By: Bill Kaufman  | 

On the Sidelines: Kaufman Picks ‘Em (Vol. 1, Issue 9)

Scene: Commentator Room.

Time: A few nights before publication.

The newly-furnished press room seemed unusually dull this evening. The muffled sound of the rain “tapping the window with a thousand nervous fingers”, as the poets would say, beat rhythmic accompaniment to the droning gibberish of two of the reporters who were playing rummy in an inconspicuous corner of the room.  

Attempts at writing had long been abandoned — and rather than listen to the varied poises coming from the “sidelines”, I began to dabble with my favorite hobby—computing football averages. This occupation didn’t last very long, for being a gent of a very newsy nature, a brilliant idea struck me—I decided to pick my edition of the All-American football team for 1935. My choice was based, not on observation (Hell, anybody can pick ’em that way) but rather on newspaper records, statistics, and that inate somethingness which puts me above the rest of the crowd of my sport scrivening fraters.

The squad follows: 

End—Milner of Notre Dame. If a pass is in his vicinity, he’ll snare it. Shakespeare to Milner for a winning combination.

Tackle—Rukas of L.S.U. A line busting bronco, if there ever was one. Tackles, smashes and interferes with equal ferocity. 

Guard—Weller of Princeton. 210 pound giant from the coalfields of Wilkes-Barre. Johnny’s strength and spirit helped. Princeton reach the top. 

Center—Jones, Captain of Ohio State. Best roving center in many years. Against Notre Dame he took out three men and then made the tackle. 

Guard—Wilkinson of Minnesota. Most versatile player of year. Performed also as center and in the backfield during the current season.Honor man at school. 

Tackle—Lutz of California. Has more playing minutes to his credit than any other player. Although a linesman, Larry was directly responsible for victories. over Oregon and U.C.L.A. by his blocking of kicks.