College football in the early days was a very rough game...

...even though the players were Leprechaun-sized.  Because of the many deaths and serious injuries, the Roosevelt Commission of 1905 made a lot of rules changes, opening up the game and reducing the violence.  For example, the “Flying Wedge” was outlawed and the forward pass was legalized.

Here’s a poem which illustrates the roughness of the game, in 1893:

No, it was not the railway wreck

That made him blind and lame;

He lost his eyes, his leg and nose

In a college football game.

“The Cleveland Press”

Other news