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Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, October 24, 1909, HALF-TONE, Image 19

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99021999/1909-10-24/ed-1/seq-19/

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Crowds Who Gather in the Stands to Watch a Match Are Quite as Interesting in their Way as the Players in the Field and Furnish Quite as Much Amusement
MAHA bu again proven Itself the real (porting center ol
the west by the magnificent assemblage it turned out to
greet the Gophers and Cornbnskers In tbelr annual battle
at Vinton park last Saturday. Such a splendid crowd
would be a credit to any city, even for a Thanksgiving day
game, and yet the battle was played with the foot ball season but two
weeks' old and on neutral grounds.
For years Omaha has been recognized as the best base ball town
In the west and the support which it has given the base ball team has
been unstinted. It is now demonstrated that there are thousands of
lovers of pure college sports who will support athletics which are
known to be right.
' The crowd was several hundred stronger than that which greeted
Nebraska and Ames a year , ago at Diets park, and the increase all
came from Omaha, showing that Omaha people are beginning to be
educated to high-class foot ball. Last year Ames brought over 600
students and this year but a small handful accompanied the Gophers.
These 500 had to be made up from Omaha. Last year Lincoln sent
up a larger delegation than "this year, for & harder contest was ex
pected against the agriculturists, while It was thought to be a fore
gone conclusion this year that the Gophers would win. So Omaha
came to the front and not only made up for the 600 students whom
Ames did not send over, but also for a considerable increase in the
Reserve! seats were early all sold out, and this fact kept many
away from the gnrae. as the Impression soon spread that there was
limited room. As It was there was room to spare.
Football is an entirely different game from what it was three or
four years sgo, or since the ten-yard requirements were put in force.
Durlng'the winter of 1903-06 it ws completely overhauled, cut to
pieces an1 rebuilt into an entirely changed game, and although it is
played this fall practically as last fall, it is far more suitable to the
tastes of the thousands who witness the annual gridiron battles. Un
der the old rules the ball was lost from sight in the scrlmages and
the ordinary spectator had little chance to see what was going on.
Now all is changed. The new rules make It necessary for the ball to
change hands frequently and It moves with great rapidity and fre
quency from one end of the field to the other. Teams can no longer
hold the ball by gaining the required distance and every two minutes
or so are compelled to kick. This throws both teams into open plays,
whrVare in full view of all spectators, no matter In what section of
thuSell they may be sitting or standing.
From the spectator's point of view the most sensational features
of the game last Saturday were the running and dodging stunts of
Captain McGovern of the Gophers. This style of play would not
have been used one-quarter as much under the old rules and the spec
tators would have been deprived of the pleasure of seeing the
doughty little quarterback run and dodge and squirm his way down
the field, shaking off the red and white tacklers right and left.
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or who takes practically no exercise. It is a
rough game, and to go through an afternoon of
two gruelling halves a man must be trained to
the highest pitch. The man who tries to play
foot ball without good preliminary training is
leadjng himself up to almost certain injury.
In the game Saturday Johnston had his leg
broken. He was the only player of the twenty
four who took part in the game who was In any
way lajured. although all fought to their utmost
for seventy minutes of actual play. Johnston
was the victim of circumstances and it is the
Idea of physicians that his leg gave way as the
result of the hard work to which he had been put
in the Irst half. In the fore part of the game
it was Johnston who received the ball after every
kick which either Belzer or Franck made1, and he
It was who was forced to take all the punishment
from the hard throws to which he was subjected.
Johnston, the records chow, was forced to make
most of the runs with the ball from scrimmage,
and Johnston was a tired man when that second '
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half started. As a consequence when he sailed throueh the air and
inree seasons or inai nave now oeen given 10 me rorwara pass, the Nebraska player seized him by the ankle there was not strength
Ther was no wrangling with the officials. When these
officials had once made a ruling there was no dispute and all
the extra requirements on downs, the onside kick, the neutral aone enough left In his muscles to protect his bones and the bone snapped, took t for granted that the decision of the official was right,
and other features of revised foot ball. It took two seasons to try This was a favorite theory of former President Jesse of the Unlver- But once was there any question. Captain Beltxer once
out the new game, but last year most of the teams put the new stunts
Into elocution and the results were so satisfactory that the commit
tee ac$:gi:ei to the task of making the rules decided to .let well
enoi gb alone and make no fundamental changes, the only changes
praci-iKy being of a minor nature. The college lads who received
ti eir coa lilng under the old rules have now practically all left their
cg11?&c3 and universities and all now engaged in the great college
tprt have been trained and coached exclusively under the new rules.
Many changes were recommended at the last meeting of the rules
eoxmlttee. but the committee wisely decided that as the game had
been most popular in IS 08 it would be far better to let it go with
few, if any, changes until all coaches and players were familiar with
the requirements of the new game. Many wanted the qualifications
and requirements for the forward pass changed, but this part was
not changed.
Those who were at Vinton Street park last Saturday were unable
to notice any changes In the rules except when McGovern kicked his
field goal and the scorer gave him credit for but three points instead
of four, as last year. The rules of foot ball are not very complex
sity or Missouri, it too often happens that the man who is injured
Is the one who has been called upon to do the brunt of the work.
Foot baU comes nearer to fulfilling the requirements of a college
sport than any other game. Colleges are now working along ad
vanced lines and most colleges require that a certain amount of ath
letic exericse be indulged in each day by the students. No one game be eme pay, the head linesman getting just as much as the referee,
has yet been fotfnd which will suit all. At Cornell the 6tudent is These four men cost the management over 1400 in their pay and
questioned an interpretation of a rule and protested. The
rule book was soon forthcoming, the captain was shown
that he was wrong and nothing more was said about It To
be sure. Manager Eager had provided excellent officials, men of
reccgnixed ability. He had four men as officials, all of whom drew
permitted to select his own game. He may row or play foot ball,
base ball, tennis, golf, field sports or walk. In most universities all
classes now have their foot ball teams and intercalls matches are ar
ranged by schedule. Thus at the larger universities hundreds of
Students don the moleskins in the fall.
There is no longer any doubt but that a student needs a certain
ameunt of exercise and those who go through a season of training
for the foot ball teams, the base ball teams, the crews or the trsek
teams are better physical men at the end. A brilliant mind is of
little value if a man has a broken constitution. A student who has
worked on one of the many teams is not the one who becomes sick
iru ciubc connnemeni to nis room; neither Is he the one who fails
expenses, but they were worth it to the game, for that is what helps
to make the big university games so high class.
When a person pays a high price for a seat at 4 foot ball game
he does not want his view of the game obstructed by a bunch of sub
stitutes running up and down the slie Jine. Neither does he want
the game interrupted by useless wrangling. Competent officials
should be secured, and when they make a ruling there-should be no
wrangling. If the captain wants to make a protest against a ruling
he may, but the rules distinctly say that he is the one person to so do.
) What sn exhllerating sight it la to see a typical college crowd at
one of these-great foot ball games? How different is the crowd
which turns out for ordinary sports? Here the band plays and leads
The yell masters, with their mega-
Cornhusker-Gopher game had been played in Omaha on Thanksgiving
day there would surely have been a record-breaking crowd. Lincoln
made the mistake by sending out bear stories about its team. There
is no reason why Minnesota would always win from Nebraska. The
Comhuskers have just as good a coach as have the Gophers and Ne
braska brain and brawn is just as good as that from Minnesota. Ne
braska was apparently lacking in substitutes Saturday, for the reg
ulars played Just as well as did the Gophers tn the first half. It la ft
mistake to be afraid to change men during a game. When m man
Is Injured and all in he should be taken from the game. Those sub
stitutes along the side lines were aching to get Into the fray. They
were full of ginger and any one of them might have been able, while
fresh, to get away with the sprint which would have changed the tide
of battle. Tale showed the value of substitutes on the tame day,
when twenty-three men were used to. beat West Point.
Omaha will have more games to watch this fall, for Nebraska may
return for a game Thanksgiving day; At any rate. Creichton and
ana a casual observer attending ma Brst game will soon get onto the la his studies, for statistics show that some of the w .fhi-.. t. w.. , .v.,
general run of play The only complications, are the onside require- the various universities have stood at the head of their classes; nor phones, lead in the yelling, and so time their efforts that the entire th Omaha High school will have garnet and the lovers of the great
menu especially in the rules governing a forward pass. l, the average below that of the average student, but . rather far section of the stands Joins in one united college yell. Colors and Prt ,n mh ave many more chances to turn out and exer-
iu.vruu.ui iu.u. "- uimrm w m. were SDOVO. It takes S bright fellow to Dlav fnot h.ll .. It v. .. . ..j w u .w v .v rta tfcplr l.itir.
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played. What person who saw McGovern handling his team with colors. The college lad in the exhuberance of youth cannot see any- ball is a great game, not only because of the physical and
such a clear brain, and knew lust what to do all thm
of a chap? He xertioo mar not be exactly right, for cheer after cheer were given 11 uppliea the lack of rigid discipline for which the youth of this
fit were
In changing the value of the three varieties of goals from the field.
v Many years ago these were worth five points. They were then
change! to four points and bow drop kick goals from the field, goals for a minute that he was not the brightest kind
, -".u. u iu-ceiueui. necessarily Had to think as fast as a flash. He did not have time to
behind the lins of scrimmage count for but three points. wait and think over what he w , going to do after he caught one of
i Change or no change, the old collegia who witnessed the game Belxer's long punts. He had to think on the instant. In fact he
I lMt Strdy was able to enthuse Just as much aa la the bygone days had almost to make up his mind in advance as to which wsy he was
Iwhen he attended college. There is now more chance for Individual to run.
spectacular play to draw forth applause from the gathered thousands. Crelghton university and the Omaha High school teams witnessed
I for as the rules make the came mon ami an indlvidnal mora tf ma th. . c..- . - i ... . .
I - vutj uuiu csa a cnance to see a game run as
- ! ; un"" "P0" 9wm resources as to wnst tt should be run. There were so many features apparent that were
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; There Is no doubt but what foot ball la a most strenuous game, of a few might assist tn teaching a lesson In the great college game
4 ?" V ' " ' U"enled t0 - yoth who haa practiced on la the first place, spectator, on all parts of the field could see every
N Ike foot ball field all afternoon is not In a humor to go forth la the play because there was not a maa except the four officials and the
evening to do some deviltry In violation of the Tillage lawa. It gives linesmen allowed to stand on t. fl.i.i t. ..,.,!
j hundreds of students a good chance to work off their animal spirits seated along the aide lines and were most careful about getUna: be- Missouri
1 and keep thera out of mischief. Foot ball 1. not a game to be played tween the spectators and the field of play laltfew
Saturday afternoon by soma clerk la aa offica who U not la training. Another featura of most game, was also aotlcaable by Its abseaca. than r
Johnston when he was hurt last Saturday, and the good runs of Mc
Govern were cheered, but the lad was soon rooting for Beltxer to
boot the ball or for Bentley to circle the ends.
Staid Omaha business men were to be seen in the stands, forget
ting their business troubles as they watched the game, or what was
just as interesting the college lads whoop snd yell.
Omaha welcomes the University of Nebraska and the citizens f
country lack in comparison with other countries. The rigid training
of a foot ball season not only establishes self-control for those who
play, but it alsq holds up a standard of d eclpline for those who
watch the players on the gridiron. The game Involves personal con
tact physically with an opponent, and thus always will be a most
strenuous sport, appealing at all times to strong, healthy boys and
young men. The sport must serve some good purpose to survive all
There were so many features apparent that were this city hope that the athletic managers will see their way clear to be adverse legislation to which it has been subjected for centuries.
give Omaha one cr more of these great annual games each year.
Omaha promises to do its part in the way of crowds and all that it
wants Is a ohance to show that it has true sporting blood and wiU
support pure sports. Kansas City has made a great reputation for
itself by the way It supports the annual game between Kansas and
on Thanksgiving day. and yet IV has only been within the
years that Kansas City has turned out any larger crowds
greatod the Gophers and Comhuskers last Saturday. If the
For this reason instead of talking abandonment of the game, those
who have the welfare of the sport at heart strive to provide rules
which will make It meet with popular favor without taking away Its
sterling qualities.
Omaha haa several more good games promised for this year aad
the promise of the management of the University of Nebraska for
one of Its big games next fall. The patronage of the game lasuraa
the best to be had La the future.

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