Anonymous ‘17
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The second of the alumni contributions is written by a man who prefers that his name not be mentioned (The editors are privileged to say that this sporting information is given by a member of the team named above. There is no prize for solution, but the editors, who have read “This Side of Paradise”, can make a guess.) inasmuch as he is revealing the secrets of the 1917 team. It is in the author’s words “an account of activities of 1916-17” and may be taken as the general prologue to this history.

The 1916-17 team was perhaps the strongest in Princeton history with an undefeated record of six issues and no suppressions. At quarterback Edmund B. Wilson using an open style of play used notable headwork in his mingling of straight stuff and trick plays. At fullback John Peale Bishop starred. Already represented in the Century he could always be counted on to pick up a few meters. F. Scott Fitzgerald was perhaps the fastest of the halfbacks though there have been faster ones since. His mate John Biggs Jr. plunged brilliantly close to center in a way that prophesied his legal success. Charlie Bailey alternated with him at the position.

At one end we had Hamilton Fish Armstrong, later an Ail-American Book-of-the-Month man. At the other was Townsend Martin whose later life as a playrite was featured by his connection with “A Most Immoral Lady.” Herbert Agar, the critics’ choice as American Pulitzer Prize winner, Alexander McKaig, later producer of “The Racket”, and Elliot Springs, the War Bird, turned out for the tackle posts, while at guard the poets Hardwick Nevin, Henry Chapin, and Harry Keller could be depended upon to plug up any holes in the line. Stephen Benet’s team at Yale was easily snowed under, though the charges of professionalism against the Tigers were easily proved a few years later. Needless to say the above account is not typical of the style employed, which is why the sports writer remains anonymous.

Published in The Nassau Lit magazine (XCV, June 1937, p. 9).

Not illustrated.