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A large number of the 60 members of the American Chapter have played their Oslo course during visits to Norway. This has engendered closer ties with their postwar orphan, as have three annual outings, which the AC of the OGK plays at the Blind Brook Club in Port Chester, N.Y., and an interchange of trophies. On one hand, the AC put up the Norway Cup, which teams from Norway, Sweden and Denmark compete for, and, on the other, the home club sent across a cup that goes to the golfer who kollects the lowest skore in the AC's annual Klub Championship. The Norwegian word for fore, incidentally, is fore and not fiord.
ON FORWARD PASSES
Football scholars given to brawling over the origins of the forward pass can get the argument started all over again by consulting a new book, Football's Greatest Coaches, written by Edwin Pope, executive sports editor of the Atlanta Journal. Mr. Pope subtitles his chapter on John W. Heisman: "Father of the Forward Pass," and then goes on to make a case for the man who coached Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech, W&J, Penn and Rice and gave his name to the trophy awarded annually to the year's outstanding college player.
It seems, writes Mr. Pope, that one October afternoon back in 1895, North Carolina was playing Pop Warner's Georgia team at Atlanta. A Carolina fullback falling back to punt suddenly found himself about to be smothered by a quorum of Georgia linemen. In desperation, or panic, the Carolina man hurled the ball away from him and a startled teammate found himself grabbing it and running 70 yards for a touchdown. Pop Warner screamed bloody murder, but the apparently bewildered officials let the touchdown stand although it was clearly illegal as the rules then read. Carolina won the game, 6-0.
As it happened, John Heisman, then coaching Auburn, was a spectator at the game. He was delighted with the pass play and saw in it an answer to the flying wedge which was then making football a brutal, bone-breaking, head-cracking game. Heisman knew that the forward pass would be too radical a prescription for the rule makers to swallow all at once, so he kept his own counsel until 1903, when he thought Walter Camp was ready to listen. But Camp wasn't ready then nor when Heisman tried again a year later.
"Showing unusual patience," writes Mr. Pope, "Heisman took up the matter with former Penn Star John Bell and Navy Coach Paul Dashiell. They supported the pass at the next meeting of the rules committee. Amos Alonzo Stagg stepped in with another boost, and in 1906 'Heisman's forward pass' became a part of football."
It is now generally agreed that the first legal use of the forward pass ( Knute Rockne supported this case in his autobiography) was by St. Louis University in a game with Carroll College in Waukesha, Wis., in September 1906. While most eastern teams ignored the pass, St. Louis used it freely all that season, and you can get a fight going in the state of Missouri by even hinting that anybody but Eddie Cochems, the St. Louis coach, was "the father of the forward pass." Of course, in Middletown, Conn., they claim that Wesleyan used the first legal overhand spiral pass against Yale on October 3, 1906. There are also other quibbles around the country.
Even if it was Cochems, old John Heisman has other claims to immortality. For he was the fellow who used to hold up a football when addressing his squad on the first day of practice in the fall and ask, "What is it?" Then (as Mr. Pope tells it in his new book) Heisman would answer his own question:
"A prolate spheroid—that is, an elongated sphere—in which the outer leathern casing is drawn tightly over a somewhat smaller rubber tubing."
Then old John Heisman would look slowly around and declare ominously: