfback. has crossed to
: !?tKe ] right ?6f \u25a0\u25a0 the> field " he •: mayj pass ; the"
t| ballf to |the^ right f half back lor, -if She sis
(Scleverienough^maylwheel^andldriveJa
;-f punt ? over :. the ? heads |" of a his j own team
> and\overi; the \u25a0h heads ?: of * th»;opposing
players to ascertain point on the right
field of the defending team, where the
balll3.to be picked up by the left end
of the t attacking side or by . the tackle
or by any other player who may have
been designated to get the ball.
' Diagram No. 3 shows the positions of
players in an actual onslde kick which
took place in one of the greatest games
of 1906 — that between Yale and Har
vard. * The players of Harvard were
fooled into believing: an end run was
-to be attempted and were almost upon
Knox when he kicked the ball directly
over their heads .at an angle to the
left.;.-. ; •' .- "-* . \u25a0
Two of the Harvard men, Parker and
Burr, tried to block the ball* arid falleA
One tackle and ; end,', who were almost
' upon Knox, . turned ; in their tracks and
'wheeled \u25a0about '* to x run; down the ; field.
;One<sldeof: the Harvard; line was- so
j badly * fooled by the \u25a0 play - that : all the
players i had run \\ across \u25a0; intercept
Knox,, thinking he was coming, around
" thelend.':;"'*.,;:'^;'*- .-• \u25a0'\u25a0\u25a0\u0084. -.- -;.""'; \u25a0':\u25a0: -.:
/. Thei» Harvard -.backs, \u25a0; who ; had been
drawn' rather, closely s into ; the line were'
'first to appreciate the play; and '.hurried
;, toward s the! ball, but •- not *• until \i ,<Yale
end had got up to , it \u25a0 and .advanced It
; some ; yards? jfarther before he ;,was
tackled ;and, downed.
To* 'make' the: onslde kick doubly suc
cessful the player who punts • the '--\u25a0 ball
; must be a kicker, of accuracy. It is not
. necessary that 'i he » punt ", f or^ distance."
' The ".'. lower i the % punt 'drives "and s the
' straighter 1 1 goes \u25a0to a given point the
( more .valuable : it will » b« : for ) the •\u25a0 team
' advanclngf.ithe*:iball.';UThe ,ball ; should
moti not be \u25a0 kicked twisting > If it* ls possible
Ito \u25a0 get "away ] without ; a , whlrl.s as It '.will
be j awkward ; i f or,< the ? "player ; who •; at
tempts to pick It up from the ground.
The two most successful men in
punting In 1905 for the onslde kick
were Booms and Knox of Yale. Both
had the ability to sboot the ball just'
over the heads of the contending: teams
to a certain angle where It would ba
easiest for the man who was to follow
It to pick It up without interference.
There was no effort made to get away
a long punt. All the attention of th«
kicker was directed toward placing the
ball, in readiness for the run which was
expected to follow it.
' So well did Yale have this play per
fected that in at least three games of
consequence the Yale end was on the
ball the moment it touched the ground
and off with a rush to the goal of Its
opponent. - Yale usually sent an end
after th« ball, j Some teams send a
tackle. Whoever goes, however, must
have protection from his team mates.
for it is just as important that he get
up to the ball as it is that the punter
kick accurately and times his kick to
the runner.
The more the onside kick is practiced
the more proficient a team will become
in the play. It is well to remember that
as much is lost in football many times
by being overcautious as Is lost in bad
play. Hence teams which fear to try
the onside kick because it seems as if
the ball is getting away from them are
overconservatlve and not llkefy to pull
out their games when -under fire in a
close battle.
Every player must know through the
signal to what side the kick will ba
made and what player will be expected
to get through the opposing line and
pick up- the. balL The elevens should
bend every effort to make a clear road
for the man after the Jball, at the sama
time protecting the back who is mak
ing the kick, so that the ball shall not
be blocked or he shall misdirect the
'punt because hurried by the charging
enemy. \u25a0
It is possible to vary .the play before
the kick is actually \u25a0 made in order to
mislead the defense as much as possi-
ble. Fo.' Instance, a double pass can
b a used, the backs exchanging the ball
while on the run. One team has tried
with . some success a double pass, , fol
lowed by still a third pass back to the
fullback, who is at an angle with tha
forwards and has an easy kick square*
ly over the end of his line, the end rush.'
in the meantime being intrusted to get
as far, Into the territory, as he possibly
can i while . the preliminaries are going
on to -deceive his. opponents. #\u25a0\u25a0
The onslde kick ; Is : a most vahiablo
play for teams composed of younar
-boys and novices, where m&ss play ' is
likely. to avail little because it is. out
of the . question '- to ! make 10 \u25a0 yards on
downs before tha ball must be surren
dered. The more use that 13 made of
', it and the better, the . players \u25a0 perfect
themselves \u25a0in it the more " lnterestinar
{football will be to spectators and eon*
testants. BBHMHBWMPMBHH
It inculcates open play and is nearer
the type of real . football than all ths
•: possible \u25a0to I. devise 'In
which players are forced over a field
by, sheer : brute \u25a0 strensth.

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