Nov. 3, 1909 (Wednesday)
ARMY BURIES FOOTBALL PLAYER WHO DIED FROM INJURIES SUFFERED IN HARVARD GAME:
Lots of bad things can happen in a pileup on the football field. (Exhibit A: Video of eye-gouging in this past weekend's Florida-Georgia game -- 2009.) Cadets at West Point buried Eugene Byrne yesterday, according to today's Boston Globe. Byrne, of Buffalo, N.Y., died on Sunday, the day after he was severely injured in Army's football game against Harvard. [The picture above shows Army playing at home about 1909.) In the game Byrne, a lineman, was buried beneath a pile of players. The weight of the pile twisted and broke his neck. He would have died instantly but artificial respiration kept him alive.
His dad, John A. Byrne, is former chief of police in Buffalo. Today's paper describes why the family chose to have Eugene buried at West Point:
"...cadet Byrne's whole life from boyhood had been devoted to a passionate desire to be a West Pointer and a soldier and that in his case it was particularly fitting that he should sleep in the little God's acre close tot eh school he loved."
The base chapel was filled yesterday for the service. Those attending included the Army football team and 25 members of the Harvard Club of New York. The U.S. Naval Academy sent two seniors to the service. The death has prompted the academies to CANCEL the Army-Navy game.
[This death helped make the 1909 football season one of the deadliest ever.]