html 4.0 transitional//en"> Impressions of a 1901 college football game


Impressions of a 1901 college football game

Football is back on center stage in Texas. Since this happens every September I thought it might be interesting to get an eye-witness account of a Baylor-Texas football game played 98 years ago. My grandsons may think I am ancient but I was not around for that game.

Carey Daniel, an uncle to two governors: Texas Governor Price Daniel and Guam Governor Bill Daniel, took the afternoon off to see what this game of football was all about. It was October 29, 1901, and the 24-year old Carey wandered over to a cow pasture next to the present-day Bill Daniel Student Center to find for himself what all the excitement was about. It was the first (but not last) football game he ever saw. He wrote in his diary:

"This afternoon I paid fifty cents to see a game of football between the team of the State University and Baylor. It was my first sight of the kind, and I pronounce it as my candid, deliberate conviction that it is the most brutal, unnecessary and harmful thing I ever thought college bred people to tolerate. Many good and wise people admire the game and advocate its stay and growth. God speed the day when the extra energy and time of Baylor students may be given to something more ennobling, kind and God-like."

You might think that Carey Daniel would never take in another such "brutal, unnecesssary and harmful thing" but on Nov. 1, 1906, he once again went out to witness the un-God-like activity. May be five years without football had mellowed him or possibly it did not appear to be as brutal as before. He said less about it but apparently was not won over to the game. He writes the next day in his diary, but one sentence: "Witnessed a big football game yesterday between Baylor and Arkansas, won by Baylor 11-6. It is much like a bull fight, only they were human beings and not angry."

Four years later Carey Daniel was in China. He never saw a football game again. It is doubtful he went to China to avoid the "bullfight-like" game. He went as a Baptist missionary. In February, 1914, he married his Baylor University classmate, Jewell Legett, the gal from Buffalo Gap.

Unfortunately one Sunday night in June that year, anxious to get home after a weekend of preaching, Carey Daniel spurred Old White, his mongolian pony, into a swollen river and only the horse made it across. (Sept. 3, 1999)

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