Posts Tagged ‘Pop Warner’

Warner Teams Scored the Most Points

December 15, 2013

While researching the 1906 Carlisle Indian School team, I came across something that might interest my sports statistician friend Tex Noel in the December 7, 1906 edition of The Arrow, Carlisle’s school newspaper. In addition to summing up Carlisle’s season, the article titled Football Resume closed with a list of points scored and points allowed by team for the top 34 college teams. Carlisle scored 244 points for the season where Cornell scored 237. The only team to outscore them was the University of Western Pennsylvania (known as Pitt today), which racked up 254 points. Pitt not only played an easier schedule that year than did Carlisle and Cornell, they lost to them 22-0 and 23-0, respectively. It is fair to say that Carlisle and Cornell far more points than did the other major football powers that first year under the revolutionary new rules. But why?

Sure, they had good players, but some teams had All Americans. I propose that it was the offensive schemes these teams ran that made the difference. Ironically, both teams ran formations developed by none other than Pop Warner. Warner stated that the Indians were the first team to run the earliest incarnation of his single-wingback formation and they first ran it 1906. But Warner didn’t coach Carlisle in 1906 because he was at Cornell then. However, he spent a week at Carlisle before the season started coaching the Indians’ coaches, Bemus Pierce and Frank Hudson, in his new offensive schemes designed to take advantage of what the new rules allowed, including the forward pass. It’s probably true that both Carlisle and Cornell ran Warner’s single-wing that year. Given that, even though they don’t use it themselves, some modern-day coaches acknowledge that the single-wing was the most effective running formation ever devised. In those days of run mostly, even an early version of the single-wing would have given teams running it an advantage that could show up on the scoreboard.

1906 points scored

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Pop Warner’s Correspondence Course

March 14, 2012

While preparing the Spalding’s Guides for reprinting, I noticed ads for Pop Warner’s book in the backs of several of them. On closer inspection, I noticed that they changed a bit from year to year. Today, I will discuss these ads in sequence from when they first appeared to when they disappeared and conjecture why the ads no longer ran.
The first ad that I found appeared in the 1908 Spalding’s Guide. It is probably not a coincidence that 1908 was the year in which Warner released his then untitled correspondence course on football. The ad was boldly titled “EXPERT FOOT BALL COACHING FOR $10.” The text-intensive advertisement made the case for the need for such a book by stating that the new rules in place since 1906 “…have so radically changed the game that all writings or books on the subject are practically of no use.” Warner’s credentials as an experienced, innovative coach: “The originator of this plan is Glenn S. Warner, who has acted as Head Coach of prominent foot ball teams for the past thirteen years, and whose coaching and training enabled the Carlisle Indians to make such a remarkable record last year, and to be given credit for playing the most scientific and up-to-date game of any team since the adoption of the new rules. Mr. Warner has for many years been most successful in teaching the open game and there is no one in the field today who is better qualified to carry out this plan than he.”
The ad goes on to describe how Warner’s correspondence was organized as a set of pamphlets or letters on a number of subjects. The first group of subjects were aimed at teaching players how to best play the game and were sold or $5 as Group One. The pamphlets covering equipment, strategies, signals, formations and plays among other things comprise Group Two. Coaches, captains and teams would buy the entire course, including both groups, for $10. Warner promised to start sending the pamphlets around September 15, the traditional start of practice at that time.