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Add to the evidence that football wasn’t some completely foreign concept at Auburn prior to Papa Petrie, PhD bringing his sophisticated, scrum-less version in 1891 this speech by an “old Auburn star”–possibly Dutch Dorsey–at a 1904 meeting of the Atlanta Athletic Club describing what was likely Auburn’s first encounter with a football.
“The game of football has certainly moved with a rush in the south. I remember the first year they introduced the rugby game at Auburn. It was in 1891. Before that we had been playing with the old regulation association football, perfectly round. Well, one afternoon, somebody brought the new brand out on the field. Every time we kicked it the egg-shaped affair would bound every way but the expected one. We couldn’t catch it, kick it, or handle it after playing with the round one and started to give up in disgust. Nobody thought then the new football would last a season.”
You can read C.W. Ashcraft’s and George Petrie’s recollections of the Kick The Man With The Ball in the Crotch games that thrilled the Village in the late 1880s (!) here. And you should.
And Rich and I talk about it all here, but a quick mea culpa (yes, I’m mortified): After more careful consideration, I’m pretty convinced that the possibly forgotten Sewanee game I discuss (with a grain of salt!) is actually the 1893 Sewanee game in Atlanta, which suggests that Old Auburn Star, after just a decade or so, totally blanked on his first six games. Which seems bad.
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