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In a letter to the DePauw archivist in 1966, Charles A. Robbins of the class of 1904 described his experiences as a member of the varsity football team:



I began turning out for football .... Football suits were not too elaborate, certainly not like today. The coach gave each man a pair of cleated shoes, stockings, pants with some padding on the front of the legs, and a jersey. For protection he gave us four pieces of canvas, and some cotton padding, and we were expected to sew these on the point of each shoulder and elbow. Not much as compared to the harness of today. We also had a head gear made of padded strips of leather, which of course gave little head protection, nothing like the helmets of today. Some wore shin and nose guards - but believe it or not we played Indiana University, Wabash, Purdue, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Ohio Wesleyan, Illinois and other schools. It is fair to say that we did not win every time, and got some bumps and bruises. One game with Washington University in St. Louis we came back, after winning, with one man with a broken leg, Pat, and another, Albert Reep, knocked silly and had to be cared for for several days before recovery .... Our field was not turfed, and perhaps one Saturday it would turn cold and the water and edges of the holes freeze. We hated to fall on it but naturally did. ... The type of play was entirely different then than now. We depended much on power, a V forming and the ball carrier inside. There was no forward passing then - we did skirt the ends or play off tackle but usually someone pushing behind the carrier. Flying tackling was legal and one player, Parker Wise, was especially good at this although he was not large or heavy, but he would get his man.

Football players were also in strong demand for the annual scraps around the Boulder on Washington's Birthday. Robbins recalled that: it was not uncommon for one class to kidnap some of the bigger men of the other class to keep them out of the fray. In my sophomore year another football player and I were kidnapped and taken to a farm house near Putnamville and locked in an upstairs room. However, we opened a window, opening on a porch roof, slid down the roof and to the ground. We walked to a railway station, caught a train and got back to Greencastle in time to walk into chapel service and to participate in the scrap.

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