Annual Thanksgiving Dexter-Earlham Game Next Thursday [1931?]

More about the annual Thanksgiving Dexter-Earlham football rivalry, welcome excitement during the Great Depression:

“Dopesters At Sea In Efforts To Accurately Compare Qualities of The Two Teams.”

Trophy for the annual Dexter-Earlham Thanksgiving rivalry is now housed in the Earlham Community School, Earlham, Iowa. It was played every Thanksgiving from 1912-1944. (Thanks to Cody Thompson for the photo!)

“The game is the annual Thanksgiving Day clash between the traditional adversaries–Dexter and Earlham.

“The place is the Dexter Athletic Field.

“The hour is exactly 2:30 o’clock, CST

“The temperature–of the crowd–it will be 180 in the shade.

“Who will win? Who knows?

“If the teams are judged on a basis of consistent playing, then Earlham wins. But if the teams are judged on their ability to play, then Dexter wins.

“The writer has watched both teams. Earlham plays a steady, consistent game from start to finish, ready for every break, ready for every falter in its opposition. Earlham plays just as strong and just as hard in the last minute as in the first–I’ve never seen the Earlham boys waver, not even when it appeared they were about to be overwhelmed, neither when they were riding high, wide and handsome over their opposition. They are in there all the time–and that’s how they make it tough for any team against them.

“Now, Dexter is erratic. For a few minutes they play football that would credit a big college–then they are just as like as not to act like a bunch of kindergarten children. They’ve played that way all this season. Why? We opine that the blame is equally distributed between the team and the coach. Some fans claim [cannot read] erraticisms are because of the method of substitutions, which come anytime and ofttimes lacking the purpose of strengthening the team. It is said that many time not even the team understands why men are jerked and other substituted. Resentment and bewilderment are generated in the team ranks–the coach becomes taciturn and morose–and the morale of the players is shattered. Of course both team and coach sbould be above personalities. Should it be that nothing untoward happens to smash Dexter’s morale, then Dexter will beat Earlham–otherwise Earlham wins.

“This annual conflict is an institution. The crowd will be great. The price of admission is 35 cents for other than students–25 cents for all students.”

The Dexter Sentinel, Volume XLII, addressed to Clabe Wilson, subscription expired Sept. ’32, so perhaps 1931.


  1. Love these lines: “For a few minutes they play football that would credit a big college–then they are just as like as not to act like a bunch of kindergarten children.”

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