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February 10, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(6):372. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460060056012

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A Boston physician has made the charge that the popular game of football is disastrous to grace and symmetrical physical development. He says it develops the external and superficial muscles at the expense of the internal and more important ones, that its positions are abnormal, that except running there is hardly an exercise in the game that calls for normal action, that it develops muscles at the expense of vital force, etc.; in short, that it is altogether bad and tending to physical degeneracy. From the usual slight acquaintance with the game possessed by the average citizen, these criticisms appear a little one-sided. If there is any recreation that seems to call into play every possible bodily movement, football would seem to be the one. It may not be specially conducive to grace, either inward or external; we can not say it is not, but its perils appear to outsiders

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