Sunday, November 16, 2014
The Big Scrum
The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football details an important time in football history.
Miller describes how Theodore Roosevelt grew up as a sickly child, but one who would do anything to overcome his ailments. Thus, he became a solid athlete and sports enthusiast, though he never really played football.
At Harvard, Teddy was a fan of the game, which looked quite a bit different than it does today. The sport resembled a more violent version of rugby. No equipment was worn, and the ball only moved forward in kicks. As the sport grew in popularity, so did the number of injuries and deaths of its players. This caused great concern among many people. One such person was Harvard president Charles Eliot, who wanted to outright ban football. He was not alone. Many schools banned the sport.
If you read The Big Scrum, you'll find out how Teddy was able to gain support for football and eventually help transition it into the game it is today.