Thursday, July 25, 2019

Section 19, Row 17, Seat 33

TigerBlog would like to say "thank you" to the person who left the old Princeton football ticket on his desk, though he has no idea who it was.

Whoever put it there either 1) knew TB would really like it or 2) was just trying to get rid of it. Either way, TB is glad he has it.

The ticket is from the 1930 Princeton-Yale game. How much did it cost?


Here, see for yourself:

The first thing TB did, of course, was to look up how much $5 in 1930 would be today. The answer is $73.

Fast forwarding to 2019, you can buy season tickets for Princeton's five home games for way less than $73. Not $73 per game. No, way less than $73 for the entire five-game season package.

In fact, if you're interested, season tickets cost $55 for the general public and $40 for faculty and staff or children 12 and under. You can buy them HERE.

The ticket from 1930 took TB down a lot of different paths.

First, who set the prices in 1930, and how did they come up with $5? What did other tickets cost back then? Was $5 a lot?

TB also wishes he had a way of looking up what the attendance was that day. And what does the "Group 11" on the ticket mean? Or is that "Group II?"

Beyond that, there was the actual football part.

The 1930 Princeton-Yale game was the last that season. Yale would win 10-7, ending a 1-5-1 year for the Tigers.

There are two fairly interesting facts that TB figured out from that game.

First, the seven points that Princeton scored brought the entire season total to 46 points. The 2018 Princeton Tigers averaged 47 per game.

Princeton's lone win in 1930, by the way, was in the season-opener against Amherst, a 23-0 victory. It was the only game that year in which Princeton reached double figures, and in fact those 23 points were exactly half of the total number the team would score all season.

The other thing about that 1930 game is that it was the final one at Princeton for head coach Bill Roper.

His full name, by the way, was William Winston Roper. TB knows this because the award for the top senior male athlete at Princeton is the William Winston Roper Trophy, and it's been awarded every year since 1936, or three years after Roper's death at the age of 53.

Roper had an interesting tenure at Princeton, or is that three tenures?

Roper, a member of the Princeton Class of 1902, became the head basketball coach at Princeton immediately after graduation before leaving to be the head coach in football at VMI. After two years there, he became the head football coach at Princeton in 1906.

That year, 1906, was as big a year as college football has ever had. It was in 1906 that then-President Theodore Roosevelt brought representatives of the major football powers of the day to the White House because of how dangerous the sport had become, with terrible injuries and even deaths during games somewhat routine prior to that.

It was out of that first meeting that the rules were changed and the NCAA was born. In fact, for years before the organization moved to Indianapolis, the last four numbers of the NCAA's phone number were "1906."

Roper would coach Princeton from 1906-08 before spending a year as the head coach at Missouri. Then he came back to Princeton for two more years - coaching Hobey Baker and the rest of the team to the national championship in 1911, one of four he'd win at Princeton - before coaching football at Swarthmore in 1915 and 1916.

In 1912 he left coaching when President Woodrow Wilson, also a Princeton grad, appointed him to the position of appraiser at the Port of Philadelphia. At least that's what his Wikipedia page says. 

Anyway, he came back to Princeton in 1919 and stayed through the end of 1930.

Even with the loss to Yale, Roper still won 89 games as Princeton's head coach, which to this day is the most of any of the 22 head football coaches the program has had. Roper was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951.

Just think, TB got all that from an old football ticket.

And he doesn't even know who was responsible for it.

Whoever you are, thanks.

1 comment:

Steven J. Feldman '68 said...

According to the November 17, 1930 Daily Princetonian article about the game, 60,000 people attended the game. The capacity of Palmer Stadium was close to 50,000 so I am not sure how 60,000 people attended or how the newspaper decided on the 60,000 figure, but the game must have been a complete sellout.