Dec. 22, 1907 (Sunday)
AS THE 2007 BOWL SEASON BEGINS, WHAT BETTER TIME TO RECALL ...
STANFORD'S PRESIDENT BLASTS BIG-TIME COLLEGE FOOTBALL: In a speech at Los Angeles' Occidental University on Dec. 20, the president of Stanford University, David Starr Jordan (right) called American football "UNETHICAL, UNCHRISTIAN and UNSPORTSMANLIKE." Speaking in general terms, he said:
"The mass play in the American game is a monstrosity. It is the greatest evil ever introduced into play. A game placing a premim on brute strength is devoid of sportsmanlike qualities."
He singled out praise for two colleges, saying, "Excepting Harvard and Cornell, practically all the large universities employ questionable methods in securing athletes." (There's no mention of the fact that Jordan happens to have a degree from Cornell.)
His speech, which is covered in the sports section of today's New York Times, is particularly critical of the University of Michigan, Yale University and the University of Chicago.
He mentions Ralph Rose of Michigan and Walter Eckersall of Chicago of poster boys of the state of the game. He says he is puzzled by the fact that Eckersall failed to pass the entrance exams at the University of Wisconsin but was accepted "with open arms" by the University of Chicago.
The remarks by Jordan, who has a research ship named after him, were rejected by officials from Michigan.
WAR-TOY PROTEST SURFACES IN GERMANY, THOUGH THERE'S NO MENTION OF 'MORTAL KOMBAT': Organizations in Germany with connections to the Social-Democratic party are asking working-class parents to resist the temptations to give children Christmas gifts such as SWORDS, GUNS, UNIFORMS, CANNONS and WARSHIPS, according to a story in today's New York Times. The chief organ of the Central Socialists, the Vorwartz, says, "Such gifts only poison the child mind and prepare children for the service of Meloch [sic], at whose command they may some day shoot down their own fathers and mothers."
The Times points out that this effort seems a bit out of place in Germany. The German Navy League has just issued a "Naval Year Book" for German youth. The book refers "to the Kaiser's 'future on the water'," and that's not talking about his fondness for mere pleasure boats.