History Of Football

The history of football can be dated back to the 19th century. Before 19th century, the game of football was referred to any ball games played on foot. However, there were different rules for these games, some games allows the use of hands “running games”, others forbidding it “kicking games”. The first traces of what would become American football are found in the 19th century in the games played by students at the elite schools and universities of the United States. A particularly violent running game was played at Princeton University circa 1820, and around this time a kicking game was also being played by students of Dartmouth College. Rules for the Dartmouth game, known as “Old Division Football”, were published in 1871.

In the 1861, Boston club was established but nobody knows the rules of this club. It is also believed that rugby was taking off in Canada during this time. However, the Montreal Football club was established in 1868 and is said to have played a version of English rugby. This became a great source of Canadian football. However, the infamous Rutgers v. Princeton game in 1869 paves a new ways in the origin of football. The game was played by two teams of 25 people each. Each team was composed of 11 “fielders”, 12 “bulldogs”, and two “peanutters” whose job was to hang out near the opposing team’s goal so as to score from unguarded positions. In football history, Walter Camp is known as the father of modern American football. During 1880s, he came up with various major adjustments to the game: an eleven player team, a smaller field, and the scrimmage, a player handing the ball backward to start the play. Camp also established the norm of a seven-man line, a quarterback, two halfbacks, and a fullback. Football soon became popular among the general public. On November 12, 1892 William Heffelinger, a Yale All-American guard, became the first professional football player. Three years later, the first all professional game was played in Pennsylvania between the Latrobe YMCA and the Jeannette Atheltic Club.

Another turning point in the history of football is when the first professional football league was founded in 1920. Jim Thorpe, an Olympic athlete was elected as the president of the American Professional Football Association and its 11 teams were located in the Midwest. However, this body changed its name into National Football League in 1921. An annual championship game was begun in 1933 and by 1934 almost every small town football team had moved to the city. Professional football came to compete with college football for a fan base around the end of the Second World War. Moreover, the year 1970 also founded another essential American football institution named Monday Night Football. So popular, in fact, is American football among spectators that the game has spread across the globe to Mexico, Europe, and even Japan, where it continues to flourish and evolve.

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