False and Extremely Unwise Tradition
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Graduate Finds Cause for Fear in Advertisement of Erroneous “Sacred Old Football Tradition.”

To the Editor of the Princetonian:

Sir:—I see that the fact of a lineman being elected Football Captain is still being sent out to the papers as a “sacred old tradition.” As the present writer pointed out in the Alumni Weekly last winter, there is no such tradition—Ralph Gilroy was Captain-elect in 1922—and the report serves merely to fill two lines of space for unimaginative Press Club members each year. The point is that I believe it directly responsi­ble for the fact that no first class backs have entered Princeton for four years; where Roper used to make tackles out of extra halfbacks he is now compelled to make fullbacks out of guards and quarterbacks out of air. If anyone believes that rival colleges don’t make full use of this alleged discrimination in winning over prospective triple threats, he is simply an innocent; for American boys have a pretty highly developed desire for glory.

It will take five years to kill this rumor, but the Athletic Association has obviously done nothing—and no matter what steps are taken now we can scarcely expect any more Slagles, Miles, Wittmers and Caulkins until 1940.

Paris, January 24, 1930.

Published in The Daily Princetonian newspaper (February 27, 1930, p. 2). Attributed to Fitzgerald on the basis of a clipping in his scrapbooks.

Not illustrated.