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Humphrey-Thompson Cup*


An Idea
Whose Time Has Come
Victor Hugo was a smart man. he stated, "There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come."
Maybe Hugo wasn't thinking of The Humphrey-Thompson Cup competition when he coined those words; but, he could have been.
Evolving from a series of conversations between the NYAC Athletic Office, Captain Lou Gioia, Athletic Chairman Brian Healy and their counterparts at the San Francisco's Olympic Club, the concept of a clash between the USA's most successful Olympic clubs seemed like the most natural idea in many a long year. As a logistical exercise, it called on resources of innumerable departments at both clubs. That the day proceeded flawlessly is a testament to so many individuals. Suffice it to say that thanks and congratulations are warranted across the board.
Making the day all the sweeter was the fact that, in this inaugural year, on our home turf, the NYAC succeeded in claiming the coveted trophy. (The cup is named for a founder of the Olympic Club and for the former NYAC and US Olympic Committee president, Col. Robert Thompson). That is not to say that the competitions - men's and women's  soccer and water polo, plus men's lacrosse and rugby - were not hard fought; the clashes on the field and in the water were titanic. WIth the trophy resting on the east coast, however, that simply means that the clashes will be all the more epic once the Cup competition is re-joined, most likely next year.
If something had to epitomize the day, though, it was the evening's banquet, held in the TI Club House, and at which sportsmanship and camaraderie were as much in evidence as had been competitive fervor throughout the day. Also in evidence, though, was a sense that this event was the beginning of something special. WIth 292 years of history between them (the Olympic Club was founded in 1860; the NYAC in 1868) and with sporting pedigrees that are perfectly enviable, the prospect of future Humphrey-Thompson Cup competitions is enough to keep partisan supporters on both sides of the Continental Divide excited throughout the coming seasons.
Leave it to our French author to encapsulate that intangible, but distinct, allure. "There is nothing like a dream," proffered Hugo, "to create the future."

-James O'Brien

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