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Football in Wilcox, 1904

Football fever took a while to catch on during the game's early years. At least one gets that impression from LeRoy Marshon, publisher of the Wilcox Banner, who in the October 14, 1904, issue described the first football game he had ever witnessed. Wilcox defeated Holdrege 26 to 0.

"The early morning train brought in the Holdrege team, together with a large party of rooters, and 'rooters' they certainly were in all the term implies. Since the game the Banner has been asked to give its opinion of same. This being the first game we ever witnessed, perhaps we should reserve ourselves from expressing an opinion. Inasmuch, however, as we have been requested, we will endeavor to give our opinion in a way that we hope no one will take offense.

"The game appeared to us as being nothing short of a slugging match and a most brutal one at that. To see twenty-two fellows all in one pile, underneath of which is a poor little football, and each fellow striving to outdo the other in a mad attempt to gain possession of said ball, to such an extent that kicking, slugging, scratching, pushing, and yea, nothing short of scrapping was indulged in, is a sight that we do not care to witness again. They tell us that our boys played an almost errorless game. Perhaps they did, and we are not doubting it, judging from the manner in which they lambasted their victims, but somehow or other it had too much semblance to a Mexican bull fight to be over heartily enjoyed by us. We are proud of the fact that Wilcox won the game, but really cannot see any sport in it; so there."

(September 1996)



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