Opinions upon Yale's Foot-Ball Notions - Interesting Revelations - Yale's Greatness not Appreciated at Princeton.
[FROM OUR REGULAR CORRESPONDENT.]PRINCETON, N. J., Dec. 4, 1882. - It may be interesting to some of your readers to hear something of the sentiment at Princeton concerning Yale's methods of playing foot-ball. The Courant in its last number seems to claim that Yale, instead of having done incalculable injury to the manly sport, has "almost entirely developed" "the present science of play." Such statements certainly rob Princeton as well as Harvard of due praise. Yale has done the game quite as much harm as she boasts she has done it good. She has made it a dangerous game; she, chiefly, has made umpires as well as referees necessary, and she has caused the public, in great part, to look with disfavor upon the sport.
In the Thanksgiving game the Yale Eleven started to play their "bully" game; jumping on our half-backs after they had caught the ball, fouling the rushers and trying the intimidation scheme. It did not work. A few warnings from the referee effected something perhaps, but the pluck of some of our rushers effected more. A Princeton rusher, if fouled, would warn his opponent what to expect next time, and when "next time" came the latter was forcibly reminded that he was playing unfairly. In our rush line there happen to be some of the finest boxers in college. After the first twenty minutes, there-fore, our opponents settled down to an outwardly gentlemanly game.
There was still some underhanded work that was not fully understood until after the game. Constantly the Yale snapper-back and other of the rushers would make fouls by which advantage would be gained. The referee would almost as constantly decide that he could grant no foul, his statement generally being that he had seen none. Understand, no charge is made against Mr. Cabot, except that at times he seemed rattled and inefficient. His mistakes were chiefly due to the methods employed by Yale.
Here then we come to what is distinctively the Yale game. When Yale had the ball down, the captain is accustomed to give a preconcerted signal which indicates what is to be done with the ball. If a Yale play is to be made which includes a foul, the Yale umpire calls the attention of the referee to another part of the field. The moment this is effected the play is started, the foul made, the advantage gained and the referee has seen nothing. These signals were all pre-arranged, and we are told and indeed saw that "they worked beautifully."
This then is Yaleism. It can only be defended by saying that "all's fair in war." But if our inter-collegiate sports are to be carried on in that spirit it will bring us to most lamentable methods. Deceit, bribery and downright lying are fair in war, but are these to be defended in our manly contests? How far Yale is justified is, however, not for us to discuss in the limits of this letter. We have merely set before your readers the inside workings of the Yale game as we saw them last Thanksgiving; the suspicions raised then having been corroborated by reliable evidence gathered since.