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DATELINE 1907 – Football Trickery Abounds

in Non-Fiction by

Brian Meehl is the author of Blowback ’07 (MCP Books, November 1, 2016) and this article is the seventh in a new series discussing the radical changes in football from the 1905 to 1907.  No one masterminds trick plays like Pop Warner and the Carlisle Indians. If “there’s no rule against” (to quote Pop), they do it. In their ’07 game against Syracuse, Pop sprang the “many balls trick.” Each of his backs had a football-sized patch sewn on the belly of their jersey, making fake hand-offs impossible to read. (“Who’s got the ball? They all do!) Pop’s most notorious stunt is the “hidden ball trick.” For the 1903 Harvard game, Pop had elastic sewn into the bottom of the jersey…

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