Posts Tagged ‘Vanderbilt’

1910 Harvard Law vs. Vanderbilt-Sewanee-Michigan

April 30, 2010

The December 7 New York Times announced that Hamilton Fish’s Harvard Law School All Stars were not through playing; they would be playing two southern teams over the Christmas holidays. On December 28, they would be playing “the pick of Vanderbilt and Suwanee elevens” at Memphis and on the 31st, their opposition was to be “the best men from the University of Louisiana and one or two other colleges” at New Orleans. Things, however, didn’t turn out as planned.

A December 26 wire service article reported that Fielding Yost “may don the moleskin again” as he was coaching a “western all-southern eleven” that would be playing Harvard Law School in two days. Joining him from his Michigan squad were Germany Schultz and Smith. The Wikipedia page for the 1910 Wolverines lists no Smith on the Michigan squad. So, it is possible that Smith wasn’t the player’s real name. Perhaps he was a coach or former player.

The evening papers on the 28th reported that heavy rain caused the game to be postponed due to wet grounds. “The Harvard team will leave for Nashville tonight, and will play in that city tomorrow. After playing games in Nashville and Baton Rouge, La., they will return to Memphis Saturday next and play the postponed game. Newspapers were about as accurate then as now.

The postponed game between the Harvard Law School All Stars and the Vanderbilt-Sewanee-Michigan players was played on December 30 in Nashville. The muddy field did not slow the players as Hamilton Fish made a 100-yard run only to be stopped by Neely Browne of Sewanee 10 yards short of the goal. (The field apparently had not been reduced to its present length yet.) The game ended as a scoreless tie. The following coverage of the game omits the names of the players’ colleges:

Next time: the next game.

The Indians’ Most Bitter Defeat

August 27, 2009

Elsewhere in the article mentioned in the previous post,Paul LaRoque, whose nickname was Barrel, discussed the greatest disappointment in his athletic career, the 1906 Carlisle-Vanderbilt game. This game received no mention in the Indian School press or in Steckbeck’s book, possibly because it was added while the team was on a road trip and the Indians played Minnesota five days earlier and Cincinnati two days later, winning both games handily.

He scored two touchdowns against the Commodores but both were called back. Referee for the game was Michigan’s Fielding Yost and he apparently didn’t like the guard-around play that Carlisle ran so successfully. He ruled it illegal even though it was run routinely in the east that year. A century later, high schools occasionally run the guard-around against aggressive defenses. Rather than snap the ball to the quarterback or tailback, the center leaves the ball between his feet as he charges forward. One of the guards pulls back from his position, picks up the ball and runs around the end for a long gain.

Unfortunately, Fielding Yost wasn’t the only obstacle the Indians had to overcome. “We were bitter about that defeat….We had reservations at the biggest hotel in Nashville, but, when we arrived they told us there weren’t enough rooms available and sent us to a small hotel. All the boys on the squad and the team doctor got sick after our evening meal on the eve of the game. We spent most of the night running to the bathroom. We all felt that Vandy was going to win that game one way or another.” The reporter observed that LaRoque was still unable to smile about the experience.