The reader who wants to know how to listen to music or what to observe in a picture gallery may readily find all this information conveniently gathered in book form. Accordingly, it is fitting that to this informative library there should be added a book of football for the spectator. I maintain that football is an art as well as a sport. Percy Haughton belongs without doubt among the old masters. Of course, his position is complicated a little by the fact that he is also in the ranks of the moderns.

Still another difficulty is raised by the question of just which branch of art embraces football. Mr. Haughton realizes its analogies to war, but I think that there are features which qualify the game for a place in the field of liberal arts as well. There is a striking resemblance, for instance, between the best of Harvard football and any characteristic story by O. Henry. To be sure, every football play is in a sense a short narrative. First come the signals of the quarterback. That is the preliminary exposition. Then the plot thickens, action becomes intense and a climax is reached whereby the mood of tragedy or comedy is established.

But the resemblance between Haughton football and O. Henry is more special than this. Deception is an important factor in the technique of both the coach and the writer. Often there is a well developed feint to fool the reader or the opposing line as the case may be. Everybody thinks he knows how it is coming out when suddenly we have the surprising flash of the trick finish. "By Jove," says the reader, laying down the book, "I never thought of that." And the Yale defensive back, picking himself up, says much the same thing though perhaps somewhat differently expressed. Like O. Henry, Haughton seems to have specialized in happy endings.

Again, it must not be overlooked that Harvard football since the days of Haughton has dramatic values as well as fictional ones. Many of the delayed pass plays demand a histrionic ability upon the part of the participants which would tax the best leading men of the American stage. We were always moved to particular admiration by the performance of the man who didn't have the ball. Here skilful impersonation was frequently animated by the proper note of passion as well. Indeed, we are informed that at times the perfection of technique in a given play, as well as the underlying feeling, has moved the. entire Yale team to tears if not applause.

The need of a book upon football for the spectator rests not only upon the many phases of the game unknown to the general public. It is even more important to clear away a little of the mass of spurious information which has gathered around the game. As a newspaper writer I realize that I have done my share toward the creation of misapprehension. The possibility of error in any sort of long range reporting is prodigious and twenty-two active young men upon a gridiron have a habit of wriggling around in such a way that it is hard to keep accurate track of them. At this moment I fancy I hear an aggressive voice demanding, "Why doesn't Harvard number her players?" It is easy for me to answer that. I don't know why. And yet it seems to me only fair to add that numbers do not help nearly as much as they are supposed to. A vigorous young man can carry a large 29 upon his back and remain almost anonymous as far as the purposes of the press stand go. On muddy days it is a little easier if they don't wear numbers. Dirt often distorts the digits and gives the spectators impressions of knowledge much more false than if he had merely guessed.

But after all it is not entirely the inexact reporting of detail which makes newspaper football so different from the game which is actually played upon the field. It is almost inevitable that the emphasis should often fall into the wrong places. The sporting writer hardly need apologize for this. It is not his fault that the general public is romantic and demands its heroes. The tradition which gave the whole credit of victory to the king or emperor, or at any rate some plumed knight, has descended into our own day and now works to the advantage of the backfield men. If every opposing tackier should suddenly be struck dead by lightning the newspaper story would still speak of the brilliant run of the half-back who walked down the field stepping over the prostrate foe until he had crossed the goal line.

In general, scant attention is paid to those preliminary plans and deeds which are largely responsible for the long run. All of us watch the man with the ball. Accordingly football has come to be thought of in terms of individuals. The artisans engaged in a manoeuvre are forgotten because of the glory of the hero who actually completes a scoring play. All this is good fun. It is easier to talk of football in these terms. The only trouble lies in the fact that it isn't true. This objection has been enough to diminish the prestige of the romantic school in most of the other arts. It is about time for the realists to have their say in football as well. Percy Haughton seems to me to be eminently fitted for this task. His imagination has done much to animate football and make it colorful, but he remains intensely practical. Possibly, it may be felt that enthusiasm about Haughton must be discounted if it comes from anybody even remotely connected with Harvard. In reply to that I can only say - ask Yale.

Heywood Begun