The History Of American Football

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The Greatest game on earth has changed very much as America goes on. The game started very dangerous and not as popular and became safer and very popular as time went on. From rule changes to the progressions of pads and football equipment the game has became much safer but also much more physical. The invention, progression, and safety factors in American football has changed drastically since it began.

Football was invented from lots of different people and things. Brandon J Smith from Football Origins, Growth and History of the Game says “In 1873, representatives from Columbia, Princeton, Rutgers and Yale met to formalize rules; however, these rules were based mostly on soccer. Harvard, which played a more rugby-heavy style, refused to attend the meeting, continuing to play the game their way, notably in two contests against McGill University. The two schools played essentially the same type of game, with rugby-style rules, including running with the ball. As Harvard slowly won over the other schools to its style of play, it necessitated a new meeting to standardize new rules. That meeting, known as the Massasoit Convention, created rules based largely on the Rugby Football Union code. The game was inching closer to what we know today as football.” This is saying that the game of football has many different origins. Many from soccer, and rugby, and lots of colleges. Brandon J Smith also says “It was in 1880 that the sport really began to take shape, thanks almost exclusively to one person: Walter Camp.It was then that the rules committee began to adopt his rule changes, which included establishing the line of scrimmage, the exchange between a quarterback and a center, awarding six points for a touchdown and three points for a field goal, lowering the number of players to 11 a side and the concept of set plays. Walter Camp had a huge role in making the game of football what it is today. Some of the most meaningful most important things in the game were invented by him. Football had an amazing start but the progression of the game into what it is today is what makes it amazing.

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The game of football started out not very protective and no rules to protect the players but has evolved to help protect the players as time goes on. In “Football” from The New World Encyclopedia it says “An unintended consequence of all the safety equipment has resulted in increasing levels of violence in the game. This has caused the various leagues, especially the NFL, to implement a complicated series of penalties for various types of contact.” as you can see the game has changed and they have made many rules to make the game safer. In “Football” from The New World Encyclopedia is also says “Despite protective equipment and rule changes to emphasize safety, injuries remain common in football. It is increasingly rare, for example, for NFL quarterbacks or running backs to make it through an entire season without missing some time to injury. Additionally, 28 football players, mostly high-schoolers, died from injuries directly related to football from 2000-2005” This explains that even with these rules in place many injuries and even death happen in the game of football. The game of football is amazing and the physicality of the game is one of the reasons of why it is so great and so popular in America today. With the fun and exciting physical parts of the game also comes the severe injuries and things that will affect people for the rest of their lives. Along with the increasing rule changes and things of that nature comes the huge progression with football pads, specifically helmets and facemasks.

Football started out with no helmets at all and then evolved into leather helmets with no facemasks and then eventually into plastic helmets with facemasks. In The Evolution of Football Equipment by Amy Daughters in a Bleacher Report article she says “In the early 1970s Riddell set the standard once again by introducing it’s HA series of helmets that featured vinyl pads inside the helmet that could be filled with air to further absorb impact and facilitate a more custom fit.Riddell’s Revolution Speed helmet and Speed Flex is now the standard in the game and though plastic is still stuff headgear is made of, science continues to formulate new variations that perform better at lighter weights both inside and outside of the helmet.” Barry Petchesky from A Timeline on Concussions on Deadspin says that there are an estimated 41,000 players at the highschool level that receive concussions every year. That is even with the highly advanced and protective helmets and face masks that have been developed to this point. Many companies and colleges are currently studying and advancing football helmets and concussions today to still try to prevent them and make them less likely to happen. On every football helmet today there is a label that reads that even though a football helmet is meant to protect the head, concussions at this point in time are not 100% preventable and can still happen even with their helmets. The safety of the game has changed very much over time. Helmets are the most evolved and changed thing in football since it has started and is what lots of people think of when they think of or hear about football.

The invention, progression, and safety factors of the game of American football have changed very much over time and are some of the major reasons why people love the game of football so much today. From Walter Camp helping to make the game what it is today to Riddell inventing and evolving the football helmet into the safest possible it can be today is why football is the greatest game on earth. Football has became a lifestyle for so many people around the world. It isn’t just a game, it is something that consumes people’s lives it brings people together, forms bonds teaches many lots of crucial life lessons including working hard, and getting up after you get knocked down. This is why the greatest sport on earth of football is so much more than just a game.

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The History Of American Football. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 23, 2024, from
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