The Globe -- Bethlehem
Thursday, December 27, 1923
A Swing Along Athletic Row

An Effort Well Merited
G. E. Armitage and E. C. Waite, two devout soccer enthusiasts, have suggested a novel plan which is highly befitting the caliber of soccer teams representing this city. It is a plan well merited and which should receive the cooperation of every fan in Bethlehem. These soccer adherents are suggesting the organization of a cheering section, a feature which if successful would add a tinge of the college spirit and certainly inspire an even greater enthusiasm than that which is already apparent. With soccer in Bethlehem ascending to the plane of recognition it rightfully deserves for the plan as suggested by the Messrs. Armitage and Waite is most appropriate at this time. They have asked The Globe to assist them in realizing their purpose. We could comment further on this worthy project but believe that a letter received from Mr. Armitage is self-explanatory and herewith submit it for the approval of soccer fans and sports follower in general:

"While attending the last three soccer games you probably noticed that Mr. Waite and myself have been trying to bring out some organized cheering. Up to this time we have not met with the success which we had hoped for, however, we fee that by keeping right on top of our task the desired result is forthcoming.

"During my college days I believe I learned the value of such cheering and I know that more than once when I have been on the cinder path and my legs felt as though they could not possibly carry my body another yard, that one shot blast of "Michigan" or "Army" (Which was my nick name), filled me with new determination, new spirit, and a will to fight harder, and so what a moment previous had seemed like utter defeat was oft times turned to a victory and it was the enthusiasm of that cheer that turned the trick. And so it should be in this game of soccer . A good hearty cheer, at the right time will spur the boys on to further effort, will instill in them an added determination to get in and win.

"Of course the physical layout of the seating at the Steel field is against any such organization as is possible in a college stadium, nevertheless we do believe that among those who stand along the sidelines on the south side of the field, will be those who, with a little coaching and leadership will be glad to turn in and give us a lift.

"We are going to ask Mr. Lewis to let us have that few feet between the chalk line and the ropes over on that since of the field in order that we may get out in front of the boys and lead them on, which will be a big help.

"Now then, here is the axe I have to grind. (For years I telegraphed for the A. P. and I've often heard that when one writes to a newspaper man, it is because they have an axe to grind.)

"If you have the space, won't you please write a little yarn on the value of cheering, explaining what we are trying to do, why the movement should be given the support of every soccer fan. (If you think it should) and incorporate in the yarn somewhere a request for all those who will volunteer to get in the organized movement to communicate with either E. C. Waite or G. E. Armitage at Bethlehem extension phone 203, or at our residence phones, 2686J or 2686R respectively.

"We wish this in order that we may get some estimate of the number who are willing to cooperate with us in this move and if the number is great enough we propose to furnish all the necessary articles to each man, to help him make all the noise possible.

"Possibly it would be well to explain that this is in no way any scheme to prevent any cheering that any person wishes to do independent of our crowd, but an effort to organize and concentrate the cheers where and when they will do the most good.

"We have as good a soccer team as there is in the United States and let's try and stir up some pep for them. Your stuff in The Globe is certainly working wonders, its getting people to talk and think about soccer and that's what was needed and I have great faith in your ability to help put our cheering section over, provided, of course, it sells itself to you."

Should Boast With Civic Pride
While on the subject of soccer it might not be amiss to again call attention to a brand of soccer dispensed in this city. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh shout because they foster major league teams in baseball but the distinction is even greater in Bethlehem, a city of the third class, where the sports followers can point with civic pride to the Steel City as being the only city outside of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia that presents to its sports followers a major league sport and that sport is soccer. It took a long time to revive the interest in the sport but sticking doggedly to their task and by no means without personal expense, those fostering it are now beginning to realize the appreciation of their efforts. And one of the grandest tributes of this appreciation forthcoming in years was the big attendance for the cup pay and the favorable comments heard on the sport throughout the city. The soccer in Bethlehem ranks with the best in the country and the best in the country and the best in the country is classified to be the major representative of the booting game in America. There are hosts of other cities which would welcome a team of the merit of Bethlehem. Throughout the valley the sport followers are taking cognizance of the Bethlehem team, and such a fact was glaring indicative on Christmas Day afternoon when t he neighboring cities and vicinity surrounding contributed quite a number of spectators to the assemblage on the Steel field.

Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club