Your Football Name is MUD

Football and Poetry combined….complete with boasting, betting and jail.

It was a most delightful day
For fine athletic fun,
When Woodruff’s team came here to play
Against a stronger one.
It grieved me when I saw them strive,
To break our strong defense,
Which proved their famous tandem “drive”
Of trifling consequence.
Their lame assaults removed my fears,
I knew we couldn’t fail,
But I was almost moved to tears
When Harmon went to jail.

The man had staked his little all
On Woodruff’s idle boast;
He saw his padded heroes fall,
He heard the rooters “roast.”
A melancholy seized him, then,
His pocketboot was slim
And much he feared his fellow men
Were bent on robbing him.
I laughed to see him so oppressed
From hoisting too much sail,
But, honestly, I felt distressed
When Harmon went to jail.

Here was a student of the law,
(A theme for kinder verse)
Who left his home beside the Kaw
With money in his purse,
By fickle fortune rudely slapped,
Caught in his own old net,
He had to either walk home strapped
Or get back what he bet.
Against a suit for its return
His friends could not prevail;
The midnight lamps had ceased  to burn
When Harmon went to jail.

The Kansas football team has gone,
A sad, crest-fallen lot,
But Kleinhans still is taking on
And Woodruff, too, is hot.
They think it is a burning shame
To cook them to a turn,
Who strove so hard to steal a game
Their players couldn’t earn.
They well deserve the pain and woe
That comes to chumps who fail;
I laughed at them, but couldn’t crow
When Harmon went to jail.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Nov 16, 1897

The rest of the article can be found HERE (Library of Congress link to the Kansas City Journal – Nov 15, 1897)

Coach Woodruff says it was a “scheme” —
His players couldn’t fail —
For had he not announced the team
A solid match for Yale?

They couldn’t lose for, sakes alive,
Each player knew his biz,
And yet the score was six to five
Against those pets of his.

O, Woodruff, let us learn from this
A lesson all men need;
The fastest horse will sometimes miss
Its wonted burst of speed.

The greatest man will live to see,
No matter what his score,
Some other man as great as he
And maybe three or four.

Great Bonaparte his armies took,
To win and never lose,
And all the hosts of Europe shook
Inside their wooden shoes.

He scored a hundred battles won —
The world said that would do,
His guard fell when the sun had set
That night at Waterloo.

So with that team you coached, you know,
And praised throughout the land;
The Skeedunk players stood no show
Against so strong a band;

The Skeedunk whoppers also fell
And struck the long descent,
And poor Iowa went to — well,
No matter where she went.

Flushed as Napoleon was flushed,
You came to Lincoln then,
and slopped around the town and gushed
About your famous men;

“Invincible?” Of course they were,
And not to be suppressed;
They wouldn’t hardly need to stir
To beat us at our best.

So, when they heard the umpire call,
They jauntily began;
The great high kicker kicked the ball,
The others laughed and ran.

They who had smiled to hear you brag,
Went forward with delight
And ran against a solid snag
Too much for them that night.

They couldn’t break the Lincoln line,
Nor stop the rush “for blood;”
Excuse this mirth, friend of mine,
Your football name is Mud.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Nov 17, 1897

*****

KU Football: the First Seven Decades

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