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Accurate Foresight Or Ignorant Pessimism?

I’m reading When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss’ massive biography of Vince Lombardi.

Early in Lombardi’s coaching career (and therefore, early in the book!), he got a job at Cathedral High School, a small Catholic institution in northern New Jersey.

The school’s administrators apparently did not share Lombardi’s love for football.

Here’s what appeared in the Cathedral Annual Yearbook for 1931:

Many undesirable results and conditions, physical, moral and intellectual, are brought about by football.  Ahtletes are very liable to physical injury and strain through overemphasis and overspecialization.  Football tends to further the advancement of destructive and detrimental moral results.  It indubitably leads to the adoption of questionable ethical practices and unsportsmanlike conduct.  It sanctions the evasion of rules, trickery, undesirable recruiting practices bordering on professionalism, and a lack of courtesy.  There is a regrettable psychological effect on the players.  This effect is brought about by newspaper publicity, building up individual prestige instead of praising the machinelike functioning of a team.  False attitudes are taken by the student body which revels in its athletic accomplishments while neglecting the real purpose of education.

So:  Depression-Era Seers Or Depression-Suffering Sourpusses?

You decide.

 

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