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January 15, 1956 - Image 1

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Sunday, January 15, 1956 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page One
The Disappointed Football Hero Who Found His Glory In Writing
F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Recorder of his Generation, lived through a career of intense and vir-
tually undying loyalties. His "Football Dream" was one of these loyalties - and even after
the illusion had collapsed, his devotion to the team that represented the dream still remained.
-Daly-John Ilri
Crisler Listened to Him Unload His Soul
At All Hours of The Night
By DONALD A. YATES time. In This Side of Paradise voted to his friends, to his beliefs, the haunted period of "emotional to realize that with him it wasnt
N the early mornin hours of al- (1920), The Great Gatsby (1925), to his art and - up to the last bankruptcy," when all his values just a matter of the habitual Old
and Tender is the Night (1934), day of his life - he was loyal to came crashing down about him, his Grad spirit and enthusiasm. There
otwen thevers fot tu 17 be the novels on which his fame is the image he held of what he "football dream" was, for some was something beyond comprehen-
tslepoe in the ear, of 19Hte based, he demonstrated a peculiar, thought other people expected of reason, one of the last illusions to sion in the intensity of his feelings.
teleishone in the home of Herbert
. 'Fritz" Cri r would begio to two-sighted approach to writing him. go. Finally, because through an Listening to him unload his soul
which set him apart from his con- But possibly greater than any analysis of Fitzgerald and football as many times as I did, I finally
Cis1cr, durin this rind head temporaries. He seemed able, of the'e loyalties, for rasons on we arrive at a very distinct pic- came to the conclusion that what
ootball coach at Princeton Uni-somehow, to participate in and en- ture of one of the major motiva- Scott felt was really an unusual,
versity, would ultimately reach the oy to the fullest the experiences tions that molded the college boy a consuming devotion for the
receiver, lift it to hi ear and listen of his mature years while main- into the writer. Princeton football team."
receiver, aif deaced obecife out-r',dlit
as the voice of one of America's taing a detached, objectified out- RISLER'S observations is e r a
foremost writers drifted to him look on the thing he and his Chia er penetrate and puzzle at the
over the connection. Role same time. There was something
This singular gift for removed
The call came at times from observation is clearly described by HNE man remembers Fitzgerald's irrational about Fitzgerald's blind,
iami, St. Paul, Chicago; from Malcolm Cowley: "It was as if al feelings quite in detail. Fritz Impassioned devotion to the game.
Alabama, Hollywood or New York. (Fitzgerald's) tories escrihed a C ings qte i det rit But straightaway we arrive at the
The distance it covered seemed to big dance to which he had taken, -ithe today aec toat inescapable question of by?"
make little difference to the caller, as he once wr01 , the prettiest ter'seesitydecal tha the So profundly did the sport
asarishly, h "a t0 th d. Fritsr' attitude oi the sport move Fitzgerald that the first as-
gir. verged on obsession,
nearly half an hour, sometimes 'There was an orchestra- -Bingo- "I remember Scott's calls very sumption we make is that football
{ for longer, Crisler would listen tb ,a wl, .rle omntAdwt represented a deeply rioted ambi-
Banigo wlCrisler comment. And with
an ilmpassioned, often incoherent Playing for us to dance the a lh repeats, "Very well. Be- tion of the writer. Of this, un-
monoloyue as it poured forth from taigo tween t'elve midnight and six am. questionably, there remains but
the disquieted soul of the man at And the people all clapped as of the night before our games. Not little doutt Maiy facts seem
the other end of the line. ejpoint to the conclusion that Scott
th ohrc fts-uswe arise jst sometimes, but practically
Invariably, it was that Satur- For lea seet f'c' and my every eve of every home Fae, It itzgerald was, during his crucial
day's football game he was wor- new clothes-' got so I sort of expected him to early school years, an aspiring but
ried about. Regardless of whether and as if at the same time he call. I suppose he just wanted to pathetically frustrated football
the scheduled opponent was Har- stood outside the ballroom, a little talk to someone, so he picked up hero.
vard or Dartmouth or Yale, the Midwestern boy with his nose to the phone and called me. To take the point one step furth-
writer was unbearably apprehen- the glass, wondering how much F. SCOTT FITZGERALD "Most of the time there wasn't er: by no means implausable is

live He adethes aftr-md~ the tickets cost and who paid for Shortly after Princeton ... ,still much sense in what he said. Some- the theory that it was chiefly be-
night calls hemause le truly sieded the music," loyal to a dream. times he had a play or a new cause of unbearable disillusion-
the consolakons of his team's head strategy he wanted me to use. But ment on the football field that
coach, the only mSan fion whomt which we can only speculate, was usually I think he just wanted me Fitzgerald turned for recognition
he felt he could secure reliable the writer's devotion to Princeton to listen while he got some of the to creative writing. On the con-
confidences a b o u t Princeton's oyalties and to the Tiger football team es- Princeton feelings off his chest, trary, there exists considerable
chances. 'ITZ'ERALD viewed virtually pecially, for it was a part that ul- "It seemed to me that the fel- evidence to give form to the imafl
This was the childishly naive F timately came to represent for him of Fitzgerald as a deeply hurt, un-
alumnus of Princeton calling for every segment of his existence h lelow felt an uncommon amount of ccaize gridiro star,
reassurance that all was well with through this pair of interior bi- devotion toward Princeton, for
his school's football team. This focals." His loyalties, in particu- Fitzerald s devotion to football which he had to find a release of Early in his life, while at St.
was the voice of F Scott Fitz- lar, always seemed to be under deserves an examination, an ap- some kind. And for some personal Paul Academy, he was playing
orald, scrutiny. They were attached to praisal which it hasn't yet under- reason of his, as head coach of the neighborhood football and actually
many things; and they were char- gone, football team, I guess I was in got into one Academy game as a
1ITZCERALD wrote some of the acteristically intense and virtually This for two major reasons. line for it. late substitution against a lighter
most ,'i nificant novels of his tadying. Scott Fitzgerald was de- first, because when he entered into "After a while, though, I began See FITZGERALD, Page 2

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