"I belong," he told the guests, "to the ancient vintage of Walter Camp and Alonzo Stagg. I thrill to the blaze of Hinkey and Heffelfinger, of Haughton and Brickley, of Poe and Trenchard and Truxton Hare. I collaborated with Charlie Daly and Pot Graves and Joe Beacham and that fine midshipman back Bill Halsey, who was destined to become our great fighting admiral....
"I listened with a thirsty ear to the witching voice of Grantland Rice. I learned the hard way from Knute Rockne and George Gipp and the Four Horsemen, and every year on every campus and every field throughout this broad land of ours, I can see and hear their counterparts. I can see and hear their dazzling performances and ideals repeated over and over again and, as each passes on, I find myself again and again with the same old catch at my throat, the same old pounding in my heart, the same old yell on my lips, 'Well done, Mr. Football, yours is the touchdown!'
"No greater accolade could be given this game" continued the general who had walked with the greatest, "than to recall its personal impact on the chief magistrates of our nation.
"I can still remember a remark President Theodore Roosevelt made to me more than 50 years ago at a Harvard-Yale game when I was his aide-de-camp. 'Douglas,' he said, I would rather be in that Harvard backfield today than be in the White House.' "
Roosevelt's successor and rival, William Howard Taft, a Yale man, told MacArthur of his wish that he and T.R. could "settle their political quarrels with the same decisiveness and the same gallantry" as did the Harvard and Yale football teams. Appointing him to head West Point, President Woodrow Wilson urged the general to resume football rivalry with Annapolis and went on to muse, "If we could only extend and expand this game throughout the world, perhaps we would not need a League of Nations." Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, far lesser men both than these, had lesser things to say. "How goes my favorite cadets, the football squad?" Harding asked MacArthur on a visit to West Point. "I'm glad," wry Calvin remarked of a particularly effective team, "all such players are not Democrats." Herbert Hoover moaned over the public's indifference to some great problem: "If it were about football, I could rally popular sentiment quick enough." On the verge of choosing MacArthur's successor as chief of staff, Franklin Roosevelt asked, "Which, Douglas, was the football player?" and picked that one, General Malin Craig.
"And," added General MacArthur, "Harry Truman surely tried to look like a fullback when he kicked me out of Korea."
Summing up the vast changes that have overtaken the world since the first football game at Rutgers, changes that have promoted "such dreams and fantasies as to make life the most exciting of all time," the general concluded that "it cannot fail to be a source of inspiration to football enthusiasts and supporters to realize how steadily and invincibly [through all this change] their own great tradition has continued to command the absorbing interest of our people.
"For youth," said Douglas Mac-Arthur, "as it crosses the threshold of manhood, football has become a rallying point to build courage when courage seems to die, to restore faith where there seems little cause for faith, to create hope as hope becomes forlorn."
Exit the 'Order' Man
Frankie Carbo, the Murder, Inc. alumnus who has run boxing from his shifting, underworld podium for a dozen years, has had his official portrait painted by an expert. The expert is Alfred J. Scotti, chief assistant district attorney of New York. Scotti has studied his subject, in the line of duty, since 1947. The sitting was in a New York courtroom, where Carbo last week was sentenced to two years in prison for undercover managing and matchmaking. Carbo had avoided an open trial by pleading guilty, but Scotti limned his man in a 4,000-word rendering before sentence was passed. This magazine has been reporting the doings of Frankie Carbo since its own beginnings, so much of the Scotti portrait may be familiar—though no whit less important to anyone who cares about the corrupt and shameful situation.