White House, Oct. 4, 1903
…I am delighted to have you play football. I believe in rough, manly sports. But I do not believe in them if they degenerate into the sole end of anyone’s existence. I don’t want you to sacrifice standing well in your studies to any over-athleticism; and I need not tell you that character counts for a great deal more than either intellect or body in winning success in life. Athletic proficiency is a mighty good servant, and like so many other good servants, a mighty bad master.
(The Letters & Lessons of Theodore Roosevelt for His Sons, compiled and edited by Doug Phillips, ©2003 Vision Forum Inc, page 35)
(Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt by John Singer Sargeant, courtesy of the White House Historical Association)