Football as played before the concussion protocol

“The Yale and Harvard football teams played (?) at Springfield, Mass., last Saturday a match game which was little short of a free fight. Of the 22 men engaged, six were taken off the field injured, and… one lay for seven minutes on the field unconscious….

“Excepting the bullfights of Mexico and Cuba, there has been no sport quite so brutal as football, as it is played to-day, since the tourneys of the Middle Ages and the gladiatorial contests which delighted the elite of ancient Rome….

“[At least] prize fighting is a trial of strength and of skill; football, of brute strength only….”

— From “The Gridiron and the Prize Ring” in the Statesville Record & Landmark (Nov. 29, 1894)

Hat tip / “Walter Camp: Football and the Modern Man” by Julie Des Jardins (2015)

The Record & Landmark didn’t mention instances of such savagery closer to home, although football had taken root in North Carolina several years earlier.

 

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