THE offense on fourth down with less than a yard to go for a touchdown very prop-erly chose a plunge as a scoring play.
The defensive line, however, not only obtained a superior charge tmder their opponents, but did not leave a single space ungarded. The result was that they carried the entire offensive line bach and against the runner, who was thus impeded by his own men.
Certain of the defense appear to be meeting the play in too upright a position. These are the back field who prevented the runner from advancing over the top of the prostrate lines. The play was stopped without further gain, thus surrendering the ball on downs to the defense.
It was a titanic struggle during which the success or failure of a whole season's work hung in the balance.
Yale vs. Harvard 1919.
This means going to bed at ten o'clock, no smoking or drinking, and regular meals at the training table.
The old-time professional trainers believed that an athlete required a breakfast of fruit, cereal, chops, dry toast and cocoa or milk; and a lunch of clear soup, beef with potatoes and peas or beans and a simple pudding. Supper was much the same, except that chicken and duck occasionally alternated with the ever-present beef. The idea that all fats and sweetmeats should be carefully avoided still persists in many minds.
A more rational way of looking at the problem is to consider athletics as a form of manual labor. The lumberjack in the woods probably does more physical work per twenty-four hours than any other workman. He is subjected to climatic exposure and his hours are long. A look at his diet shows that it is rich in fats and carbohydrates (sugars). Do not understand that by this a diet of "bannock and beans" is advocated for the football player, but rather that a normal, well-rounded diet is better than the old one of beef, mutton, beef, and more beef. Probably the best diet is the simple cooking received at home. With this end in view some of the present-day training tables produce menus that closely resemble home cooking. To be sure, many rich and indigestible dishes such as pies and various forms of pastry must be restricted. Men in training crave sweets as did the men in the army. This is a sign that the diet is deficient in sugars. Accordingly, at some training tables you will find a small dish of candy at each man's plate. Again you will find salads with plenty of dressing and cheese - last two supplying the much-needed fats which the lumberjack gets from his bacon and pork. In other words, the modern training-table fare should resemble what the men are used to at home, with some restriction of pastry and fried things and a slight increase in fats and simple sweets.
Before prohibition it was customary to give each man in training a pint of ale once a week after mid-season, and twice a week or oftener during the last two weeks. This supplied a certain amount of additional food and some degree of mental relaxation. Men who were known to have a tendency to go stale were quite often given additional amounts of ale to keep them from going over the edge. Another custom was a glass of champagne the night before the big game to insure a good night's sleep. Spirituous liquors of all kinds never had any place in the training of athletes.
Over-training, or going stale, are terms familiar to all who have had anything to do with athletics. Some men never go stale while others invariably do. It is more liable to happen to men of the nervous high-strung type. During a particularly hard game, especially on warm days, a player may lose as much as ten pounds in weight. This loss is largely in the form of water and if the man's general condition is good he should resume normal weight at the beginning of the second day following the game. If his weight does not come back it means that he is having too much work and too little play. He is in danger of going stale. A stale man is tired all the time. He does not sleep well and his features become drawn. In practice or in a game he does not perform with snap and precision. He is evidently "off his game." If he is asked what is the matter, the invariable reply is, "I do not know, but I don't feel right."
The cure is a change of environment. He must be sent away for a few days, to be with different people and break training to the extent of a bottle of ale, if such is obtainable. He should not go near the football field or do any practicing. After two or three days of this treatment almost any stale athlete will come back fit. The condition is undoubtedly partly mental and is probably closely allied to the now familiar term, "shell-shock."
In arranging the schedule of games, the doctor's advice should always be considered. From his point of view it is a mistake to play a hard game every Saturday during the season, because it forces the players to over-extend themselves. Preferably the schedule should contain two or at most three hard games; and the other games should be used solely for the purpose of conditioning the players for the championship contests. It often happens that a so-called practice game develops into an unexpectedly hard-fought battle. This tempts the coach to keep his best players in the game for a longer period than was planned. On such an occasion the doctor's advice is valuable, because the coach in his eagerness for victory may easily overlook the costly effect upon the physical condition of the players.
In short, the football doctor's duty does not stop at repairing injuries or healing sickness. He toughens his men for the shock of conflict. He supervises their diet and their rest, and observes their mental condition at all times. Aside from the possibility of injury on the field, the football player's health and welfare are much more carefully guarded than those of the average citizen.