Monday, November 6, 2017

It All Began on This Date in 1869.

Today's the 148th anniversary of the first intercollegiate football game on November 6, 1869, so I'm reposting this transcript again. This appeared in a bicentennial anthology of Rutgers stories published in 1966.

This report of that first "foot-ball" game between Rutgers and Princeton was reported in the Targum in 1869, and reprinted in Aloud to Alma Mater, edited by George Lukac (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1966, pages 67-69).





The Birth of Intercollegiate Football
On Saturday, November 6, Princeton sent twenty-five picked men to play our twenty-five a match game of foot-ball. The strangers came up in the ten o’clock train, and brought a good number of backers with them. After dinner, and a stroll around the town, during which stroll billiards received a good deal of attention, the crowd began to assemble at the ball ground, which, for the benefit of the ignorant, we would say, is a lot about a hundred yards wide, extending from College Avenue to Sicard Street. Previous to calling the game, the ground presented an animated picture. Grim looking players were silently stripping, each one surrounded by sympathizing friends, while around each of the captains was a little crowd, intent upon giving advice, and saying as much as possible. The appearance of the Princeton men was very different from that of our own players. They were almost without exception tall and muscular, while the majority of our twenty-five are small and light, but possess the merit of being up to much more than they look.
Very few were the preliminaries, and they were quickly agreed upon. The Princeton captain, for some reason or other, gave up every point to our men without contesting one. The only material points were that Princeton gave up “free kicks,” whereby a player, when he catches the ball in the air, is allowed to kick it without hindrance. On the other hand, our practice of “babying” the ball on the start was discarded, and the ball was mounted, in every instance, by a vigorous “long kick.”
Princeton won the toss, and chose the first mount, rather oddly, since it had been agreed to start the ball against the wind. At three p.m. the game was called. The Princetonians suffered from making a bad “mount” or “buck” as they call it; the effects of which were not remedied before the sides closed, and after a brief struggle, Rutgers drove it home, and won, amid great applause from the crowd. The sides were changed, Rutgers started the ball, and after a somewhat longer fight Princeton made it a tie by a well directed kick, from a gentleman whose name we don’t know, but who did the best kicking on the Princeton side.
To describe the varying fortunes of the match, game by game, would be a waste of labor, for every game was like the one before. There was the same headlong running, wild shouting, and frantic kicking. In every game the cool goal-tenders saved the Rutgers goal half a dozen times; in every game the heavy charger of the Princeton side overthrew everything he came in contact with; and in every game, just when the interest in one of those delightful rushes at the fence was culminating, the persecuted ball would fly for refuge into the next lot, and produce a cessation of hostilities until, after the invariable “foul,” it was put in straight.
Well, at last we won the match, having won the first, third, fifth, sixth, ninth, and tenth games; leaving Princeton the second, fourth, seventh, and eighth. The seventh game would probably have been added to our score but for one of our players, who, in his ardor, forgot which way he was kicking, a mistake for which he fully atoned afterward.
To sum up: Princeton had the most muscle, but didn’t kick very well, and wanted organization. They evidently don’t like to kick the ball on the ground. Our men, on the other hand, though comparatively weak, ran well, and kicked well throughout. But their great point was their organization, for which great praise is due to the Captain, Leggett ’72. The right men were always in the right place.
After the match, the players had an amicable “feed” together, and at eight o’clock our guests went home, in high good spirits, but thirsting to beat us next time, if they can.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

We don't fear the turtle.

Was anyone else thrilled when this Saturday's game was moved from Yankee Stadium to Rutgers? Anyone who had attended the Pinstripe Bowl games there knows that the field in the Bronx is no place to play or watch football.

See you in Piscataway in three days! It's time for a third B1G win, especially after so many critics picked Rutgers to go winless in the conference in 2017.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

It's been too long since a B1G win

It was finally fun to update the schedule on the Beat Visitor sidebar today.
And it wasn't that close.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Those Buckeyes Were Just Copying the Scarlet Knights (and not only by copying the color scarlet)

There's a great article by Ryan Dunleavy on NJ.com this morning with the title, "Did Rutgers, not Ohio State, start helmet stickers in college football? Here's proof." Not only is it worth reading this piece about large stars added to the front of Rutgers helmets for interceptions in 1961 in its own right, but the timing is perfect with the Buckeyes coming to town in two days.

See you there.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Losing Streak Is Over

The only two games at Rutgers Stadium that I missed last year were the two wins, so it was great to be there today for the 65-0 win over Morgan State.
To celebrate, here's the band playing 'The Bells Must Ring' before the game.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Game Two Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the day for the Scarlet Knights to start fulfilling the promise that they demonstrated last Friday night against the University of Washington.

I'm a fan of another green team that bears the nickname "Eagles" and I'm an even bigger admirer of actual eagles, so this week's poster was not the easiest for me to make, but tomorrow afternoon there will be no mixed feelings when Rutgers and Eastern Michigan kick off at 3:30.

Go Knights! See all of you there.

Friday, November 18, 2016

There is still time to save the season...

A whole host of disappointments of the 2016 Rutgers Football season will be forgiven and forgotten if the Scarlet Knights come out on top of The (top ten) Team From Pennsylvania visiting R House tomorrow night.

See you there.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Hoosier Daddy?

The Knights are a two touchdown underdog to the Big Ten team we have never lost to? I have a better feeling about today's game than I've had in a while, especially after the close game at Minnesota two weeks ago and the bye last week. This should be a totally different Rutgers team on the field at noon.

See you there.