Q: Tell me about his interest in the West Point Football.|
SACKTON: The General, by the way, was an expert in football. He understood the
game. When he was a cadet at the turn of the century, he was the Cadet Manager
for the football team. The General himself played baseball but he was the
Cadet Manager for the football team. He had a great interest in football.
When he went to West Point as the Superintendent in the early 1920s, he would
go out and watch football practice every day.
And, at one time he made a suggestion to the football coach, because the
pass was being introduced into football, the forward pass but the eastern teams
didn't use it very much because they were still involved in line masses and
charging, that kind of stuff.But, the General felt that there was some
usefulness for the forward pass. So, he watched the action several days on the
forward pass and they were using it but not very much and the quarterback was
throwing the ball directly to the receiver. And, the General objected. He
talked to the coach and to some of the players and said, you know, we're doing
this thing wrong. What we should do is throw the ball to a point where the
receiver is not located but have the ball and the receiver meet at that point,
at the same time. And, we call that now, leading the receiving. And, they
practiced that and introduced it. So, he did introduce leading the receiver
forward pass at West Point.
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