Sis-Boom-Bah (First football game, 1869)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Mon Jul 23 23:23:31 UTC 2001

   An ADS-L posting on April 15, 1998 (my name is left off; the old archives are a mess) cited THE PRINCETONIAN of June 10, 1881.  "Sis-boom-bah" was mentioned as the original college cheer.
   I'm going through the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE again.  From 10 September 1938, pg. 10, col. 6:

_H. D. Boughner_
_Dies; in 1st U.S._
_Football Match_ (OED has 1881--ed.)
Was "Captain of Enemy's
   Goal" on Princeton Team
   of 25 That Lost, 6-4, to
   Rutgers Squad in 1869
   Boughner played a position called "captain of the enemy's goal" in the game with Rutgers on November 6, 1869.
   _"Captain of Enemy's Goal"_
   As "captain of the enemy's goal," Mr. Boughner, who was graduated from Princeton in 1871, played a position that has no counterpart in modern football.  The game in those days was a blend of rugby and soccer and was played with twenty-five men on a side.  Each team had two "captains of the enemy's goal" who played immediately in front of their opponent's goal.
   The other twenty-three men on each team were divided into two sections, "fielders" who guarded specific areas of the field and "bulldogs" who worked the ball up and down the field.  Goals, which were scored by kicking the ball between the goal posts, counted but one point each and six points constituted a victory.
   Rutgers won the epochal first, 6-4, at New Brunswick.  Princeton won a return match the same season, 8-0.  The first game was played on the Commons in New Brunswick between College Avenue and Sicard Street.
   Princeton's fifty supporters introduced organized cheering at the game and used the "rocket" cheer which is still in the Tigers' repertoire.  Combatants and camp followers adjourned to a local inn after the game and celebrated the occasion with a dinner.

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