I find my uniform
with no trouble. No pads today, so the game pants and jersey go over my two
layers of sweats as a final insulation. Have to keep the heat in to sweat a
lot. We're supposed to see the movies of last year's game with Rutgers, but I
decide I better go out to practice while it's still warm. I'll see the pictures
We aren't playing
our game on the practice field. We get a different field for the game. The old
field is used as a parking lot for the varsity games on weekends and all during
the week the ROTC units march on it. By the time we use it for practice the
field has more dust than Death Valley.
Terry DeLong, our
right guard, and I are the first to inspect the new field. We decide that it's
not great but it's better than the old field. It's all relative. The game field
is right next to the jayvee field. Next to that is the freshman field. We all
have home games tomorrow at overlapping times. I wonder if the whistles from
the other games will affect us. Terry comments that if there are many penalties
in the three games, it will look like the Fourth of July with the flags
Terry is the
perfect example of a lightweight football player. He was a halfback in high
school and received mention on several all-state teams. When he came to
Princeton he found, as many do, that he didn't have the size for college ball
at the varsity level. Instead of quitting, he came to play for the 150s and
switched to guard. Last year he was all-league at that position. We kid him
about being an All-America since, being the only 150-pound league in the
country, allleague is the same as being All-America.
All-America," he answers. "I don't have enough newspaper clippings to
gift-wrap a fountain pen."
lightweight football is a new sensation for a lot of people. It is quite an
enjoyable feeling for a 150-pound halfback to find himself suddenly able to run
roughshod over a tackle who is no bigger than he is. At the same time, the
150-pound tackle can relish smashing heads with that ballcarrying blur who—he
knows—cannot outweigh him. It is a pleasant experience for a small man to be
able to go into a game not having to wonder if there will be enough of him left
afterward to carry off on a stretcher.
Coach Dick Vaughn
calls us together and we begin last-minute preparations for Rutgers. It's too
late for new stuff today, so we polish up the old. First we work on our punt
runback. Then we go over our own punt formation. We hope we won't have to punt
ourselves, but we practice it anyway.
coach," I say, "you want me to center for the punts?"
I've only been a
center for one game. Before that I was a fullback. Then our center got married
and quit and the shake-up was on.
You stay out of there on punts. I don't trust you. You center long like a