The St. Louis Star and Times/December 1, 1912
After First Three Minutes of Play the West Point Boys Never Had a Chance—McReavey Distinguishes Himself—Much Was Expected of Keyes, Famous Army Back.
You taxpayers will doubtless be gratified to hear that you are now 6 points stronger on sea than you are on land in a football way, an increase of 3 points over the last fiscal year.
This advance was demonstrated in fifteen minutes here by future Admiral J. H. Brown of Annapolis. Md., who is just now occupying the inconspicuous position of right guard on your Naval Academy’s eleven after your Army and your Navy had fought all over the several valuable West Philadelphia town lots occupied by Franklin Field without coming to any definite conclusion.
In the closing period of the annual trouble between the defenders of your soil and water goals, future Admiral Brown dropped two explosive shells in the nature of field goals into the Army powder magazine and gave the young salts their third successive victory over the young men who are preparing for careers as bosses of privates.
If you detect a slight tinkle of side arms or the tramp of infantry, or even the wash of the sad sea waves in this report of football progress, remember the martial nature of the scene, which militates against calm.
It was along about four bells of the dog watch that future Admiral Brown went into the conning tower to have a con. For three periods the Navy had repulsed the boarders and also the roomers from the Army, and was doing a little lodging itself from time to time. Brown tried a shot from the 42-yard line at the Army goal, but missed. Then Markoe of the Army was detected sniping future Commodore Rodes of the Navy with a soft-nosed fist, in violation of rules of civilized warfare, and the Army was penalized to such an extent that the ball wound up on the Soldiers’ 25-yard line.
Brown had adjusted his range-finder and personally packed the ball to the Army’s 12-yard line. McReavey tried to assist him, but was halted by Markoe for not having the countersign, and Rodes was driven back by Houston to the Army’s 23-yard line. That satisfied Brown and he fell back and deftly kicked a goal for the first score of the game.
There was evidence of delirium in the American navy. A shower of yellow lemons rained down upon the field from the Annapolis section. The lemons had been carried by the sailors to tone up their vocal organs while engaged in singing their many little ditties. A storm of ochre-colored flags broke over the mass of dark uniforms banked in the north stand. The Army sat in gray, disconsolate silence on the opposite side of the field.
Soon after a lift from the Navy turrets touched Lamphier of the Army as it descended and Gilchrist of the Navy fell on the ball. This was in the general latitude and longitude of the Army’s 30-yard line. On two more plays the Navy was driven back for a loss and Brown was reduced to the extremity of kicking a field goal from the 38-yard line.
Last year and the year before the Navy scuttled the Army by scores of 3 to 0, both on field goals by Dalton Brown, who comes to take the place of Dalton, is 21 years old, 6 feet 2 inches tall, or about the height of a fighting mast, and weighs 206 pounds. He will be a big help to the country when he gets his full growth.
There were 30,000 persons, including army and navy officers, and some representatives of the taxpayers present this afternoon, and the game has all the spectacular sidelights of these annual classes. It was no great shakes as a football game, because the Army had retrograded from the form displayed earlier in the season and the Navy had no great expectations when it first came in. The field was almost as wet and heavy as the bottom of the ocean as a result of recent snows, hails and rains and other incidents of the weather, and this condition was expected to favor the Navy, which is more accustomed to water than the Army. However, it seemed no advantage nor disadvantage to either side.
Army Opens Attack
The Army opened the attack by directing a heavy bombardment against the sentry of Navy’s defense, using Geoffrey Keyes as a field gun.
Early in the first period the soldiers had crushed a hole in the Navy’s armorplate midships, or at least along about the dorsal fin, and the advance guard of the Army was peering through the aperture at the Navy’s 17-yard line.
Keyes was then pushed up with a charge of leg power to try a shot at close quarters. He couldn’t get the range, however, and his drop kick was a sad fizzle.
In the second period a punt from Rodes was blocked by Markoe, who crawled through a porthole on the starboard side of the Navy and knocked the ball down just as it left Rodes’ shoe. Merrill at last got the ball and had a clear course before him, but the Navy threw out grappling hooks and Merrill was compelled to lay down on the Navy’s 10-yard line. A couple of line drives brought nothing to the Army and then a fumble gave the ball to the Navy, and that was the best chance the Army had for a touchdown.
There was every prospect that the game would finish a tie when the fourth period opened. The attack on both sides was quite feeble and friendly. While neither side had any starting offense, then Brown was wheeled up and the pastime was quickly adjusted in favor of the Navy.
Sweet Songs of Sailors
But for future Admiral Brown the only feature of the occasion would have been the singing of the sailors, mentioned heretofore in connection with the lemons. Our government is fortunate in the number of baritones and bassos developed in the rank and file of the Navy today. They will do much to lessen the tedium of lonely vigils in far waters in years to come.
After the game the Navy jubilated on the field. The sailors marched over under the Army goal and tossed their flags over the bar. They did not throw their caps across, as is the custom at other colleges, showing a lively regard for your taxpayers’ money. While this was going on the youngsters representing the Army sat huddled up in their stand, a picture of gray military gloom.
It was great day for a football game, a Sunday school picnic or any other kind of athletic outing. The sun shone with hitherto unpublished brightness, lighting up quite a number of spots in Philadelphia which have long maintained a discreet gloom. This does not include the interior of the City Hall or Postoffice Building, however.
Philadelphia succumbed early to the invasion of the football hosts without firing a shot, depending on her hotel men to take vengeance on the invaders, which same was done forthwith. Soon after sunrise this morning several regiments of spectators known as the Philadelphia Reserves marched into town and threw up a line of trenches along Broad street in the vicinity of the Bellevue Stratford Hotel, which was the bivouac of the innocent bystanders. From this point the “specs” sent out reconnoitering parties well supplied with ammunition in the way of tickets to the game and heavy casualties were reported from the visiting bank rolls.
The downtown section was lavishly decorated with the colors of the contending teams. Businessmen judiciously used both colors, showing impartiality to the salary of the army or the stipend of the navy.
Huge flags hung over every door and the well-known somnolence which is said to be prevalent in this city at most seasons of the year was wholly lacking, save among the waiters and other public servitors.
A Riot of Gold Braid
Uniforms began to appear in the hotel lobbies not long after sun-up, the wearers of which seemed to be just getting up or just going to bed. You can never rightly judge this important matter from a uniform. There were generals and colonels and captains and admirals, commodores, commanders and ensigns in profusion, but nothing below the grade of lieutenant was displayed on any counter.
There was not even a sergeant-at-arms or a corporal of police to be seen anywhere on the premises, while a private would undoubtedly have been given a drumhead court-martial and sentenced to be shot at daybreak had he attempted to insert himself in the scene.
As per advertisement in these columns yesterday morning, there were many diplomats from the general exhibit at Washington, but they seem well behaved and caused the authorities no trouble. Also there were many officials and attachés of the national government, who attracted general sympathy because they are to lose their jobs so soon.
The army and navy crowd is the gayest and most colorful of all the football crowds. There is no other crowd which assembles as a matter of annual habit anywhere in the East that compares with it, for no other crowd can wear so much gold braid without attracting undue attention.
A large part of the crowd were women, thousands of whom wore the gold and blue of the deep sea water boys, and thousands more the black and gray of the army. They all wore yellow chrysanthemums, which was a neutral color on this particular occasion.