Posts Tagged ‘Walter Camp’

Was Wahoo Really Present?

April 15, 2012

Beginning on page 7, Camp discussed three unbeaten eastern teams, two of which had ties to Carlisle.  Carlisle’s former coach, Pop Warner, completed his third consecutive undefeated season at Pittsburgh since leaving Carlisle after the 1914 season.  More on Georgia Tech later.

When discussing the state of Pacific Coast football on page 9, Camp gives a Carlisle alum high marks: “Washington State, with seven veterans of the previous season’s team, was again coached by ‘Lone Star’ Dietz, and under his guiding hand established a clear title to the Pacific Coast Championship…She [Washington State] would give many eastern teams a hard battle.”

On page 11, in lieu of his annual All America Team, Camp lists Honorable Mention college players.  Ends selected included Pete Calac, formerly of Carlisle, then playing for West Virginia Wesleyan.  Backs included Joe Guyon, formerly of Carlisle, then playing on Georgia Tech’s undefeated “Golden Hurricane” team.

Page 13 listed All-America selections made by other pundits.  Dick Jemison of the Atlanta Constitution named Guyon to his All-America team as a half-back.  Lambert G. Sullivan of the Chicago Daily News placed William Gardner at end on his The Real “All-Western” Eleven on page 17.  The All-Southern Eleven picked by seven football writers in the South placed Joe Guyon at half-back. And Fred Digby of the New Orleans Item put Guyon at full-back on his All-Southern Eleven as did Zip Newman of the Birmingham News.  “Happy” Barnes of Tulane did the same.  Closing out the college all-star teams on page 23 was the All-West Virginia Eleven picked by Greasy Neale, coach of West Virginia Wesleyan.  He selected his own player, Pete Calac, as one of the ends.

A photo of the Georgia Tech team appears on page 8 of the 1918 Spalding’s Guide.  Figure number 1 is Head Coach John Heisman.  That is no surprise.  Neither is it that number 13 is Joe Guyon.  The last person listed, number 22, is C. Wahoo.  From previous research, I know that is Charlie Wahoo, Joe Guyon’s brother Charles Guyon, who also used the fabricated name of Wahoo.  That all the other figures in the photo are numbered in order and that Wahoo is positioned out of order is suspicious.  So is that his figure is smaller than the others.  It’s well known that Heisman didn’t think much of him and that he used recruiting his brother for the team to leverage an assistant coaching position for himself.  Could this picture have been “photoshopped” to include him using a primitive tool available at the time?

 

<next time—More Carlisle Players in The Great War>

Carlisle Indians Star in WWI

April 12, 2012

This might be considered a senior moment piece as I have no recollection of why I intended to write about errors in ads this time.  I suppose that I noticed an error or two in the ads in the back of the 1912 Spalding’s Guide so will start by looking there.  Wait a few minutes for me to do a little research….

Perusing the 1912 and 1910 Spalding Guides did not trigger my memory nor did I discover some new error I previously overlooked.  So, I will write about something that is fresh in my mind.

Due to problems in scanning the 1918 Spalding’s Guide, I have had to manually clean up many pages, many of which I could not resist reading while working on them.  Something that jumped out at me was that, although Carlisle Indian School had a very poor season in 1917, former players’ names and, in some cases, pictures dotted the pages of this volume.  And it wasn’t because the pro game was being covered heavily.  It was because so many of them played on military teams even though they were not eligible for the draft as being noncitizen Indians.

Page 4 of the 1918 Spalding’ Guide is the first page in that book to mention any player.  On that page are the photos of Walter Camp’s All-Service Eleven for 1917.  Warner elected to not list an All-America squad for 1917 because so many star players were serving in the military and that many schools discontinued inter-collegiate athletics, played abbreviated schedules, or used inexperienced players.  However, the military squads often included several former college stars in their line-ups.  The quality of the football played by the military teams was so good that the games often drew large crowds, so large that the annual New Year’s game in Pasadena was played between two military teams.

The photograph on page 4 for player #6 was that of William Gardner, a star end on the great Carlisle Indian School team of 1907.  It matters not that Camp misspelled his name as Gardiner because he had Carlisle and Camp Custer right.  It is well known that Army Capt. Gardner served at Camp Custer and played on its team.  Camp made no mention of Gardner’s play but, on page 5, listed him at end on his ALL-AMERICA SERVICE ELEVEN, First Eleven.  Camp also placed him on his ALL-SERVICE SECTIONAL ELEVENS, Middle West Eleven on page 11.  At about 34 years of age (ages are uncertain for people of that time), Gardner was long in the tooth for an athlete of that era, having last played at Carlisle in 1907.  But he did play some pro ball for Canton in the years leading up to America’s entry into WWI.  Perhaps, Walter Camp was making up for his snub of Gardner in 1907 when he left the Indian star off his All America Team.

<next time—More Carlisle Players in The Great War>

Why Were Warner Ads in Spalding Guides?

April 5, 2012

Quickly flipping through one of Spalding’s Guides for football shows that these annual guides served two major functions: 1) providing the football community analysis of the previous and upcoming seasons and 2) serving as a catalog of Spalding’s football-related items.  Spalding didn’t sell advertising to competitors for placement in these widely read little books.  In fact, the only non-Spalding ads I have noticed are those for Walter Camp’s and Pop Warner’s books.  Why, one wonders, would ads for just these two outsiders be allowed?

For starters, Walter Camp wasn’t really and outsider as, for many years, wrote major pieces for the guides and served as editor of them.  As editor, he may have organized the layout of the book including determining what would be included and where it would go in the books.  Spalding surely dictated much about the advertising.  Ads for Camp’s books may have been partial payment for all the work he did for Spalding or his position with Spalding gave him a favored position that allowed him to buy ad space where others were not allowed.  A closer looks at Walter Camp’s book listings reveals that they were probably published by Spalding.  That means that Camp’s books were Spalding products that Camp was likely paid to author.  But Warner had no special relationship with Spalding as far as we know.

Or did he?

The unnumbered pages in the back of the 1908 Spalding’s Guide include a catalog page that has shin guards at the top. Just below the shin guard ad, in the right hand column, is an ad for “Spalding Improved Shoulder Pad.”  Comment about its improvements and over what will be reserved.  The first line of ad copy starts, “Designed by Glenn S. Warner of Cornell.”  So, Warner has some sort of relationship with Spalding with regard to product development.  That could explain why an ad for Warner’s correspondence course and book are included in Spalding Guides.

<next time—Errors in Ads>

More About Warner’s 1912 Book

March 30, 2012

The endorsements at the bottom of the 1912 ad were the same as previously: one from Walter Camp and the other from an unnamed prominent athletic director.  Most of the ad is an endorsement written by Parke H. Davis.  The first paragraph is most interesting.

During the season of 1911 I made a critical study of the offensive and defensive tactics of the leading foot ball teams of the East.  At its conclusion my opinion was that the tactical system of the Carlisle Indian team was without any doubt the most ingenious and effective system of all.  Prompted thereby I have recently made a study of the ‘Course in Foot Ball for Players and Coaches,’ written by Glenn S. Warner, the Coach of the Carlisle  team.  This also is far and away the most advanced and scientific presentation of expert foot ball play in existence.  Mr. Warner’s course consists of twenty pamphlets, copiously illustrated with diagrams, drawings and photographs of players in action, exhaustive and complete, and covering every department of individual and team play.

Warner may have done the drawings or he may have enlisted Lone Star Dietz to do them or they each may have done some as they later did for Warner’s 1927 book.  That Dietz did the cover art for the 1912 book argues for his having done some of the interior illustrations.  Various “famous players” are photographed performing various football skills including kicking, punting, and catching punts.  Frank Mt. Pleasant is the only player specifically identified with a photo as Warner included three frames of Mt. Pleasant throwing a forward pass.  Each frame represents a different part in the throwing motion.  What looks to be a young, skinny Jim Thorpe is shown dropping the ball to punt it.  Gus Welch (possibly) is shown following through after punting the ball.

<more on the book next time>

Endorsements

March 22, 2012

Before getting to Warner’s new approach, we should talk about endorsements.  Celebrity endorsements are not a recent invention.  A prime example of this phenomenon can be seen on the ad found in the 1910 Spalding’s Guide.  At the bottom of the page, under the double lines, in boldface type is the name of the greatest football expert of the day, Walter Camp.  The ad copy states, “Mr. Walter Camp has endorsed and complimented Mr. Warner’s former foot ball courses and there has not been a single dissatisfied subscriber since the course was first put out…”  It says that Camp endorsed Warner’s course without including any specifics of what Camp said about it. Generally, a quote from the endorser is placed prominently in the ad. Perhaps Camp merely approved the use of his name without actually stating anything about the course. Following the Walter Camp endorsement of sorts was one from an anonymous “prominent athletic director.”

Your foot ball course reached me in due time. I have found it most interesting reading. It hits the mark for it is intelligible and systematic. I have had the opportunity of observing coaches at work on our field and find in your manuals more than the combined wisdom of them all. You have eliminated the non-essential. You proceed by the simple and direct method which shows that you know how to teach and the results you have obtained in past years are the inevitable results of methods of this kind.

Who was this mystery athletic director? A couple of possibilities come quickly to mind: 1) he wasn’t a major figure in the game of football or was controversial, or 2) he was a major figure but didn’t want his name to be associated publicly with the correspondence course. My money would go with first one because someone who didn’t want his name to be published probably wouldn’t have written Warner in the first place.

Next time—Warner’s new approach

Ads for Warner’s Correspondence Course

March 16, 2012

The copy of the 1909 Spalding’s Guide that I have doesn’t include an ad for Warner’s correspondence course. It could just be missing a page as the advertising pages at the backs of those books are often in bad shape or, not infrequently, missing. If you have a copy of the 1909 Spalding’s Guide that includes an ad, please let me know. Moving on to 1910, we find a very different ad. This time, it is titled “FOOT BALL COACHING {BY CORRESPONDENCE FOR} $10.” The text-intensive ad copy begins with Warner’s name in bold print the size of the title, followed by two paragraphs that extol the virtues of his correspondence course and that is has been in use for two years. That implies that, even if he didn’t advertise it in the 1909 Spalding’s Guide, he continued to offer it. Looking at the copy of A Course in Football for Players and Coaches: Offense on my bookshelf, I see a 1909 supplement for the offense pamphlet. It appears that Warner continued to sell the basic course from 1908 but supplemented it with updates. Since he refers to the cost of the course as a subscription, he implies that those who bought the course in 1908 would pay an additional $10 fee each year for supplements.

The first paragraph includes a curious phrase, “…has been given this page….” Whether he wrote euphemistically or not is unknown. Ads for products, other than books written by Walter Camp, do not regularly appear in the pages of the Spalding’s Guides as the advertising space was reserved for the company’s own products. It is understandable that Walter Camp would be provided space because of his close relationship with Spalding. Whether Warner given the space as a reward for using or extolling the virtues of Spalding’s products is not known. That Walter Camp endorsed Warner’s course is clear.

<to be continued>

If you have, or know of someone who has, a copy of either the 1911 Spalding’s Guide or the 1911 Offense Supplement for Pop Warner’s correspondence course, please let me know.

1903 Carlisle All Stars

February 7, 2012

The 1904 Spalding Guide includes various pundits’ All Whatever Teams, ranging from Walter Camp’s annual All America teams to others’ nationwide selection to various regional teams composed of who they thought were the best players from the 1903 season.  Not surprisingly, some Carlisle players’ names were included in some of these selections.  More surprising was that some former Carlisle stars were listed but as members of other teams, usually major universities!

Walter Camp named James Johnson to his All-American Team for 1903 First Eleven at quarterback, saying this about him:

“Johnson, captain and quarterback of the Indian team, demonstrated in his Harvard and Pennsylvania games his ability as a strategist as well as his power as a quarter-back. He is versatile, watches the ball splendidly, understands how to use his men, and plays so as to get good work out of them, and finally is a dangerous man on field-kick goals.”

Johnson’s photo differs from that of the other All Americans in that he is wearing a helmet. About half wear their playing clothes while the others sport their letter sweaters. Only Johnson wears his headgear. Perhaps Spalding selected this photo of him because he was wearing something that looks a lot like Spalding’s Head Harness No. A, which at $5.00 made it, along with the equally priced Pneumatic Head Harness No. 70, Spalding’s most expensive headgear at the time. (Less expensive headwear options started at $1.50.) Modern readers might find Spalding’s ad copy for Head Harness No. A interesting:

“Made of firm tanned black leather, molded to shape, perforated for ventilation and well padded. Adjustable chin strap. This head harness presents a perfectly smooth surface, and while giving absolute protection is one of the coolest and lightest made. When ordering specify size of hat worn.”

Next time, more on 1903 Carlisle Stars.

Carlisle’s 1918 Schedule

January 13, 2012

Yesterday’s mail brought the 1918 Spalding Guide. It includes a couple of interesting things about the Carlisle Indians. First off, the team photo (of the 1917 team) shows the players in different jerseys than we’re accustomed to them wearing. These appear (the small photo on the yellowed page isn’t the clearest) to have two stripes above the midriff and above the elbows on the sleeves. I think I may have seen one of these jerseys before, possibly in Wardecker’s store.

 About all that was written about the 1917 team, their last as things turned out, was what George Orton of the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in his piece about the mid-Atlantic region : “Carlisle showed improvement over the previous year, but until they get a team of first rate caliber they will do well not to schedule so many matches with the big colleges.” Perhaps, he thought Carlisle had been playing opponents well above their weight since 1914. Their 1917 schedule was brutal, causing the overmatched Indians to lose by huge scores to the likes of Army, Navy, Penn and John Heisman’s Georgia Tech, arguably the best team in the country that year.

 The Guide also includes schedules for most college and university teams as well as some prep school and high schools. Because Carlisle largely played against colleges and universities, its games were listed with theirs and not in the Scholastic schedule. Although the schedule wasn’t nearly as tough. It included Army and Pitt, the team that would be deemed National Champions for 1918. The schedule was as printed in the Carlisle school newspaper on May 24, 1918 except for the October 26 game with Detroit which wasn’t ultimately scheduled.

 Orton didn’t even hint that Carlisle was about to close. The published schedules included Carlisle. Had it been know well in advance of the football season that Carlisle Indian School was closing, their games would have been stricken from the list. This is further evidence that Carlisle’s closing was not inevitable after the 1914 Joint Congressional Investigation.

 By the way, Cornell’s 1917 jerseys again had stripes just below the elbow.

Reprints of Early Spalding’s Football Guides Now Available

August 19, 2011

A. G. Spalding’s football guides from the early days of college football are excellent sources of information for football historians and researchers. Unfortunately, these books are now quite old and fragile, a factor that severely limits their use as research tools. To make matters worse, they have become rare enough that, when copies appear for sale, they are quite expensive.

Seeing the need for inexpensive copies of these highly useful books, Tuxedo Press is reprinting them in paperback form as they previously did for what they call Pop Warner’s Single-Wing Trilogy. Coaches, researchers and historians have found the Warner books so useful that Tuxedo Press is doing the same thing for Spalding’s Official Football Guides for the years 1883 to 1919 as copies of these books become available to them to reprint in paperback form.

Because the years from 1883 to 1893 were very small, they are bound as a single volume. Beginning with 1899, the next year Tuxedo press has found so far, each year is printed separately because those volumes are much larger. Besides the rule changes for the upcoming season, an annual volume includes Walter Camp’s three All-America team selections for the previous season, other critics picks for their All-America teams, assessments of the various teams’ successes for the previous season and outlook for the upcoming season. These books are filled with illustrated ads for Spalding equipment. The equipment illustrations could be very useful in researching the evolution of helmets and such.

More information can be found at http://www.tuxedo-press.com/index_files/Reprints.htm. The reprints of the Spalding’s Guides are also available through on-line resellers and can be ordered by your local bookstore.

1903 Rule Changes Quarterback Position

March 14, 2011

Recently, I have received several questions about football rules that I couldn’t answers because I don’t have all the old rules books. BTW, if someone sends me a complete set of the Spalding Football Guides, I will be eternally grateful. By chance–the way I learn most things–I happened upon a rule change that I wasn’t looking for and of which I was completely unaware.

An August 7, 1903 New York Times article titled “New Rules May Require Heavier and Fleeter Players to Replace Old Style Lightweight Quarterbacks.” The rules didn’t require that heavier players be assigned to the quarterback position. Rather, the rule change that allowed quarterbacks to carry the ball would make sturdier players with footspeed better candidates for that position. I was unaware that, prior to 1903, quarterbacks were not allowed to run with the ball after receiving the center snap (which could have been anything from a heel back to a ball skidding across the grass), the quarterback had to get rid of the ball quickly by handing it or passing (we would call it lateraling today) the ball to another player because he wasn’t allowed to advance the ball himself.

It stands to reason that such a rule might have been in place because, in rugby, the game American football evolved from, the hooker heels the ball back through the scrum to the scrum half (usually a diminutive player) who, as quickly as he can, passes the ball off to another back who runs with the ball or passes it along to another player. The quarterback position developed out of the scrum half and functioned much like its counterpart in the older game for some decades. Being small was considered as being an asset for early quarterbacks because smaller athletes were perceived to be better able to scoop up the ball, handle it, and get it off quickly to the ball carrier.

With the rule change allowing quarterbacks to carry the ball, speed became more important as did ruggedness. This 1903 rule change probably benefitted Carlisle because their quarterback that year, James Johnson, was definitely fleet of foot. However, at 5’7” tall and 138 pounds, he was lighter than any Walter Camp First Team All America quarterback since 1889. He must have been rugged enough, though.