• Creator
  • The Sun
  • Created Date
  • 1890-12-13
  • Publisher
  • The Sun
  • Description
  • This newspaper article ("Football in the Garden") from December 13, 1890 describes the athletics exhibit sponsered by the Staten Island Athletic Club and housed at the recently-opened Madison Square Garden. Twenty-five hundred people attended the football exhibition, which was a match between Springfield College and Yale and the very first indoor football game played. Springfield College's team, known as "Stagg's Eleven," was comprised of W. J... more
    This newspaper article ("Football in the Garden") from December 13, 1890 describes the athletics exhibit sponsered by the Staten Island Athletic Club and housed at the recently-opened Madison Square Garden. Twenty-five hundred people attended the football exhibition, which was a match between Springfield College and Yale and the very first indoor football game played. Springfield College's team, known as "Stagg's Eleven," 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. Yale fielded a team of five varsity players, two substitutes, and a group of Yale 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 contest, Springfield College showed true courage and pride, but ultimately lost 16-10. The newspapers labeled Stagg’s team the “Stubby Christians,” commending the team for the surprise they gave everyone in attendance 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, he 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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