Charles Frederick Holder.

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sports have, in some measure, fallen
into the hands of professionals, and
have, therefore, lost much of their
hold on the popular mind. I doubt
whether there is, or ever has been,
a professional football team in the
United States. The men play for the

glory of their clubs or colleges and
for victory — as dear to the heart of a
true football man as to the soldiers of
the Old Guard. There is still another
cause for the popularity of football.
Thus far its managers have not al-
lowed it to be overdone. The East-
ern football season lasts six weeks.
During that time nothing else is
thought of in athletic circles ; and then
it is over until the next fall, when it
is taken up with renewed vigor.
What kind of a man does it take
to play a win-
ning game of
football? Phys-
ically, the lim-
its are far apart.
It is not always
the heavy team
that wins;
though, other
things being
equal, w e i gh t
counts, and the
" centre " and
" guards" in the
" rush- line' 1
must be heavy
to withstand the
battering - ram
tactics of oppos-
ing "backs."
" Line-bucking"
has become a
favorite play of
late years. The
too, should have weight, and also that
ability peculiar to a first-class foot-
ball man to anchor himself to the spot
where he stands when opponents
charge his position; and still, when
occasion demands, must himself be
able to dash against the "rush-line"
and break it. The " end rush" must
be a whirlwind in whose arms the ad-
vancing" half-back" is always caught,
or " tackled," and always thrown back-
ward. Taken together the " rush-line"
must form a wall, behind which the
"quarter-back" is secure and the
other " backs" confident. As for the
"backs," the "quarter" may be a



small man, but he must be the quick-
est man on the team, cool of head,
steady of arm, and be ready to fasten
himself to the turf as firmly as the
"centre" if the line needs his aid.
The two " half-backs" and the " full-
back" may be of very different weight
and character. The man who can run
forward or sidewise, whirl, dodge,
and "brush off" all tacklers, at the
same time firmly keeping on his feet,
does not require much weight, for
he can play an "end" game (running
around the rush-line), and such tac-
tics gain the most ground when suc-
cessful. But if a "line - bucking"
game is desired (breaking through
the " rush"), then the more weight he
can strike the line with the better.

tempt to kick or push the ball toward
their opponents' goal. In this game
a majority of goals or touch-downs
wins, while in the American game a
majority of points gains. In the
old game there are eight " forwards,"
two " quarter - backs, " two " half -
backs," two "three-quarter backs,"
and a "full-back" or goal-keeper.
The quarter-backs stand behind the
line ready to pick up the ball when
it comes through. They then throw
or pass it to the backs behind them,
who may run forward with it. The
American players kicked each other's
shins for a season, and then discov-
ered that it was a clever play to leave
an opening in the line through which
the half-backs might expect the ball


After the collision the more push and
dogged perseverance, backed by the
persistent pushing of those who form
his own rush-line, the more ground
will be gained. In addition to physi-
cal qualities the men must have cour-
age, decision, nerve, and quickness of
vision. The linemen must be obsti-
nate as well and ready for that hardest
of battles, a fight against hope ; for in
an even game, during two-thirds of
the time they cannot hope to stop the
advance of their opponents.

Rugby football was brought over
from England in 1875. American
ingenuity, however, soon developed
a game very different from the one
in which it took its rise. In the
Rugby game the ball is placed be-
tween the opposing teams, which
number fifteen men each, who at-

to come, and then by quick passing
give the three-quarter backs an op-
portunity to make runs while their
opponents were still entangled in the
" scrimmage. " They then got to roll-
ing the ball between the lines, each
side pushing and waiting for the other
to pick the ball out of the "scrim-
mage. " Finally it was discovered that
it could be kicked backward as well
as forward ; " back-heeling," this was
called. At first every man in the line
might do this, but soon the "snap-
back" (the "centre-rush" of to-day)
was evolved, and the game became
very much what it now is. American
players claim that the present Ameri-
can game is more scientific and per-
mits of more generalship. This is
true, for the American football cap-
tain knows just when and where to

79 8


expect the ball, while in the English
game it is largely a matter of chance.
Another marked difference in the
rules of the two games is in what is
known as <; blocking." The Ameri-
cans allow their players to guard the
man running with the ball, using
their elbows and bodies to prevent
his being " tackled" by an opponent.
This interference would be rank " off-
side" play in any Rugby game.

The American game was first in-
troduced at Harvard, but under the
direction of Walter Camp, who is
justly called the father of American
football, Yale soon took the lead,
and in the fourteen years that her
football interests have been in his
charge, first as a student and then as
coach, she has lost but once (in 1890)
to Harvard. Princeton has fared
little better with the New Haven
University, while other universities
have been content merely to score
against Yale. To Princeton belongs
the credit of bringing out the " wedge"
players, but Harvard was the first to
use the Delland "flying-wedge," re-
cently put to good use on this coast
by the wiry boys in red of the Stan-
ford University.

On the Western coast the first
teams were those of the Phcenix,
Wanderers, and Union clubs. These
played some exciting games in 1882
at the old Recreation Grounds in San
Francisco. All of thesematches were
under the old Rugby Union rules.
Dean, Sime, and the Searles brothers
were the mainstays of the Phcenix
team, the victor in these games, but
the "punting" of Nicholson of the
Wanderers — the famous Englishman
with the green and yellow jersey —
has never been beaten by any player
that has stepped on the gridironed
field. Edgar Foster was the captain
and star player of the Unions, and in
"line bucking" and "brushing off"
no man in the West, unless it be the
idol of the Wasps, Franklin Hittell,
has ever excelled him. Soon the
Merion Cricket Club placed a team
in the field, and for the two succeed-

ing years the only games played on
the coast were those between the
University of California — just enter-
ing the arena — the Unions, Merions,
and the team of Brewer's Academy
at San Mateo.

In 1885 Kenneth McKay and John
Craig organized the Wasps from the
best men of the old teams, and a new
era in football began in California.
Two closely contested games between
this team and that of the University
of California resulted in a score of
0-0 in each instance. These matches
awakened a fresh interest in the game
here, and in 1886 the California Foot-
ball League was organized and a
series of twenty games was played at
the Olympic Park in Oakland by
teams from the University of Cali-
fornia, Reliance, Orion, and Wasps
clubs and the Hastings Law School.
Prior to this the West knew nothing
whatever of the intercollegiate game
— American football. The California
Football League decided to drop the
Rugby Union game, hitherto played
entirely in the West, and for the first
time here the game was played with
eleven men instead of fifteen. All
the features of the old-style game
were not eliminated, and it was not
until 1888, when Xonrse of Amherst
organized the Posens.that full-fledged
Eastern football was played here.
Nourse, the hated by Berkeley men
and beloved by all others of the foot-
ball field, first taught the University
men what it was to learn defeat in a
series of games, though many times
before the Wasps and Orions had
showed them a thing or two in football
that caused the men of Berkeley to
drape their blue and gold with black.

After Nourse came Joseph Tobin
from Georgetown College, in the fall
of 1890, and with him the latest plays
of the crack Eastern 'varsity teams.
Perhaps it is only fair, however, to
say that even before the advent of
Nourse or Tobin on this coast, Shafter
Howard of Harvard taught the men
of the State University many new
tricks in vogue in the East. To his



long and well-placed "punts" was
due, in a great measure, the victory
of his team in the Californian Foot-
ball League series. His later work
with the San Franciscos and Olym-
pics has been far below his old-time

In the matches with the Posen
team, Charles Wesley Reed, the cap-
tain of the University team, and
Fred McNear, its half-back, did some
phenomenal work. The playing of
the latter has been characterized by
competent critics as equal to that of
any Eastern man playing that year.
George Wellington, Frank Pugh, and
J. Hunter Harrison were star men
on the Posen team then, and Pugh
still shows his form in his quarter-
back play with the Olympic Athletic
Club's eleven. John B. Shcrrard,
the present captain and "end-rush"
of the same team, first learned to
tackle as he does under the tuition of
Nourse. It would not be just, in
writing of football in the West, to
omit the name of Felton Taylor, who
has in years past done clever half-
back work for the Union, Wasp, Re-
liance, San Francisco and Olympic
teams. Oscar Taylor, the present
"full-back" of the Berkeley team,
first showed his ability on the foot-
ball field when his long " drop-kicks,"
when a member of the Alerts, won
his team fame in the " Little League"
series of 1887.

The Academic Amateur Athletic
Association, consisting of the San
Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley
High Schools, the Hopkins Academy
and the Cogswell Polytechnic School,
maintains a football league, of which
the Hopkins Academy won the pen-
nant in '91 and the Oakland High
School in '92.

When Joseph Tobin came home
from Georgetown College in 1890 he
organized the San Francisco Football
Club, the forerunners of the Olym-
pics, and introduced into their games
the close play everywhere in vogue
in the East. Hitherto the coast
teams had played almost entirely the

" long-pass" game, instead of playing
close up to the rush-line as at present.
This was the game which the Uni-
versity of California depended upon
in its first games with Tobin's team.
The contest of that year proved con-
clusively that the close blocking and
rushing play was superior to the old
style, and the game with the Berkeley
boys resulted in a score of 44-0 in
favor of the San Franciscos. Since
that time the " long-pass" game has
never been seen on the coast. Last
season the San Franciscos, or Olym-
pics, won against the Berkeley men
by a score of 6-0, but this year the
blue and gold has triumphed in two
games out of 'the three played with
the Olympic team.

The great game and naturally the
most exciting of the season of 1 89 1-92
was that between the University of
California and the Leland Stanford,
Junior, University. This was the
first intercollegiate game played on
the Pacific slope, and the boys from
Palo Alto carried away a hard-earned
victory by a score of 14-10. The
Berkeley team bad been organized
for several years and considerably
outweighed their opponents, but it
was soon seen that they were no
match for the boys in red, who played
a more modern game. The team
work of the latter was better, and,
besides, they played what is known
as an "end" game, and a rushing
one; while the Berkeleyans, with
their heavy backs, depended upon
centre rushing almost entirely.

During the past few months foot-
ball on the Pacific slope has received
an impetus that it has never had be-
fore, and never has it held such a
place in the public's heart as at the
present moment . This is owing en-
tirely to the enterprise displayed by
the managers of the Berkeley and
Palo Alto teams. Immediately after
the Yale-Harvard Thanksgiving Day
game in the East, Walter Camp and
Thomas Lee McClung, respectively
the famous coach and the famous
captain of Yale's team, left for the



coast; the first named to act as coach
for the Stanford University, and
McClung to act in the same capacity
for the University of California. For
weeks the men of both colleges were
hard at work, and in several prelim-
inary matches with the Olympic
Athletic Club's eleven, the Berkeley
men made slightly the better show-
ing. The coaching of Camp and Mc-
Clung soon demonstrated that both
teams had much to learn, for while
the individual players were not so
far behind the best men of the East,
both elevens were sadly deficient in
team work. The great game of the
year took place on December 17th
last, at the baseball grounds in San
Francisco, when over 15,000 people
assembled to witness it. This was
the largest gathering that ever as-
sembled to witness any athletic event
in the West.

In weight, the Berkeley men once
more had the advantage and they
put it to good use, while the Stan-
ford men proved a speedier and
quicker lot. Hunt, the Berkeley
captain, is a capital "line-bucker,"
and time after time battered away
at the opposing rush, but the boys
in red contested every inch of the
ground, gaining the ball repeatedly
on the fourth "down."

Clemans and Walton, the Stanford

halves, did some wonderful work in
going around the ends, making bril-
liant runs of thirty and forty yards,
aided by good interference on the
part of their team. Code of the same
team did good quarter-back work, as
did also Rich as guard. The Berkeley
men resorted to the wedge almost en-
tirely, and only once did Oscar Taylor,
their full-back, essay a " punt. " Then
took place one of the cleverest plays
of the game, for Henry, the Berkeley
"end-rush," after a lightning spurt,
tackled Kennedy, the Stanford full-
back, as soon as the latter caught the
ball from Taylor's punt. Walter Camp
characterizes this as one of the best
plays of the kind he has seen on any
football field, and Camp also praises
the " double-passing " of the Stanford
men as equal to that of McClung's fa-
mous Yale team. The play through-
out was snappy and quick. Both
sides gained two touch-downs and
both failed twice at goal, making the
score a tie, 10-10. The trophy of-
fered the contestants by the Univer-
sity Club of San Francisco will have
to be battled for again next season.

The coming of Camp and McClung
has given new life to the game in the
West, and the interest displayed by
the press during the recent games is a
sure indication of the esteem in which
it is held here now by the public.



THE Congress of the United States
by its act entitled "An Act to
set apart certain tracts of land
in the State of California as forest
reservation," approved October ist,
1890, set apart for said reservation
an area, exclusive of the original
Yosemite grant, of about 40^ town-
ships, or about 1,458 square miles,
or about 932,600 acres, situated in
the counties of Mariposa, X uolumne >
Mono, and Fresno — the principal part
of it, over 800,000 acres, lying in the
two first-named counties. This reser-
vation is generally known as the
Yosemite National Park.

Under date of December 2d, 1892,
B. F. Allen, special agent of the Gen-
eral Land Office, gave notice in the
press that he should recommend, un-
der Section 24 of the act of Congress
entitled "An Act to repeal timber
culture laws and for other purposes,"
approved March 3d, 1891, to have set
apart a tract of land irregular in
shape, extending from the northwest
corner of Township 5, S. R. 21, E., M.
D. M., in Mariposa County, to the
southeast corner of Township 28, S.
R. 63, E., M. D. M.,in Kern County,
containing 158 townships, or about
5,688 square miles, or 3,640,000 acres
of land in round numbers, which tract
of land was proclaimed by President
Harrison as a reservation shortly be-
fore the expiration of his term of

Here we have then, set aside as
parks or reservations, from the
counties of Tuolumne, Mono, Mari-
posa, Fresno, Tulare, and Kern, in
California, an area of about 7,146
square miles, or 4,573,000 acres; an
area equal to more than twice the
area of the States of Rhode Island
and Delaware, or nearly the area of
the States of Connecticut, Delaware,

and Rhode Island combined, and
only 309 square miles less than the
vState of New Jersey.

When a tract of territory of that
size is being alienated from the
legitimate uses and industries of the
people, it is in order to inquire
whether the present and future bene-
fits which are supposed will be de-
rived from such reservations out-
weigh the destruction of present
industries and future possibilities of
development contained in said reser-

To arrive at any just conclusions
it will be proper to examine, first,
for what purposes, ostensibly, said
reservations were established.

The act of Congress of October ist,

1890, creating the National Yosemite
Park, provides that the territory
comprising it, excepting the original
Yosemite Valley grant and bona fide
entries of land made within the limits
(of the reservation as described)
under any laws of the United States
prior to the approval of the act,
" shall be under the exclusive control
of the Secretary of the Interior,
whose duty it shall be ... to make
regulations . . . providing for pres-
ervation from injury of all timber,
mineral deposits, natural curiosities,
or wonders within said reservation,
and their retention in their natural
condition" — and Section 24 of the
act of Congress approved March 3d,

1 89 1, referred to above, provides:
"That the President of the United

States may from time to time set
apart and reserve, in any State or
Territory having public land-bearing
forests, in any part of the public
lands wholly or in part covered with
timber or undergrowth, whether of
commercial value or not, as public
reservations, and the President shall,




by public proclamation, declare the
establishment of such reservation
and the limits thereof."

It would appear, then, that the
preservation of timber, of mineral
deposits, natural curiosities or won-
ders within the reservation is the os-
tensible object for which the Yosem-

tion of other vast interests, it must
be necessarily because there is dan-
ger of destruction of forests if they
are held under private ownership.

As to the value of the preservation
of forests there can be no doubt — for
economic, climatic, and aesthetic rea-
sons — although a great deal of the

ite National Park was established,
r hile there is no special purpose
rowed in the law under which the
ther reservation was proclaimed,
presumably it was for the preser-
vation of forests.

Now if the preservation of forests
is considered a sufficient cause for
making reservations of large tracts
of land, thereby causing the destruc-

prevailing sentiment in favor of for-
ests is not based on facts.

Wood is a necessity of the human
race for innumerable purposes ; there-
fore a destruction of the natural sup-
ply to satisfy our immediate wants,
without taking into consideration the
necessities of posterity, would be not
less than a crime. Then forests are
a thing of beauty always, and to



some extent exercise climatic influ-
ences by moderating the temperature.

But the generally prevailing theory
that forests increase the rainfall ap-
pears to be exploded ; the latest con-
clusions arrived at by investigators
seem to prove that the existence of
forests neither creates nor augments
rainfall. If the statements in the
newspapers in regard to the rainfall
in Australia that caused such extra-
ordinary floods there last winter
(winter here) are reliable, the rain-
fall in the not timbered districts in
Queensland and New South Wales
was more than twenty per cent heav-
ier than in the wooded districts.

Another generally prevailing sen-
timent is that the existence of forests
prevents the washing away of the
soil on which they grow, and assists
streams in maintaining a uniform
regimen, by storing away the pre-
cipitation among the roots of the
trees, and yielding these stores, up
gradually, thereby preventing on the
one hand the immediate rushing
away of the precipitation, which is
causing floods, and acting on the
other hand like a system of reservoirs,
yielding up the restored waters only
gradually. This is certainly true,
but it is also effected by other forms
of vegetation.

But admitting fully the value of
forests and the necessity of their
preservation, the question is: Does
the policy of letting the people own
and utilize the timber supply offered
by our forests lead to their destruc-

No! will be the answer of every
person who has had the experience
of having lived among these very
forests of the western slope of the
Sierra Nevada from the days of the
settlement of the State after the dis-
covery of gold, who has seen whole
hillsides deprived of the last tree by
the axe of the miner during the flush
times of the placer-mining period,
and who sees now these same hill-
sides covered with a thicker growth
of forest, produced spontaneously by

mother Nature, than they were be-
fore the miner ravished their virgin

Why, anybody can see in our moun-
tain counties, where land has been
cleared of its natural timber growth
for agricultural or other purposes,
that in places where cultivation has
not been kept up continually the
new forest growth springs up as thick
as it possibly can stand ; and if any-
body wants to see a prolific growth
of young forest trees, let him go to
the vicinity of the abandoned site of
an old sawmill, which has been dis-
continued because all the available
timber has been cut off; there he can
see how luxuriantly the young forest
springs up, after having been given
light and air by the removal of the
old tr<

Our forests reproduce themselves,
and such reproduction could only be
prevented by continuous cultivation
of the ground. Is such a continuous
cultivation of these reserved forest
lands ever likely to take place?

There arc undoubtedly valleys, and
meadows, and flats that could not
only be advantageously cleared and
planted to other vegetation, but that
would produce certain fruits more
perfect and abundantly than any
other lands; but the fact is that out
of the 4,500,000 acres which are
included in the reservations under
consideration, five per cent, or 225,000
acres, would be a liberal estimate of
the amount of land that would ever be
brought under cultivation.

The rest of that territory would
remain a forest; if cut down, it
would spring up a forest again, more
luxuriantly than before.

A great deal has been said about
the devastation caused to these moun-
tain forests by fires, supposed to be
principally set by parties grazing
live-stock in the mountains.

Why a man who owns sheep, cattle,
or horses and takes them to the
mountains to let them subsist during
the summer on the pastures which
then, and only then, become availa-



ble, should burn up these pastures
that are to feed his stock, is a conun-
drum that has not been explained
yet, if such a state of affairs really
does exist.

The fact about these mountain fires
is, the dried herbage, when not con-
sumed by stock, the fallen leaves and
branches of trees, and, more than all
these, the trees that have fallen down
from decay, form during- the summer
an accumulation of highly inflamma-
ble material which the least spark
will set on fire. If this accumulation
is burnt out every year no harm
accrues to the trees, not even to the
young growth; but the longer the
accumulation of inflammable mate-
rial goes on, the more severe will be
the fire. The Indians, the original
occupants of our mountains, acted on
this principle before the occupation
of the country by the whites, and
probably do so now in out-of-the-way
regions, by burning the accumulated
trash up every year — thus preventing
more destructive fires.

Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 107 of 120)