Picking the Winner for the National Cup Final
"It looks like the Bethlehem Steel, but whatever Eastern team wins the final in the National Cup Competition is going to grab the title when they invade the West for this year's battle." Thus chirped Jimmy Easton of Bethlehem, who gave the Western perspective champs the once over during the holiday season. Jimmy, by the way, is no cropper when it comes to picking a winner and especially in soccer, a sport in which he has long since cut his eye teeth and if he desired could no doubt still give a good account of himself on the field of action. If the name of Easton may have slipped from the mind of some of the old time soccer fans or as yet not been introduced to the many newcomers added to the ranks of the enthusiasts, let it be recalled that it was not so many years ago that Jim was one of the star performers of the Steel Workers eleven and in his prime was possibly the most versatile and adept utility man any soccer club could boast of. He will be remembered more readily as the "old mud horse" for it was a heavy field that was to the liking of the congenial and popular Easton and under such conditions he never failed to make his presence felt to rivals. But getting back to what we wish to expound after hearing Jim tell of his trip to the West, the former Steel Worker journeying to St. Louis to visit relatives took advantage of the trip to thoroughly scout the Western prospective for the National cup final and comes back with the encouraging dope that if the Eastern contender does not win the flag he is through as a critic. Take this from Jim through that the laurels are not going to be served on a silver platter and that the game is going to be a battle to the very last. His opinion is based on the display of football in the respective sections, contending that the Eastern teams, especially, now by far more football than the Western clans and that the style of the game waged in the two sections is strongly in contrast. Out in the west they play a kicking rushing style and in building up the teams pay particular attention in building a forward line whose main asset is speed. For victory they depend largely on these forwards to beat out the backs when the ball is driven down the field. However, Jimmy is firm in his belief that with all the football stored away in the cranium of the players in the east t his more finished product of the sport is certain to conquer the style of the western clans. Relative to the merit of the elevens in the west compared with that of the Scullins, of last year, National finalists, Jimmy says there is scarcely any difference. If anything, he contends that since Vesper Buick defeated the Scullins in a cup competition, the former team should surely be as strong if not a mite stronger than last year's eastern invaders. "If Bethlehem gets the call to go west as one of the principals in the game to decide the issue, the Steel Workers will be spotting the western finalists to goals when the game ends or I badly miss my guess," concluded our friend James.
Ratican Fat and Happy
Harry Ratican's days as a soccer player are virtually at an end unless he goes on strict training for a year or more and sheds a lot of the surplus avoirdupois he is carrying about these days. While in St. Louis, Easton, a close friend of the one time Bethlehem center forward, looked him up and found him to be big, fat and happy, as Easton described it. Harry gets into a game occasionally but very seldom but nevertheless is active in soccer in St. Louis in other channels. The name Ratican made when with the Steel Workers and later with the Robins Dry Dock has established him firmly in soccer in St. Louis where he is looked upon as a leading authority. Harry, who since laying aside his uniform coaches at West Point and at the close of the Army season dashes back to St. Louis where he is associated in the management of one of the teams in that city. Harry is pulling strong for the Bethlehems to win so that the team on which he experienced his greatest success will make the trip West for the National final.