Rule 18

Story, first published: Astounding Science Fiction, July 1938

Simak's first story for Campbell was "Rule 18" ... , and though based on a silly plot, it introduces Simak's early uneasiness at the blessings of technology. In the year 2479 Mars always wins the annual Earth-Mars football game because Earth players have gone soft because of technology. A newspaper reporter (frequently a pulp hero but, being a newspaperman himself, one of Simak's favorite heroes) uncovers cheating by Earth's coach who is using a time tunnel to recruit players from Earth's past. At the end of the story, the reporter, stranded 3000 years in the past, is making his way down to Mexico to become the white Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. Simak's time travelers never seem to possess quite enough technology to get home.

Ewald, Robert J.: When the Fires Burn High and the Wind is from the North, p.25-26