There’s a reason why 37% of Americans picked American football as their favorite sport to watch. For nearly a century football has taken a hold of the public imagination when it comes to sports. But, exactly how did the sport begin?
And when did it get so popular? If you want to learn the answer to these questions, and more, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll give you a crash course on the interesting history of American football. Let’s get started!
The Inception of American Football
American football began in the late 1800s. Before it took on its name it was a hybrid between soccer and rugby. Typically, it was confined to elite Northeastern colleges. Harvard, Yale, and McGill University were some of the early adopters.
However, it wasn’t until Walter Camp introduced two major differences that the sport we know and love came into existence. The first is the rule that the opposing team must give up the ball if they don’t make a certain amount of yardage by the fourth down.
Camp also popularized the role of the quarterback, introducing the line of scrimmage and the score scale that’s still used in the sport today. However, for the time being, the sport remained only popular in colleges.
The Professionalization of the Sport
While the sport was gaining traction at the start of the twentieth century it was still confined to the Intercollegiate Football Association. This would change in the year 1920.
This is when the American Professional Football Association would begin. This association would later be named the National Football League (or NFL). This move professionalized the sport.
It would spend the next fifty years gaining traction in popularity as a distinctly American sport.
Popularity in American Culture
American football wouldn’t gain the recognition that it maintains today until the 1970s. This is when the NFL merged with the American Football League. These days the NFL is without a doubt the largest football league in the country.
There are thirty-two teams and a devoted following of fans. An entire industry of sports betting has emerged around the sport. Make sure to check out this resource if you want to get some football free picks for your next bet.
Enjoy Learning About the History of American Football? Keep Exploring
We hope this article helped you learn more about the history of American football. As you can see, the sport, which began as a variation of rugby, has transformed into something wholly unique.
Today, it’s so popular that the NFL remains a billion-dollar industry that still manages to capture the United States’ attention again and again.
Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find more content that you’re sure to love.