Birth Of American Football. The Ivy League Sets The Rules

650 words - 3 pages

American Football wasn't always pretty like todays version, back then,Football was Ugly!!Football, ahh the great sport of football!! A sport which huddles manyAmerican families around the television on quiet Sunday afternoons. Sure it'sa violent game but many take a strong attraction to its machoness andtoughness. The players are mean, the coaches are insane, and the fans arewild!!About 125 years ago the coaches were still insane and the fans werestill wild but the players were, well, a bit crazy. The game of football backthen wasn't about money or salary caps, no sir, it was about real courage andreal toughness. You had to show that you were a gentlemen in a realgentlemen's sport. There were no pads to hide behind and there were barleyany rules to abide by. The only thing you could rely on was your own truephysical strength and your ability to dodge serious injury or even death.The Ivy league colleges were the first to participate in these barbaricgames. Schools like Harvard, Yale, Swathmore, and Rutgers sent there youngmen onto the fields of battle. They played the sport much differently then theydo today. First of all, the ball was always to be kicked and never to becarried. This style of play resembled the European sport of soccer. It was notuntil 1871 when Harvard first handled the ball and added English Rugby rulesto the game. The game of American football was beginning to take shape.In the year 1880 a man by the name of Walter Chauncy Camp fromHarvard introduced the 'line of scrimmage', the line where play has stoppedand will begin again. Camp also created the positions snapback andquarterback. These two positions would start every offensive play. Camp,also seeing that teams took advantage of unlimited ball possession time,created the 5 yard rule. Each team had to advance 5 yards with the ball in 4plays, if they failed to do so the ball was to be given up to the opposing team.After these changes the game of football...

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