Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/746

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

mally. In addition to the opportunity for this uniform development must be mentioned the care bestowed upon the players in the way of attention to injuries received. Not only is the best surgeon employed, but the best professional trainers and rubbers wait on the men to second the efforts of the doctor. To this continual watching of the men on the university teams is due not a little of the comparative immunity from serious injuries received of late years, notwithstanding the rough play in the field.

Another advantage to the players is derived from the great attention given to the diet, not only of the players of the regular team, but of any man who works faithfully as a substitute, or shows any promise of "making the team" at any time in a present or future season. Forty men are at times at the university training table, a number greatly in excess of those at the table of any other organization. The freshman team, too, with their substitutes, have their training table and their attendant coachers, rubbers, and trainers.

But great as are the benefits of the sport to the players in mind and body, they are not to be compared with its moral effects. If there is one virtue most to be desired in a manly character—without which, indeed, it ceases to be manly—that virtue is courage. And of the college sports there is not one which cultivates this manly virtue more than football. Neither is the courage required entirely physical. Indeed, the best players feel and see the danger which they brave. Conscious of injuries received, they often continue to face plays which may exaggerate their pains.

Then the need of self-control in the midst of strong excitement is another valuable lesson learned. Self-denial is taught in the voluntary abnegation of the delights of college, in the forsaking of indulgence in the luxuries of life. To training in courage endurance, and self-control must be added the valuable lesson of obedience to authority. The discipline in this respect is as strict as the strictest military discipline. Men are required to obey captain and coach and to obey silently. This unquestioning, instant submission to word of command is not the least of the excellent lessons of a football season. It shows its effects in the whole college life and college world.

Strange as it may seem, a good claim can be made of a necessary connection between good character and good football in its best development. In everything requiring the best results the best success depends upon the best men. As there is no other college sport which so brings out the best virtues in a man, so there is no other college sport which is so dependent for its success upon good all-round men. Though this statement is measurably true for all amateur sports, it is emphatically true of football. It has been borne out by facts. The best teams in Yale have had not