The Birthplace...

Submitted by Hugh White on November 7th, 2018 at 2:20 PM

Here's the most Rutger thing ever:  

Yesterday, was the 149th anniversary of the first ever game of college "football", and Rutger announced a year of commemoration, celebration, events, a new celebration-logo, etc.  The year-long celebration will culminate in... wait for it... no football.  Rutger has a bye week a year from now.

"[T]he football team is on a bye week on November 9th, the weekend the anniversary is being celebrated across college football. While Princeton is playing Dartmouth at Yankee Stadium to celebrate, it remains to be seen how Rutgers actively commemorates the event of the first football game. The programs are certainly in different stages at this point in their respective history. Princeton is 8-0 this season and ranked 11th in FCS, while Rutgers is 1-8 and on the brink of one of their worst seasons ever."






November 7th, 2018 at 2:23 PM ^

Whether they have a game or the bye week scheduled, it’s the same result, Rutger will still not be playing football. 

BTW- I’ll take the bye and lay the points for that week. 


November 7th, 2018 at 2:25 PM ^

Nah. The most Rutger thing ever would be to schedule Alabama that day, start some weird beef a couple weeks before the game, invite 1000+ top recruits plus the national media, and bribe ESPN to show it on primetime. 

Also, have some teddy bears and magnets left on the field that have to be cleaned up before kickoff. 

THAT would be peak Rutger 


November 7th, 2018 at 3:23 PM ^

I actually think this would be the smartest way to commemorate the 150th anniversary and I'm disappointed it didn't happen. I'm sure there are some good reasons and probably more stupid reasons it didn't. But it should've.

Also if I remember right, Rutger won that first game in 1869, and then didn't beat Princeton again until the Great Depression.

Yost Ghost

November 8th, 2018 at 10:59 AM ^

You know, I always felt like Rutgers' claim to be the birthplace of college football was misplaced. When Rutgers played Princeton on 11/06/1869 they were playing "mob football" under FA rules with 25 men per side and no throwing or carrying was allowed, only kicking. That game was nothing close to what we consider football today, it was more like FIFA.

So I did some digging and what I found out is that what we consider football today really started in 1880. That's the year Walter Camp's rule changes of a line of scrimmage, 11 players per side and a center to quarterback exchange were adopted at the Massasoit Convention. Those simple changes transformed the game from a soccer/rugby hybrid into what we recognize as American football today. Of course many more rule changes came after that year from Camp and others that helped to refine the game into what we recognize today but the process really all started there. 

From there I searched to see who played the first game in the year the new rule changes were implemented. My thought being, that first game using the new rules would truly be when American Football started. To my surprise it wasn't a game between Harvard, Yale or Princeton but Rutgers and Stevens Institute of Technology (The Ducks) on 10/09/1880 in New Brunswick, NJ. Rutgers won 5-1 on their way to a 2-2 season. 

So there you have it. Either way you want to look at it the first game did indeed happen at Rutgers University.