In the United States and Canada, American Football is referred to as football and also as a gridiron. A team sport played in a rectangular field with goalposts at each end by two teams comprising eleven players each. The team, with the possession of the ball, the offense, attempts to advance down the field by running with the ball or passing it.
On the other hand, the defense (US), a team without the possession of the ball, tries to stop the opposition and gain control of the ball themselves. Ten yards covers in four downs by the offense unless the defense gains control of the ball. If the offense succeeds, it is followed by another of four downs.
Point scores either by kicking the ball for a field goal through the opponent’s goalpost or by advancing the ball to the end zone of the opposing team for a touchdown. Victory claims at the end of the game by the team with the maximum points.
History Of American Football
American Football originating from rugby and soccer, evolved in the United States. The first-ever American Football match played between two college teams Rutgers and Princeton on 6th November 1869 based on rules of soccer at the time.
The “Father of American Football,” Walter Camp drew up a set of rule changes from 1880 onwards. He established the snap (backward passing of the ball at the start from the scrimmage), the line of scrimmage (an imaginary line beyond which a team cannot cross until the start of the next play), the concept of touchdowns and eleven player teams. Despite the numerous changes in the rules that came afterward, football remained a violent sport. Dangerous formations resulted in severe injuries and deaths.
A peak of a total of 19 fatalities nationwide in 1905 was recorded; which ended with a threat by President Theodore Roosevelt to make major changes or to abolish the game. The response was the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States; which was later, renamed National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The man widely regarded as the first professional football player was William “Pudge” Heffelfinger; who was paid $500 to play for Allegheny Athletic Association; in a match against Pittsburgh Athletic Club on 12th November 1892. Over time this became increasingly common, and along with came increasing salaries, perks, and unpredictable player movements.
Also began the illegal payment to college students still in school. Then came forward to the National Football League; a group of professional teams originating as the American Professional Football Association in 1920; aimed to ensure fair play and solve such problems. The NFL then established itself as America’s premier professional football league by 1922.
The role of American Football in American culture is also very significant; as the sport is compared to religion in parts across the country. The day when the Super Bowl is held is considered a de facto national holiday. The sacrifice for the better of the team; playing through pain, the implicit rules that promote football culture.
The sport, often accepted as ‘overly aggressive’ and defamiliarized in popular culture. A national controversy in American popular culture sparked by the safety of the sport. Though the Super Bowl ranks among the most-watched sporting events in the world. The sport does not stand the worldwide popularity of other American sports like basketball and baseball.