WHEN properly understood, Football is both mentally and physically such a glorious sport that it seems a pity that so many who witness it should not be conversant with its salient points.
The word mentally properly precedes physically because the game has today reached such an advanced stage of development that unless certain well-established tactical principles are closely followed mere brawn is at a discount. Not that the game doesn't demand rugged physique and great endurance, but given two teams of nearly equal weight and strength, mental finesse will usually be the winning factor.
It is extremely difficult to watch and understand football intelligently. It is a good deal like watching a four-ring circus. Accordingly, the author has made no attempt to describe the game in all its details, but has chosen to emphasize certain "headliners" on which the spectator's attention may be most properly riveted. For a thorough understanding of the game, it is necessary to master not only the cardinal principles, but also a great mass of minute detail. The average spectator for whom this book is written is not interested to that extent.
Plenty of books have already been written on the so-called fundamentals and the technique of individual play. Rather than duplicate these, the author has effaced the individual player save in so far as his performance correlates with that of his fellow players, and has dwelt in the main upon team evolutions and certain other aspects which pertain to the government of the game.
It is his dearest hope that by the sacrifice of many important details he has produced a clear description of the subject in its broadest scope, and that this book may add materially to the en-joyment of the many thousands of spectators who witness the game of American Football.
Percy D. Haughton