Bleeding hands, scarred limbs, and clogged breath

I've pretty much closed the book on 2008 at this point. I have been working on and off at a play by play analysis of the Papajohn's.com Bowl, and I do want to finish that in the next few days.

I am not posting much at the moment, but I do have a couple of blog-related projects at the moment. Right now, my biggest priority is doing several pieces on signing day, which is now exactly two weeks away. Besides the Rutgers slant, I am working on something rather ambitious general takes on signing day and recruiting.

I also have two leftover projects from 2008 that I have put on the backburner for a while. I think what I've been working on at the moment is sprawling and unwieldy enough to burn me out of commission for a while. They will probably randomly appear in your RSS feed at the height of offseason doldrum.

I have been wading through a lot of research to put together something respectable. I recently came across an article that, while it has absolutely no relevance to my focus at the moment (too bad I didn't stumble across it months ago), it is a piece that is fairly interesting to Rutgers fans or any person interested in CFB history in general.

Rutgers vs. Princeton: A Football First

Unfortunately, as a Google Books file, I cannot easily quote the text, so I urge any interested readers to click on that link (if you're curious, what led me to it was coming across the anecdote about three players failing algebra).

Fortunately, there are two other good articles about the game readily available.

I actually have heard about this before:

Spectators later told of a crotchety Rutgers professor who pedaled up on a bicycle. He watched for a few minutes and then shook his umbrella at the players, shouting, "You men will come to no Christian end!" With that, he wheeled off, missing what turned out to be an excellent game.

Later accounts identified that man as Prof. Thaddeus Dowling Zoffinger Shea. He was also the father of Boroughitis and roundabouts.

Actually though, isn't it ironic that even in 1869, Rutgers was relying on superior team speed to take on larger, slower opponents?

Finesse became intercollegiate football's first casualty. Gummere decided to change tactics and instructed one of his teammates, a behemoth named Jacob Michael, known as "Big Mike," to break up the Rutgers cocoon. This he did and "scattered the players like a bursting bundle of sticks." Soon afterward, Princeton tied the score on a long kick. From there, the game turned into a siege. At one point Big Mike and a Rutgers player made for the ball at the same time and crashed through the fence, toppling spectators.

The game was to be played until someone scored six goals. Noticing that the taller Princeton men were able to bat down high kicks, the Rutgers captain ordered his men to keep their passes short and low to the ground. This was made difficult owing to the quality of the ball, which kept getting deflated. The adjustment to crisp passing worked, though, and Rutgers scored the last two goals to win, 6-4, in just over three hours.

Okay, back to the video analysis, it needs to be finished before it's even more dated.

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