Football can be traced by rugby and soccer. Walter Camp is the “Father of Football” (Bennett).The first American football game played in the 1860’s (Bennett). Football has a lot of history in the game. The rules are important to the game. The beginning of the National Football League is still going strong today. Strategies and formations of the game are important to study. Football is an aggressive sport and is one of the most played sports in the United States.
How football began, the first American football game was played on November 6, 1869. The Rutgers vs. Princeton played the first game (Bennett). Walter Camp introduced the line of scrimmage and down and distance (Bennett). The first professional “league” was the Ohio League (Bennett). The American Football League (AFL) started in 1960 (Bennett). The first Super Bowl was in 1967 and the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chief (Brooks and King). The Houston Oilers defeated the Los Angles Charges in the first AFL championship (Brooks and King). Considered one of the greatest coaches, Vince Lombardi, died from cancer on September 3, 1970 at the age of 57 (Brooks and King). Seven days after Lombardi’s death, the National Football League honored him with the name of the Super Bowl trophy (Brooks and King). Franco Harris made the “Immaculate Reception” which lead to the first Pittsburgh Steelers victory for them (Brooks and King). In the 1970’s the Pittsburgh Steelers won four Super Bowls (Brooks and King). In 1978 the National Football League moved from 14 games a season to 16 games (Brooks and King). O.J. Simpson is the first player to rush over 2,000 yards (Brooks and King). In 1981 Ronald Regan said “Football is the last thing left in civilization where men can literally fling themselves bodily at one another in combat and not be at war”.
The rules of football are a big part of the game. There can only be eleven people on the field at a time for one team. In the late 1970’s a defense player could not make contact with an eligible receiver when the ball is in the air (Brooks and King). The National Football League adopted the jersey system (Brooks and King). Quarterbacks, kickers, and punters are numbers 1-9 (Brooks and King). Quarterbacks, kickers, punters, and wide receivers are numbers 10-19 (Brooks and King). Running backs and defensive of backs are numbers are 20-49 (Brooks and King). Centers and linebackers are numbers 50-59 (Brooks and King). Offensive and defensive linemen are numbers 60-79 (Brooks and King). Wide receivers and tight ends are numbers 80-89 (Brooks and King). Defensive of linemen and linebackers are numbers 90-99 (Brooks and King). If a person has a number in between 50-79 they are an ineligible receiver, which means they cannot go out for passes, but the coach or the player can tell the referee that the individual is an eligible receiver (Brooks and King). Then the referee will tell the other coach that they are a eligible receiver (Brooks and King).