Imagine the Sunday Silence

Imagine the Sunday Silence.  
No concrete and grass Cathedrals.  
No Gladiator grunts, nor skill to avoid collision.  
“The violence, the violence”, a few men shouted, “eighteen dead  
in a year is enough. The Coliseums need to be gone.”  
Imagine the Sunday Silence.  

For most who follow the great American pastime, “Eighteen dead playing the game of football”, seems like a shocking statement. Imagine what Sundays would be like without the National Football League, or Saturdays without the youthful passions of the College game; thanks only to a straight talking tough-as-nails American President this game almost never happened.  
“Nearly every death may be traced to unnecessary roughness”, The Post wrote on October 15, 1905. 
Led by Harvard Yale and Princeton, this great game almost never materialized. The Harvard Dean Charles William Eliot was calling for its’ demise… there was no professional football at the time, only colleges played the sport. Akin to rugby at the turn of the century, the ball was roughly the size of a watermelon, and forward passes were forbidden of course, only short lateral tosses as large scrums of unshackled marauders raced for that ball with ferocious force seemed the point. The stands were barely occupied – baseball was the most valued ticket of this bourgeoning land. An ex-gridiron star, President Teddy Roosevelt called for the introduction of the forward pass and other rule changes as well; using his bully-pulpit like it had never been used before. “The game must be saved”, he bellowed, “it sculpts the body and challenges the mind.”  
On November 1st 1913 it finally happened – a chorus of New York Sportswriters were thankfully present to inform the nation. “The forward pass was a beautiful thing”, the Papers read.  
The wild crowds concurred.  
Notre Dame 35  
Army Cadets 15  
David had defeated Goliath with this remarkable innovation; American heroes were now born.  
There will be no Sunday Silence.