• Creator
  • New York Times
  • Created Date
  • 1890-12-13
  • Publisher
  • New York Times
  • Description
  • Yale Men Were Surprised" is a New York Times article published on December 13, 1890 that describes the Staten Island Athletic Club's midwinter meeting as well as the country's first indoor football game (Springfield College vs. Yale). Springfield College's football team was known as Stagg's Eleven or the Stubby Christians, and was comprised of W. J. Kellar, James A. Naismith (inventor of Basketball), J. P. Smith, D. W. Corbett, W. O. Black, W.... more
    Yale Men Were Surprised" is a New York Times article published on December 13, 1890 that describes the Staten Island Athletic Club's midwinter meeting as well as the country's first indoor football game (Springfield College vs. Yale). Springfield College's football team was known as Stagg's Eleven or the Stubby Christians, and was comprised of W. J. Kellar, James A. Naismith (inventor of Basketball), J. P. Smith, D. W. Corbett, W. O. Black, W. H. Barton, W. C. McKee, F. N. Seerley, Amos Alonzo Stagg (the captain), A. E. Garland, and W. H. Ball. In their contest at the newly-opened Madison Square Garden, Yale fielded a team of five varsity players, two substitutes, and a group of graduates. Springfield College, at this time, had less than fifty students from which to draw. Stagg was the only experienced player on the Springfield College squad and found his team outsized by an average of twenty pounds per man. In a great match, Springfield College showed true courage and pride, but ultimately lost 16-10. The newspapers labeled Stagg’s team the “Stubby Christians,” commending them for the surprise they gave the audience and how they outplayed the giants from New Haven. An All-American Yale player, Stagg brought football to what is now Springfield College and coached the institution’s first team in 1891. After arriving as a graduate student and instructor in 1890, Stagg posted a notice inviting students and faculty to play football for the institution. On an open field overlooking Lake Massasoit, the team would practice and play the less important games, while playing bigger games downtown. The first year ended with a 5-3 record, highlighted by a 26-0 defeat of Amherst. After coaching for fifty-seven years at number of different institutions, Stagg became the dean of college football coaches. Stagg pioneered the huddle, the man in motion, the end-around, and the Statue of Liberty play, among others. During October 2006, the refurbished Benedum Field was renamed the Amos Alonzo Stagg Field. In The Fireside Book of Football, Edwin Pope describes Stagg as “football’s Ben Franklin, Alexander Bell, and Thomas Edison all rolled into one.”. less
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