The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 24, 1909, Image 1
my wwywiwi m i.y mi wWhqfc. i'wmgijyw "J '' 0. THE DAILY NEBRASKAN NEBRASKA'S TWO ATHLETIC FIELDS ,"'"WMIT 1""1"' In the hiBtory of athletics In the University of Nebraska there have been but two athletic fields: the pres ent field and the old Nebraska field, which was located on the part of the campuB now covered by the mechani cal engineering laboratories. The last remainder of this old field was destroyed only a few weeks ago, when that portion of the old grand stand which was located on the west sido of the original athletic field was torn down. For tho past year this undestroyed portion of tho grand stand has been left standing in its original position. It there served the double purpose of romlnding tho freshmen of tho once famous Nebraska field, and of bringing back to tho mind of the visit ing alumnus the scenes of his college days when ho sat huddled in his over coat on a bleak and chilly Thanks giving day waiting to bo aroused from his comfort by some sensational de velopment f6r tho betterment of tho Scarlet and Cream team battling be foro his eyes to uphold tho honfcr and reputation of the dear old U. of N. First Used for Drill. Tho old Nebraska field which lay at the northwest corner of tho univer sity campus over since tho first days of athletics in the university was not always an athletic field. Wlhen tho course in military science was estab- very long a now lino of activities in the athletic department began to slow ly develop. This was football. Tho sport hnd becomo to bo one of the dominant parts of athletics in tho ma jority of tho western colleges nnd uni versities and It was only a matter of time until it would bo tho dominant sport of tho University of Nebraska. Time passed Blowly for tho mombors of the rooting body of tho students bo- "oro tho .team that represented the Scarlet and Cream began to make' Its mark as a factor in wostorn football. The cand'datcs for positions on tho early football teams of tho university were handicapped to a large extent as they hnd no good place to play. The only placo that was In a suitable condition for them to prnctico on was tho old drill ground and baseball lot. But In using this placo ns an athletic field tho coaches and players woro again handicapped. The field was cov ered with a growth of trees on tho north Fide and It was necessary for these to bo removed boforo tho field would be largo enough for tho team to hold games or oven have a largo enough gridiron for practice. The members of tho team decided that these trees must bo removed and hero they mot another obstacle. This was In tho shape of the university au thorities. The authorities of the Bchool Tho confusion of tho studonts can be easily Imagined and their haBto to Increaso tho distance botweon thorn selves nnd tho campus was ludlcrlous. Owing to theso attompts of tho stu dents in this way and othors tho of fending trees woro gradually romoved and tho Nebraska field was a suroty Bleachers Next. After the field had boon cleared there was another difficulty which arose. TIiIb obstaclo was tho nocd of tho equipment of tho athletic flold with MeachorB and a grandstand. When games woro played on tho home field tho crowds would lino up along tho sido HncB and when tho play was at tho end 6f tho gridiron tho peoplo would fill In tho opposlto end of tho field and when a punt was mado undor such circumstances tho crowd would bo sent scurrying to tho side linos again to bo out of tho way of the players and tho ball. This difficulty became so serious with tho Increaso- of interost In football that It was neces sary for tho management to provido somo sort of scats for tho spectators Bloachers woro accordingly built on tho east sido of tho field. Lator tho grandstand was built, but only In por tions as the- Increaso in tho nttondancc necessitated Kb oroctlon. Tho first big outsldo game which was played on tho homo field was the gamo with Minno- history of univorslty jithlotlcs aB tho most flercoly contostod battloB ovor fought by tho wearorB of tho Scarlot and Cronm. Again tho needs of tho univorslty for more room woro soon and again tho nthlotlc flold had to pay tho ponal ty of tho growing need for moro room. This tlmo, In tho Bprlng of 1D08, whon tho plans for tho mechanical onglnoor lug laboratories woro complotod, it was decided to locato tho now building on tho romaindor of Nobraska Flold. This plan loft tho university without an nthlotlc flold of any Bort. PlanB of nil tort woro coiiBidorod and It was finally decided by tho athletic board that tho action of tho noxt legislature In rogard to tho appropriations for tho univorslty would Bottlo tho mnttor of a now nthlotlc flold for tho univorslty. While tho notion of tho legislature was awaited the mombors of tho foot ball squad woro without a placo to practice. Arrangements woro mndo with tho WoBtorn Loaguo officials of Lincoln to uso tho baseball park for tho fall of 1908. Horo tho mombors of tho football squad woro forced to prac- tlco daily thoroby spondlng much valu ablo tlmo riding to and from tho park on tho slrcot cars. Tho valuo of tho tlmo Bpont in tills way nnd tho othor dlendvantagcB was soon real ized and oxtrn offorts woro mado to Tho loss of tho old Nobraska Flold has had an offoct on tho university, that will long bo romomborcd. Thot gront financial loss by having no ath letic flold has boon ono sevoro lesson to tho university nthlotlc management, and another offect has beon tho lack of real student spirit folt to a high do greo whon tho flold near tho Antolopb was usod. Tho mombors of tho Btu dent body found it difficult and ox ponBivo to attond tho games whon thoy were plnyod at such a dlstanco from tho university. TIiub tho pooplo who attondod theso gamoB woro not tho ones who rooted, tho attondanco Do ing, ns a rule mado up to a groat do greo of Lincoln citizens. Tho lack of offectlvo rooting was felt by tho membors of tho toams both In basobalf nnd football, and. to win games theso teams must fool that tho Btudont body. Is back of thorn holding thorn up and giving thorn tho proper support. Though tho first Nobraska Field hatf passod Into history thoro still remains tho many romombrancos of tho days whon tho boyB plowod up tho Minneso ta or Kansas linos and carried tho ball, across their lines for touchdowns'.' Porhnps tho most memorial gamo thai' was ovor played on tho old flold was, tho gnmo in tho fall of 1007 whon tho Ames Aggies camo to Lincoln fully confldont that thoy had tho Corn jf jf Jf Jft Jfa jf jf jf flb Jf Jf jf jf jf r'mtimkfBLuL MSBH L--W teLmmmmmmwmm ' "M zjLmmmmmmmmmmm'mmmmmmmmmmmm -:Lmmmmmmmm LmmmmmmmmmW.1LmmmWLmmwkmmmmmwLmmmmmmmmmml 'A iM HIaP 'W-rmLmWLmW:i m H- Wvmmmmmm :WLW-M' CORNHUSKER LINE-UP, J909 I rtKrjifSlr fcipip Hshed in tho university this northwest corner was tho most convenient ono for tho cadets to use as a drill ground. Long before the days of tho "pig skin" and tho "horsohido" tho tramp, tramp of tho cadets was heard on tho ground which was to become tho historic bat tlefield of tho Scarlot and Cream. Many and many times have Injuries to tho football men beon caused by tho hardness of tho flold, which was orig inally packod by tho feet of tho cadots as they marched back and forth on tho old drill ground. But this portion of tho campus was not to remain a drill ground. With tho Inauguration of athletics In tho univorslty a sultablo placo for practice must bo found. BnBOball was tho first real branch of athletics which was taken up as a part of of tho outdoor sports of tho school. To develop a team of first class quality a placo to practice waB necessary. There being only ono suitable placo on tho campus for this purpose, thq vacant part at tho northwest corner was chosen. Thus thoro arose a rivalry between tho possessors of this lot as to tho right of ownership tho cadots or tho baseball men. This difficulty was fin ally solved and tho baseball men wero allowed to uso tho field at all hours that tho members of tho cadet battal ion, wero not engaged In their dally drill. Football Begins. Boforo baseball had beon In voguo and several of tho faculty mombors be lieved that the beauty of the trees and their use as an added attractiveness to tho university was too great to sacrifice for tho good of an increased athletic field. But by diverse means tho trees wore romoved, tho field leveled off, and tho university was then oqulpped with a full sized grid Iron and athletic flold. Means of Removing Trees. Various plans woro used to remove these trees off tho gridiron by tho supporters of tho team. Tho favorlto method used by tho studonts was to Bncak up on tho campus, evade tho night-watchman and quietly saw a tree down and then drag it off tho campus, rejoicing that ono moro stop had beon taken In tho development of a grid Iron. Qno night tradition tolls that sever al of tho members of tho "gridiron enlarging society" camo up to tho campus and sneaked to the tree cov ered part of tho gridiron. Qulotly they began to saw down ono of tho most beautiful of tho tres. Tho night watchman was lying on ono ot, tho benches near by and observed tho boys as thoy began their depredations on tho offending trees. Being a friend of tljo students and not -wishing to ar rest them tho watchmen turned over and said: "Faith, byes, Ol'm goln' to wake up In about folve minutes, and suro you'd bettor not be horo." sota in 1000. Many games had of course been played on Nebraska Field, but none of which aroused tho Inter est of football enthusiasts as did tho gamo with tho Gophers In that year. Tho seat salo was enormous and It was seen by tho management that thoro was enough seats to only accom modate a respectable majority of thoso who would attond tho gamo. Accord ingly a largo number of shingles woro ordered from ono of tho local lumber yards and there wero piled on tho ground In a largo pile arranged with the bundles of shingles forming stops so that a fairly respectablo ampl-tho-ater was thus formed. On this tho largo crowd was given seats as far as possible. Field Cut Down. Tho good athletic field which tho university now possessed was not long to bo a reality. Tho need of thq uni versity for a physics laboratory was folt to bo moro needed than an ath letic field, for when tho plans for tho new Braco laboratory wero completed It was learned that it would bo located on the southern end of tho athletic field. The pleadings of tho students were In vain and tho new building was constructed there Binco thero was no other location for It on" tho campus. This cut down tho extent of Nobraska Field to a considerable degree, but It did not destroy the gridiron and a number of tho games played on this shortened field have gone down In tho influonco tho mombors of tho legisla ture to do all thoy could to provido funds for tho purchaso of ground near tho university. Whon tho appropriations for the uni versity woro mado enough money was provided to eaablo tho regents to start condemnation proceedings and tho block Just north of tho old Nobraska Flold was purchased. Lator tho two lots of tho adjoining block to tho oast woro condemned and purchased by Lincoln citizens who hold them in trust subject to salo to tho university. A great doal of tlmo was spont this sum mer in moving and razing tho build ings on this property and finally tho land was cleared and tho spaco for tho now athletic flold was clear. Immediately after tho buildings had been moved off tho location of tho now flold, tho work of filling In tho old col lars and other holes on the ground and levelling pff tho surface was com menced. This work having been com pleted, tho noxt problem was for tho erection of grandstands and bleachers. The plans for tho erection of a gate way and other buildings wero drawn and theso woro accoptod by' tho mem bers of the athletic board. The plan then was to have tho field completed JWSQ first gamo on October 23, of thlaiyear. On this dato tho Cornhusk ers met tho boavy-Hawkoyo team and held them to a 6 to 6 score and tho his tory of tho Wttlos on the now Nebras ka Field had commenced. huskora boaton boforo tho gamo start ed. This gamo Is ono that will long bo romomborcd. With weather con ditions Ideal for a fast gamo tho two teams met. Back nnd forth thoy fought until Ames scored a touchdown. but failed to kick coal. NnhrnnVn was shortly aided by an Ames player making a fatal mistake and placing tho ball bohlnd his own goal lino for a safety which gave tho Cornhuskors two points. Amos retaliated for this mlstako by scoring a field goal and making tho score 9 to 2. Tho fierceness with which tho No braska men camo back at tho Aggies can novor bo forgotten. Tho reliable too of Captain John W-ellor soon sent ' tho oval across tho bar for four moro points for Nobraska, making It 9 to 6 for tho Agglos. Still tho fight contin ued and back and forth tho teams worked until thero woro only a few moro minutes to play and tho Nebras ka men lined up for a place kick. Tho angle was a difficult ono to make and every spectator held his breath. Thei ball was snapped and -when the sure too of the reliable Captain John hit the? pig skin It sailed ovor tho bar for tba needed four points to win. l I The old field and Its ' memories ar now history and the student oily as a whole are waiting for tho answer; that Nebraska and hor football team will make on the New Nobraska Field the list of victories' to bo won and fee standards to be maintained. ' ! . ;n.rVlv'Ws . yij&J2tlalmJi&-'itm&ileJiimiriiTAL $imt, fc -v v-ft iiMht -, ii a.. .M:'iA!&iUu&tiii.-.k' i .3uxJWiw:&.AiA.