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Original Issue


'Never de-emphasize the value of winning'

In the turbulent world of college football many a hard kick is aimed at the game itself. The man who winces most sharply at this occasional roughing from skeptical educators and from football's often self-seeking family of coaches and players is Chet LaRoche, the best friend college football ever had.

To LaRoche, football ranks with family, church and school as a "training ground for men of spirit and incubator of competitive fiber." As successful and hardhitting a businessman today as he was a Yale quarterback 42 years ago, Chet LaRoche is an evangelical admirer of the old-fashioned virtues of determination and grit. He is by temperament a man who seeks solutions in action (some years ago, annoyed with having to ransom his hat every time he ate in a restaurant, he started his own with Author-Artist Ludwig Bemelmans). To champion football's cause, Chet LaRoche spearheaded the creation of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame "to mobilize the game as a vital force in preparing American youth for the competitive business of everyday living."

Eventually the foundation expects to build a Hall of Fame in New Brunswick, N.J. Of far greater concern is the foundation's mission to serve as spokesman for college football and through its members (all of whom have a personal commitment to football) to help chart a course midway between atrophy and excess. On October 28 the foundation will kick off its '58 season with a dinner in New York (invited speaker: Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the U.S. and ex-football player, West Point '15), at which coaches and players elected this year to its Hall of Fame will be introduced and a gold medal will be given to the man "who has distinguished himself by his service to football." Whoever he may be, he is likely to agree with LaRoche that in football, as in all athletics, "spirit must predominate over technique."