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American Football And Rugby Essay

1318 words - 5 pages

Two different rules, two different balls, two different sports; at first glance Rugby and American football seem to have very little in common, but in reality they actually have a lot in common. Many of the fans that declare allegiance to one sport seem to condescend and down the other. Perhaps that is because they are so similar that it is easy to declare that one is better than another. For example you would not say that basketball has a more efficient scoring system than baseball or vice versa, not because they are equal but because they are two different sports and are incomparable. But on the other hand two things very similar like Coca-Cola and Pepsi are competing constantly. If you were to compare Rugby and American Football the things that you would have to look at would be the history of the sports, the rules of the games, and the fans comments to each other.
The history of rugby comes from a somewhat strange but true story. A junior soccer player, while in game, picked up the ball and ran with it towards the opponent’s goal. This seemingly juvenile act sparked one of the world’s most popular sports; Rugby (Potter). The sport was a huge hit with youths at universities first. And only ten years after soccer had officially formed, Rugby had its own organization: The Rugby Union. Rugby then took off as an international hit. It went to many places such as Australia, New Zealand, Africa, France, and even America. Rugby players to this day are not paid nearly as much as other sports and most still have “Day jobs”, such as “lawyers, doctors and advertising executives” (Potter). American Football has its roots deeply invested in Rugby.
Football first came as a variation of the British rugby. When it first arrived in America it was still more of a mix between soccer and rugby and would be for a long time. It was first played with a pig’s bladder, hence giving it the name “pig-skin” (Madden). According to John Madden, the first recorded game of football was played in 1869, where as I’m sure they would tell you Rutgers beat Princeton. But, still this was closer to rugby and soccer than it was to modern American football. Seven years later the first official rules for football were written. This game was very brutal and offered nothing in terms of padding or protection. A few years later one man named Walter Camp changed the game of football forever. He introduced many of the basics of the game as we know it today, such as the size of the field, snapping the ball, and the number of players to a side. Walter continued to be a force in changes to the sport and soon after football introduced its first superstar: Jim Thorpe (Madden). There would be many like him in years to come, many of whom helped shape the game into what we know today.
If one sat and watched the two games they would say that they are completely different games, but if they looked deeper they would see many similarities. As stated in the article Rugby, game in Rugby the basic...

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