"Now see here...see here. Steve, come here. In the won and lost column we had a lousy average. But I want you to know that I am the proudest coach in the country. You never quit trying this year...and, Steve [Captain Steve McCabe], I want to say, out of my 28 years of coaching, you led and acted like a winner, Steve.
"Just one more thing.... Nobody, nobody leaves this room with a chin drooping. When you go out of here, walk to that other room and shake hands with the Maine football team and their coach, Hal Westerman. But nobody is ashamed, remember. Nobody's ashamed. You don't ever have to be when Bowdoin is your college. That's all."
There was a noticeable straightening of backs. Bowdoin players who had sat despondent got busy and stripped themselves for the showers.
Coach Walsh turned to the small crowd at the door of the locker room. "We were champions of Maine, and four years ago we were one of the leading small colleges in the country," he said. "Two good freshman classes in a row, and they'll feel our sting again.
"You know the thing I'm really worried about? The few youngsters who love bodily contact...they're coming in fewer numbers every year. The competition to get those boys has increased unbelievably. Why are there fewer youngsters who love to compete in body-contact sports? Why?
"I'll tell you why. A good share of the blame must be placed right on the shoulders of the physical education curriculum at the teacher-training institutions. Particularly at those institutions where the philosophy is: 'If the activity has no carry-over value into a man's later exercise, it has no place in the educational system.'
"This terrible approach is drilled into them. They go out and teach, and the philosophy rubs off onto their pupils, both the teacher and pupils become parents in time and what happens to their youngsters?
"All youngsters like a little rugged activity, but too many of them are guided or weaned away from it from kindergarten right on up. To get into good physical condition without the added incentive of participation in some contact sport is just no fun."
A couple of University of Maine players, with raw skin gleaming from their noses, stopped by and congratulated Adam Walsh on Bowdoin's play, not in mock but in good faith.
"There's what I mean," said Old Mule Walsh. "Two finely conditioned boys—gentlemen—credits to their school. The kind of kids you'd want to join you at home Saturday night and help you work on a pot of baked beans. A few of our educators should get down off the 50-yard lines and see some of these fine kids standing in the raw: bruised, bleeding, and their hearts aching, but always gentlemen." He paused a moment, then went on: