July 16, 2011

The Effigies of Madison, Wisconsin — 1906 version.

An emailer writes:
I just finished John J. Miller’s “The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football” which describes how intercollegiate football almost became banned 100 years ago. Reading in your blog about the double standard regarding effigies in the latest Madison demonstrations, I thought you might enjoy this excerpt from Miller’s book (p. 211). The year was 1906.

“At the University of Wisconsin, frontier historian Frederick Jackson Turner railed against football, calling for its prohibition or at least its suspension, and tried to mobilize administrators and professors against it. On the night of March 27, when a rumor hit campus that football would be banned, hundreds of students took to the streets, chanting “Death to the faculty!” They surrounded Turner’s home. The professor faced them on his porch. “When can we have football?” shouted a student. “When you can have a clean game,” he yelled back. Turner tried to engage the young men, but they replied with catcalls. Later in the evening, they built a bonfire. The fire department showed up as the mob tried to burn three professors in effigy. The firefighters managed to save the last one. It was labeled 'Prof. Turner.'”
Fascinating! Pro-football protests! These effigies were burned, not hung. We've been debating about whether the Prosser effigy was actually hung, since it is sitting down. Obviously, there are many ways to torment an effigy. There is hanging. Burning. And, as commenter EDH said:
The garrote, a specific form of execution, is often performed seated.
The garrote, unlike a proper hanging, kills by suffocation, so it is, in fact, much closer to the choking accusation leveled by Justice Prosser's character assassins.

But enough about effigies. Let's go back to the history of football. Here's Nick Gillespie of Reason Magazine interviewing John J. Miller about "The Big Scrum." A very substantive interview with crisp, quick speaking, so... worth clicking.

42 comments:

Trooper York said...

It is a well known fact that Bart Starr would sit around and choke the chicken before every big game.

Trooper York said...

Paul Hornung once sat out an entire season because he was caught betting on cock fights. He sat around choking the chicken as well.

He was famous for sitting while he did so.

Trooper York said...

Hornung of course means jerk-off in Norwegian.

ndspinelli said...

Good piece. Ironically, the forward pass that was implemented to help thwart the violence is now where the most violence occurs. HBO did a piece and some players think that if you do away w/ face mask that will help lower the vicious hits. If you have to stick your face into a player you will think twice.

ndspinelli said...

Trooper needs tweezers to choke his chicken.

edutcher said...

Professor Turner sounds as if he had the kind of grit characterized by the people about whom, indirectly, he wrote.

Shouting Thomas said...

I can barely stand Reason magazine. The motherfuckers think they're paragons of reason. (They also seem to think that this is an entirely virtuous thing, which is another issue.)

What could be more annoying and pretentious?

Interesting that Trooper brings up Hornung. Hornung got canned for saying the obvious as broadcaster for Notre Dame...

Hornung complained about Notre Dame's academic standards, which were making it difficult to recruit black players. Notre Dame's competitors didn't pay much attention to academic standards.

Hornung was canned for telling the truth. Notre Dame couldn't compete unless it lowered its academic standards.

So, after Hornung was canned, Notre Dame did just that under Lou Holtz and won a national championship.

The dilemma of college football, which Reason and Miller managed to avoid remains the same. At the major college programs, 80% or more of the starters are blacks who really don't qualify academically to be in college.

Let the accusations of racism begin!

FedkaTheConvict said...

80% or more of the starters are blacks who really don't qualify academically to be in college.

Does that mean that the 20 or so percent white players "qualify academically?"

Shouting Thomas said...

Here's a really radical proposal which would change the shape of athletics at every level.

Stop giving blacks a free ride when it comes to academics. Don't let them play unless they perform in class. This is what is expected of white guys. Why not demand the same from blacks?

My alma mater, the University of Illinois, just went through a tawdry melodrama by recruiting Jereme Richmond for its basketball program. Richmond signed a letter of intent to attend the U of I when he was still an eighth grader. At that time, he was looked upon as the next Lebron James.

I suggest you take a look at the saga of Richmond. He never did the academic work in grade school or high school. God alone knows how he actually got a high school degree.

Richmond lasted one year at Illinois, where he was a thorn in the side of the university. He did no academic work. He was a demanding, sulking bastard. And, he announced at the end of his Freshman year that he was going to the NBA.

Fortunately, for the law of karma, the dunce didn't get drafted.

Richmond, who is black, is the classic example of the black athlete who never faces the demand to perform even on the most minimal academic level.

Maybe it would make more sense to stop allowing that, rather than to spin off college athletic programs into semi-pro farm teams.

Shouting Thomas said...

Does that mean that the 20 or so percent white players "qualify academically?"

Most likely, yes.

FedkaTheConvict said...

Most likely, yes.

You have got to be kidding.

FedkaTheConvict said...

Of course all the white linebackers at Ohio State became brain surgeons after their playing careers were over.

How Ohio State kept linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer eligible

Shouting Thomas said...

You have got to be kidding.

No, I'm not kidding.

Blacks as a group have a lower IQ than whites.

About 15-20 points on average.

So, yes, whites are far more likely to qualify academically. And, white boys are expected to perform academically. The school systems don't give them a free ride.

Shouting Thomas said...

Of course all the white linebackers at Ohio State became brain surgeons after their playing careers were over.

Certainly, you can cite individual examples of white players who don't qualify.

Far more likely in the case of blacks.

Ohio State is an instructive case. Their coach, Jim Tressel, was recently fired for fielding a phalanx of black players who he knew were ineligible.

Tressel's demise began with the ugly story of Maurice Clarrett.

Browndog said...

The only hope of saving Wisconsin Football was Rich Rodriguez...

Oh,well.

GO BLUE

FedkaTheConvict said...

So just to be clear here, your take is that every white athlete (the 20 percent of starters you claim) are all performing at the same level as the rest of the student body?

Shouting Thomas said...

So just to be clear here, your take is that every white athlete (the 20 percent of starters you claim) are all performing at the same level as the rest of the student body?

Oh, certainly not.

The Phys Ed. department at the major universities devises a phony set of courses for the football and basketball scholarship players. You barely have to be sentient to pass. All you have to do is show up and try.

Browndog said...

The "W" on Badger helmets stands for "Walker", right?

Qiuck...somebody do something!

I suggest a stylish purple "SEIU"..

Joe Shropshire said...

A small point of order: the word you want is hanged, not hung. If the hangman does a proper job of it, then his quarry is well-hanged, not ... you get the idea.

edutcher said...

Shouting Thomas said...

I can barely stand Reason magazine. The motherfuckers think they're paragons of reason. (They also seem to think that this is an entirely virtuous thing, which is another issue.)

The proprietors of Reason magazine are not paragons of reason. They are paragons of Libertarianism.

How closely that coincides with reason is in the eye of the beholder.

James said...

Too bad we don't play Wisconsin until 2015.

Go Blue.


>>The only hope of saving Wisconsin Football was Rich Rodriguez...

Oh,well.

GO BLUE<<

Fred4Pres said...

Funny. I was watching The Virginian on Netflix and they had an episode with Col. Roosevelt and the Rough Riders (The Virginian goes to fetch two of his cowboys and Teddy managed to talk him into going to Cuba too).

My seven year old watched it a few minutes and said, "Oh that is Col. Roosevelt, he lives at the Museum*."

* from Night at the Museum.

VanderDouchen said...

Balductum. Yankees writing and talking about yankees. Football was saved by Von Gammon's mom. Mr. Gammon played for the great Pop Warner at The University of Geaorgia and died in 1897 after a game.

People can try to re-write hosrtoy, and will succeed with the easily led among us. We in the south have veteran status in understanding real history vs. vicstory.

High school kick off in 35 days.

WV: ovkhow:

Keeping with Trooper York's analysis, ovkhow is norwegion nenglish meaning to milk a bull.

Trooper York said...

That was a great episode. It's funny when you see it because they had so few extras so they had to film it in a condensed form.

If you want your son to get a real good idea about the Rough Riders rent the TV movie Rough Riders with a great performance by that maniac Gary Busey as General Joe Wheeler and Mr. Big as a New York swell. It showed how cowboys and indians and New York Society boys all joined together to kill little brown people to make Cuba safe for Meyer Lansky.

LarsPorsena said...

"...If you want your son to get a real good idea about the Rough Riders rent the TV movie Rough Riders with a great performance by that maniac Gary Busey as General Joe Wheeler.."

Wheeler was well into his dotage in Cuba. He was a brilliant boy-general (Confederate) during the Civil War.
He was supposed to have yelped during as the Spaniards retreated "We've finally got those Yankees on the run!".

Carol_Herman said...

What saved Wisconsin was the railroad.

And, yes. There have always been crazy people at the fringes of politics, and religion. Who thought they could force their radical views on others.

It's just another attempt at Prohibition.

And, if you want to have fun with this subject ... as in FUND-E-MENTAL. Look up Rushdoony. The lunatic who birthed the idea that Jesus wants America to be run along the lines of "old fashioned" killer religion. Where you'd stone gays. Catholics. Etc.

It doesn't sell.

But there's always somebody you're gonna find that will take on the establishment.

Before women voted. And, then, again, "afta."

When I was young, and the JETS, were called THE TITANS. You'd go to a game. And, there was an ambulance parked on the field.

They expected injuries.

Just as they do in hockey. Where the ice turns red ... because men can use a hockey stick to push a puck. And, to use to hit an opponent.

The Greeks did this. But when they played all their players were nude.

Old Dad said...

For the record, I am for football, for effigies, and, as one's tastes directs, effigy torture.

I can get behind effigy hanging, burning, garroting, waterboarding, buggering, beheading, thumbscrewing, noogeying, nipple twisitng, ball shocking, etc. However, forcing effigies to listen to Obama speeches is one bridge too far.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Funny,a number of years ago an old timer (a retired history professor) told me over a beer at State Street Brats (the old Brathaus)that Fredrick Turner's objection to football had nothing to do with injuries, but was because he saw it as undercutting America's hard-won frontier individuality. His solution, for which he never got credit, was the forward pass. The forward pass, he thought, would restore individuality to the game. But when his proposal fell on deaf ears, he began his campaign against the game.

So sayeth "the old timer".

edutcher said...

OT: Something new? Or new for Blogger?

AJ Lynch said...

Quite a contast when you compare the student protests to save a great American sport 100 years ago vs. the student protests this year to preserve the well paid, cushy jobs of govt union workers.

AJ Lynch said...

And ST:

You are an idiot and out of bounds when you can steer this story into your crazy ideas that black college athletes are dumber than white ones.

Beta Rube said...

It's sad to see one of my favorite commentators slip into sad Packer stalking.

Understandable for a Jets/Giants fan, but one does hope for better.

I wonder what "Plaxico" means in its root language.

Ann Althouse said...

"OT: Something new? Or new for Blogger?"

You mean the placement of the comments box? No, it's old but I had to turn it off before. There was some problem. I can't remember what the problem was now though, so I'm trying it again. We'll see what happens. If you encounter trouble, let me know. I think it looks a lot better!

Ann Althouse said...

"The "W" on Badger helmets stands for "Walker", right?"

I remember back in 2004 when John Kerry brought his ill-fated campaign to Madison. His people had some signs with a "W" with a slash mark through it.

He pronounced "brat" wrong too.

Ann Althouse said...

I suddenly remembered what the old problem was: It didn't work after 200 comments.

Let me check and see if that's still happening.

Ann Althouse said...

I think it works now! Cool.

James said...

Kerry also called Lambeau Field, Lambert Field.

Trooper York said...

That was the whole point of Gary Busey playing Joe Wheeler. Acting like a senile lunatic is right in his wheelhouse.

Trooper York said...

Who is stalking the Packers?

I just wanted to give you guys some unreported facts about the most overrated franchise in sports.

Beta Rube said...

When those of us who bleed green and gold are sitting on top of the NFL universe, we can take those cute comments in stride and with a condescending smile.

I'm feeling so smug and elite I may have to vote for Obama next time around.

rcocean said...

Nick Gillepse is a Mollycoddle. Busey was great in Rough Riders. He'd be a great Bill Clinton.

Maguro said...

Disappointing that Fonzie Gillespie wasn't sporting his trademark leather jacket. He just doesn't seem the same without it.