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November 22, 2010

Case vs. Reserve Thanksgiving Day football game - continued

There were objections by various clergy to holding a football game on Thanksgiving. In 1909 a letter was sent by Frank Du Moulin of Trinity Cathedral objecting to the game, “... this Clericus believes it to be entirely contrary to the purpose and spirit of Thanksgiving Day to occupy the morning hours of that day with any form of organized recreation which however healthful and legitimate in character, makes it difficult for the young people of the city to fulfill the main purpose of the day by ‘attendance at their respective places of worship.’”

In 1910 the Ministerial Associations sent a letter to President Howe of Case requesting that the game be moved to another day. The game subordinated patriotism and religion to a pastime, declared the ministers, “...in this city of ours the football game dominates the whole situation, overshadowing entirely the religious and patriotic aspects of the occasion; and we have the unseemly spectacle of the churches, which the President and Governor ask to carry out the intent of their proclamations, very largely subordinated to the frenzy of a pastime, holding their services, many of them, at all sorts of unnatural and inconvenient hours, with the minds of the people dominated by an alien and relatively trivial interest...”

In fact, the athletic program at both schools stayed afloat because of the gate receipts from the Thanksgiving Day game. It was not financially possible for either school to change the date of the big game.

President Howe responded in 1909, “If we could be sure of six or eight thousand people at every game throughout the season, I presume the receipts would be sufficient to meet all of the necessary expenses for the season; but the attendance is frequently not over a thousand and when our team goes to other colleges which are located in small towns, the receipts are so small that sometimes they do not more than pay the traveling expenses of the men who are obliged to go. For this reason our Athletic Association has always depended upon the receipts of the Thanksgiving Day game...”

Posted by hxy2 at November 22, 2010 02:39 PM

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