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An cricked is the favourite game of the Australian continent, so has football m New Zealand developed into a national pastime. It has become a thing much thought of, much spoken of, and much indulged m. In this there is no rort great harm as long as the game itself m carried on m a merry good-tempered fashion, as long as the partizanship is not too fierce, and as long as the footballers themselves behave with a certain amount of discretion. But if these redeeming qualities are absent, then football soon degenerates into a fierce battle, a blinded partisanship, and a crowd of roughs. Mr Isitt at the present moment has made a severe indictment against two travelling teams of footballers — an indictment which, though much diminished on the strictest examination, has yet ground to stand on — and the more ground because most of those who are interested m football know that the license granted a L merry good* humoured crowd of young men only wants one or two rough, immoral, and unscrupulous characters to merge into an abuse of liberty. Football is a rough game, and acting on rougher natures is more or less of a brutalising factor) so there is all the more need for an additional self-restraint on the part of those who play it, both on the field and on tour, m order that our national winter recreation may not ever incur the- deep reproaches cast on the Australian footballers by the captain of the English visiting team, the Bey. Mr Mullineux. „Ho showered upon Australian foo' bailers such terms that if football will still exist m a like condition as it now exists th'cro, <ho footballers must be men utterly wanting m common sense or shame, and the football crowds must be simply brutalized partizans. So m the field and off, footballers must remember that if football is to be our national game, it, should be played m such a manner as to reflect credit' on our nation. The two criiicisms vre hare mentioned— viz , those of Rev. L. M. Isitt and the Rev. Mr Mullineux, may be mitigated or diminished, but the moral effect means that the general public has had its senses awakened, and demands from the votaries of the game such behaviour as will make the sport a credit to our country.

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Bibliographic details

OUR NATIONAL GAME., Ellesmere Guardian, Volume XX, Issue 2079, 19 August 1899

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OUR NATIONAL GAME. Ellesmere Guardian, Volume XX, Issue 2079, 19 August 1899