The History Of Football Discussion Paper.

The History Of Football Discussion Paper.

American football—not to be confused with what Americans refer to as soccer—is a very unique sport. It evolved from a mesh of English football (or American soccer) and rugby. It is played primarily in America, though countries overseas have recently begun to divulge into the sport. This sport has two distinct recognizable branches: the national branch, also known as the NFL, and the collegiate branch. There have been a number of rule changes and evolutions since its humble beginnings in a friendly college game between Rutgers and Princeton in 1869. The History Of Football Discussion Paper.

The rules had originally been modified from the official London football rules in order to accommodate a more rugby-style type of play. As rugby began to gain popularity on the east coast, modern football as we know it began to emerge. The first official rules were written in 1876 by Walter Camp, “the father of American football” (History of NFL Rules). One of the most notable changes over the years was the transition of a touchdown being worth four points to the current six points with the chance for a two-point conversion or one-point kick. The points allotted for a field goal has also changed dramatically, from the original five points to the current three. Another very pertinent change over the years has been the focus on safety. There are a number of equipment and contact rules in place in order to protect the athletes during their game. As of 1979, blocks are not allowed below the waist, and in 1996 a rule prohibiting offensive head and helmet contact came into play.

The concept of professional football stemmed from two clubs in Pittsburgh. The AAA and the PAC went head to head in a number of football games, with the AAA paying William Pudge Heffelfinger a sum of five hundred dollars to play against the PAC. In 1893, the PAC wrote up the very first professional football contract by signing Grant Dibert for the length of one year.


Teams began popping up all over the east coast, resulting in the first “World Series” of football in 1902, played as a tournament between five teams (NFL History by Decade). The History Of Football Discussion Paper.The first Super Bowl as we know it occurred in 1967, featuring the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The Green Bay Packers were the first team to win a Super Bowl, or the “AFL-NFL World Championship Game” as it was titled at the time. Since then, the sport has gained a cult following and the Super Bowl has become the most watched televised event of all time, being host not only to a championship football game, but also musical and theatrical performances and infamous commercials.

Football at the college level has also become a huge American pastime. 1902 marked the very first Rose Bowl championship game, posing East vs. West by pitting Stanford and Michigan against each other. However, the Rose Bowl was not a permanent fixture until 1916 (History). A number of conferences popped up in the following years. In 1936, the AP began naming national champions based on season records of teams across all conferences. There have been a number of controversies over the years between teams with similar track records, prompting the startup of the Bowl Championship Series in 1998.

Football has been a huge part of American culture during the last century. Both national leagues and collegiate leagues have impressive and ever-growing fanbases. The sport has evolved quite a bit since its inception in 1869. With the implementation of conferences and leagues and brackets, teams all over America compete each year in order to make the Super Bowl and Rose Bowl. Thursday Night Football has become a staple of American culture and does not seem to be going anywhere any time soon. The History Of Football Discussion Paper.

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