– [Announcer] Hank’s going
to throw a pass to Jimmy. Come on Jimmy, you’re in the open. Oh well, you’ll have another chance. – Imagine football without passing. Sure, for some fans out there,
that might not be too hard. But in the early 1900s,
it was almost impossible to imagine football with passing. Prior to the establishment of the NFL, football was a college game
with few safety measures. Players protected their heads
with leather jock straps, and they used the same shoulder pads your mom wore on date night in 1984. As a result, people died. According the the Washington Post, 45 players died between 1900 and 1905. At least 18 of those were in 1905 alone. Injuries were also far more common, including Teddy Roosevelt’s own son, who suffered facial injuries during his freshman year at Harvard. But even so, Roosevelt was quoted saying, “I believe in rough games
and in rough, manly sports. I do not feel any particular sympathy for the person who gets
battered about a good deal so long as it’s not fatal.” Well, it was. And people were calling for change. While some schools pushed for reforms, others were flat-out
dropping football for rugby. With Roosevelt’s own Harvard threatening to drop their program, he decided to act. His goal was to minimize the danger, but not on too ladylike a basis. Because apparently only
women valued their lives, and real men fix broken skulls with gin. The leaders of college
football met with Roosevelt in the White House, and
agreed upon a new set of life-saving rules. The rules went into effect in 1906, and among the changes were
establishing a neutral zone to separate the offense from the defense, changing the necessary
yardage for a first down from five yards to 10, and
legalizing the forward pass. But we’re not talking
about the forward pass you know and love today. There were strict rules put in place to discourage pass attempts,
including a 15-yard penalty for an incompletion, a five-yard penalty for more
than one pass on a series, and any pass that went untouched by the intended receiver, was a turnover. These deterrents were a
big reason the forward pass wasn’t immediately embraced. But also, people just didn’t consider throwing the ball to be real football. Prior to the 1906 season,
St. Louis University hired former Wisconsin Badgers
assistant Eddie Cochems to be their next head coach,
giving him the reins of a team featuring other ex-Badgers,
including offensive end Bradbury Robinson, and
fullback Jack Schneider. Cochems was one of the
few actually excited about the concept of the forward pass. And he decided to take his
team on a retreat to Wisconsin, in order to focus on developing
this new aspect of the game. Luckily for them, Robinson had
learned how to throw a spiral during his time with the Badgers, and had since been developing
his ability to throw it. Then, on September 5th, 1906, St. Louis kicked off their season
against Carroll College, fittingly located in Waukesha, Wisconsin, 60 miles east of the
Badgers’ home in Madison, and 20 miles north of their
retreat location by Lake Beulah. Carroll College was a brick
wall for St. Louis’s offense. So they decided to catch them off-guard, and use their newly acquired air tactic. Bradbury Robinson switched positions with fullback Jack Schneider, then he took the snap
and heaved football’s first pass towards him. It fell incomplete. And without getting a hand on it, St. Louis forfeited possession to Carroll. But later that game, Robinson
and Schneider gave it another go, and connected
on the first touchdown pass. Schneider would later
state, “We were told to run after the snap, and just keep going until we heard the passer
yell hike, or our name. So I ran, and ran, I was about to give up when I heard Robinson call. I turned and caught the
ball a yard or so short of the goal, and went over with it.” St. Louis went on to finish
their season 11 and O, and outscored opponents 407 to 11. They weren’t the only team to
utilize the pass that season. They were, however, the
only ones to embrace it. In reference to the forward pass, the Galveston Daily News printed in 1907, “With the single exception of Cochems, football teachers were
groping in the dark.” Cochems’s vision of the forward pass went largely unadopted by other teams, until Notre Dame’s potent
aerial offense in 1913, a season that included a
shocking win over Army, a game often incorrectly credited as having the first forward pass. Two decades later, passing
rules were finally relaxed, permitting multiple passes in a series, and allowing a team to retain possession if a pass fell incomplete. Today, the game is primarily focused on throwing the football. And protections for the quarterback have allowed them to
continue slinging touchdowns well into their 40s. Which is just great.

Teddy Roosevelt helped institute the forward pass so football players would stop dying so much

100 thoughts on “Teddy Roosevelt helped institute the forward pass so football players would stop dying so much

  • December 15, 2018 at 5:33 pm
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    Jeez You look like Fidel Castro!!!!!!

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  • December 15, 2018 at 5:44 pm
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    Back when the good teams were also good academic institutions.

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  • December 15, 2018 at 5:46 pm
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    ScHnEiDeR!

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  • December 15, 2018 at 5:48 pm
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    0:58 – 1:05

    Football Guy!!

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  • December 15, 2018 at 5:54 pm
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    What about Pop Warner and Carlisle

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  • December 15, 2018 at 5:54 pm
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    Okay, so what's the US army propaganda here?

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  • December 15, 2018 at 5:56 pm
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    WE NEED MORE BEEF 🥩 HISTORY

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  • December 15, 2018 at 5:56 pm
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    This is why people who recommend removing helmets would make the game safer are stupid. Read up on the pre helmet era and how common dying on the field was relative to today.

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  • December 15, 2018 at 6:03 pm
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    That's not where Madison and Lake Beulah are… I'm pissed off.

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  • December 15, 2018 at 6:19 pm
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    Kinda weird how the game was only meant for the blue bloods of America now it’s for anybody

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  • December 15, 2018 at 6:21 pm
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    You could do a whole video on the influence of Teddy Roosevelt on the game!

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  • December 15, 2018 at 6:26 pm
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    No HD = no view from me 😈

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  • December 15, 2018 at 6:37 pm
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    Mike Imhoff is easily top-tier SB Nation cast.

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  • December 15, 2018 at 6:41 pm
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    Imagine SB Nation videos without US Army ads!

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  • December 15, 2018 at 6:45 pm
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    lmao @ the ending outfit change

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  • December 15, 2018 at 6:51 pm
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    In the old days pretty much all of the guys at the Ivy League institutions, and frankly anywhere, were all expected to play sports. Heck, even RFK played football at Harvard.

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  • December 15, 2018 at 7:07 pm
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    I enjoyed this video, but it made me realize how much I miss Pretty Good…

    Reply
  • December 15, 2018 at 7:15 pm
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    The end killed me

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  • December 15, 2018 at 7:39 pm
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    This guy the best presenter from SB Nation
    Also that last last clip was funny af "SCHNIIDERRRR!"

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  • December 15, 2018 at 8:20 pm
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    It’s just rugby

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  • December 15, 2018 at 8:49 pm
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    the map of Wisconsin is wrong of the cities

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  • December 15, 2018 at 9:07 pm
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    I can imagine game without passing . It's called rugby

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  • December 15, 2018 at 9:11 pm
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    Um, nothing about Carlyle Indian School and Pop Warner? Not the story I've heard. https://www.wnycstudios.org/story/football

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  • December 15, 2018 at 9:14 pm
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    This video is fine, but everyone needs to know I went to high school with Matt and he used to not wipe after he shit.

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  • December 15, 2018 at 9:40 pm
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    that ending tho

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  • December 15, 2018 at 9:41 pm
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    Yale coach started the forward pass

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  • December 15, 2018 at 10:20 pm
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    St. Louis: where the forward pass was born in 1906, then perfected in 1999.

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  • December 15, 2018 at 10:27 pm
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    Godammit they're ruining football with all these pussified new passing rules!
    -crotchety aging football fans (1900-present)

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  • December 15, 2018 at 10:34 pm
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    Dude football without passing = Hockey Power Play with no shots on net ( A Canucks Power Play is all passing )

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  • December 15, 2018 at 10:40 pm
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    The Boi ist simply me favorite personality on youtube <3

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  • December 15, 2018 at 10:48 pm
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    That hipster beard is about ten years too late.

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  • December 15, 2018 at 11:04 pm
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    I'm Bradberry Robinson!

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  • December 15, 2018 at 11:20 pm
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    One I actually already knew of. Thanks Drunk History and especially the DOPE Katie Nolan!

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  • December 15, 2018 at 11:57 pm
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    This Amish presenter is a tad boring…zzzzz

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  • December 16, 2018 at 12:01 am
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    Am I high, or did he put Madison on the incorrect spot on the map?

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  • December 16, 2018 at 12:48 am
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    At 2:57 you messed up the City locations. Madison is supposed to be one county further south and so is Waukesha.

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  • December 16, 2018 at 1:09 am
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    Did the new rules reduce deaths quickly or did it take til 1913+ to see appreciable difference in fatality rates?

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  • December 16, 2018 at 2:53 am
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    Wtf, why do you have a US army ad in the video? I'm glad to know you guys are helping out the worlds largest terrorist group, have fun with one less sub!

    Reply
  • December 16, 2018 at 3:19 am
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    The actual first "documented" forward pass took place in the 1895 UGA UNC game, before it was legal. The ref let the play stand because he didn't see the throw, proof refereeing has not improved in over a hundred years

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  • December 16, 2018 at 4:03 am
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    I thought the Carlisle Indian School with their coach Pop Warner was the first to use the forward pass.

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  • December 16, 2018 at 4:04 am
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    Teddy Roosevelt was such a bad ass

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  • December 16, 2018 at 6:36 am
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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1905_Washburn_vs._Fairmount_football_game

    Your statement about it being the first forward pass wasn't correct. Granted that wasn't a regular season game, but it was the first college one with legal (and 5 completed passes.)

    (There are a couple of other comments who suggest there were forward passes that did occur previously, but that weren't legal.)

    Reply
  • December 16, 2018 at 6:37 am
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    The ending 😂

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  • December 16, 2018 at 12:59 pm
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    I was just thinking about the "invention" of the forward pass.
    Edit: The first rules for the forward pass were ridiculous!!!!

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  • December 16, 2018 at 2:12 pm
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    Can't make a video without a potshot at Notre Dame, huh?

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  • December 16, 2018 at 2:27 pm
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    2:36 Saint Louis University is actually in St. Louis CITY, which is that small spot of un-shaded map between the incorrectly-shaded St. Louis COUNTY and the river

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  • December 16, 2018 at 3:00 pm
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    Back when men weren’t pussys

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  • December 16, 2018 at 3:19 pm
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    I live 10 mins away from lake Beulah, never knew this. And Carroll college is now Carroll University filled with a lot of illinois kids.

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  • December 16, 2018 at 3:38 pm
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    Wow. I never knew this.

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  • December 16, 2018 at 3:42 pm
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    Football is the weirdest fucking sport in the world, they should have switched to rugby cause its so much better.

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  • December 16, 2018 at 4:07 pm
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    This is a disproportionately toxic comment section.

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  • December 16, 2018 at 4:14 pm
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    Teddy was a living testosterone

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  • December 16, 2018 at 4:28 pm
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    I didnt know the Amish was aloud to make YouTube videos.

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  • December 16, 2018 at 4:42 pm
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    2018 Denver Broncos don't play with passing .

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  • December 16, 2018 at 4:44 pm
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    It just hurt me to see them put Madison in the wrong county

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  • December 16, 2018 at 5:18 pm
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    Notre Dame was one of the first teams to use passes against their rival Army. Which led Notre Dame to a win

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  • December 16, 2018 at 5:31 pm
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    Without passing the Seahawks would of ran the ball

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  • December 16, 2018 at 5:31 pm
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    And now Slu doesn’t even have football, that’s a shame

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  • December 16, 2018 at 5:46 pm
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    Not hard to imagine at around 75% of HS games. AAAA 3-peat PA State champs 2-for-3 passing in 2018 state championship!

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  • December 16, 2018 at 6:16 pm
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    and of course the Billikens continue to enjoy such football prominence today

    Reply
  • December 16, 2018 at 6:29 pm
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    Well smart pants how do you fix a broken skull

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  • December 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm
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    Imagine your team being in cloves in the most memed play of all time…

    Jets

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  • December 16, 2018 at 8:02 pm
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    You may want to check a map of Wisconsin next time, Madison and Waukesha are in the County south. Just saying as a Madison resident.

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  • December 16, 2018 at 8:58 pm
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    "presented by the us army" … wth?

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  • December 16, 2018 at 9:09 pm
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    Imagine football without Tom Brady! Lol

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  • December 16, 2018 at 9:34 pm
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    horrific acting and production. someone else needs to tell this interesting story.

    Reply
  • December 16, 2018 at 11:11 pm
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    God, is jets fans are depressed

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  • December 16, 2018 at 11:42 pm
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    I would coach a team that never passed (lol)

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  • December 17, 2018 at 12:45 am
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    Yall put Waukesha in the wrong place on your map at 2:59. It's actually in the middle of the county one east and one south

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  • December 17, 2018 at 8:19 am
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    Teddy Roosevelt would be sad if he found out about all the rules we have protecting QBs these days. I also am sad, but no one cares about how I feel half as much as they care about how Teddy feels.

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  • December 17, 2018 at 6:12 pm
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    I like how freely the narrator omits the racial aspect to many of those early football deaths. Most of those guys were minorities who would get beat to death on the field. This is around the same time all those Confederate statues were being put up in the south.

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  • December 17, 2018 at 8:00 pm
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    Jon Bois is better

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  • December 17, 2018 at 9:38 pm
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    Damn representing wisco

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  • December 17, 2018 at 9:38 pm
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    I have a couple of friends going to Carroll university

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  • December 17, 2018 at 9:56 pm
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    For the beef video, do Joakim Noah vs Lebron

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  • December 18, 2018 at 12:05 am
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    You can damn well believe Teddy Roosevelt would have taken that glove off Thanos without spilling his drink.

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  • December 18, 2018 at 3:46 am
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    For rewinder do jeters walk off in his last game

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  • December 18, 2018 at 5:37 am
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    Now I wanna know how the game was played without the offense and defense separated.

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  • December 18, 2018 at 7:57 am
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    Try to imagine what Roosevelt could have accomplished, if he, too, had Twitter.

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  • December 23, 2018 at 9:11 pm
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    “Football without passes” so practically rugby

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  • December 27, 2018 at 7:05 am
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    People should start naming their kids bradberry more often.

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  • December 28, 2018 at 5:29 am
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    As a Wisconsinite, it's really cool how many important football events happened in a state where not a whole lot happens.

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  • December 30, 2018 at 1:37 pm
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    Rugby than?

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  • December 30, 2018 at 1:39 pm
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    Rogers would love this over concussion lawsuit.

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  • December 30, 2018 at 3:54 pm
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    He should have banned the game. No more mass violence, no more mass rapes, no more abused women.

    Lacrosse would have made for a better national sport anyway.

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  • January 12, 2019 at 4:31 pm
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    Hey, Wisconsin

    Reply
  • January 15, 2019 at 4:49 am
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    do the first fantasy league

    Reply
  • February 4, 2019 at 9:15 pm
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    How come rugby (either rugby or league) doesn't need this and is still mostly a running game?

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  • February 10, 2019 at 10:44 pm
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    How about the first play action pass

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  • February 17, 2019 at 8:13 pm
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    It's ironic that so many colleges dropped football in favor of rugby, because rugby is arguably far more dangerous. In fact, many have argued that rugby has some of the most dangerous plays of any contact sport. And the best part? Rugby players don't even wear helmets, which exponentially increases the risk of serious and potentially fatal head injuries.

    Also, Madison is too far north and west on this map. It's located in Dane County, Wisconsin, but on the map appears to be in Columbia or Sauk County.

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  • February 19, 2019 at 7:59 am
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    Teddy ruined football, I like it old school. The NFL should make the forward pass illegal, I want to see players die. Make football great again.

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  • February 24, 2019 at 4:58 am
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    Lol Wisconsin has deep ties to the invention of the forward pass but we still running. Cool

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  • February 27, 2019 at 5:32 am
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    OMG, Madison is shown the map, like 50 miles off. C'mon.

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  • March 25, 2019 at 7:05 pm
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    So, why don't they change the rules again to do something about all the brain damage?

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  • April 16, 2019 at 5:02 pm
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    Damnit, Jimmy!

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  • April 22, 2019 at 3:13 pm
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    Damn it Jimmy all you had to do was catch the ball.

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  • April 26, 2019 at 4:55 am
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    The more you learn about early football the more you realize people back then were some lead-poisoned strychnine-laced cocaine-in-soft-drinks brainded dumbfucks.

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  • May 12, 2019 at 2:21 pm
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    I think the ending on this video was FAS. These are fun videos. Thanks!

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  • May 23, 2019 at 12:22 am
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    Shout out from H-Town to our G-Town Homies!

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  • July 5, 2019 at 7:47 am
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    Fellow Wisonsinite here, props for saying Waukesha right and not like WAH KEE SHAH. Also I think that new rules like this need to be put in place now that we know about CTE, the games been changed before for safety and it can be again.

    Reply

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