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blowback trilogy. teddy roosevelt

DATELINE 1905: Why Did Teddy Roosevelt want Football to be Banned?

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Brian Meehl is the author of Blowback ’07 (MCP Books, November 1, 2016) and this article is the first in a new series discussing the radical changes in football from the 1905 to 1907.  If you think football is dangerous today, take a look at the early 1900s. In 1903, 25 players died from football injuries. The 1905 season claimed 18 lives. Perhaps the most pivotal injury was a Harvard player, Teddy Roosevelt Jr. getting his face staved in. His dad, President Teddy Roosevelt, threatened to abolish football for its “brutality and foul play.” Why was the game so brutal and foul? Because of its origins. The first “rush” was Yale sophomores against Yale freshmen in a rite of passage called “Bloody…

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