The Pig Skin Essay

1369 words - 6 pages

The Pig Skin
While Walter Camp, the father of American football we all know and love today was established. Before the 19th century “football” referred to many number of games played on foot. Each one of these games had different rules; same were played solely using your hands and were a running game. Yet others forbid the use of the hands and were kicking games. Many football historians place the games beginning in rugby which began in 1823, due to its many similarities. One of the legends is that football was invented when Englishmen playing rugby grew tired of not being able to use their hands, so they picked up the ball and ran. Then in an endeavor to enforce the rules another player ...view middle of the document...

While there are many reasons for the changes to the equipment some were brought on by injuries, others due to our advancing mechanics and some were solely for looks. When college football debuted in 1869, no players wore helmets. It wasn’t until the early 1890’s that head protection was worn. The advancement made to helmets since then has been made to prevent the many of the head injuries that had previously occurred over the years. That being said, helmets weren’t a required piece of the uniform until 1939. Players initially wore leather helmet until the 1940’s when the Chicago Company, Riddle created and patented helmets made out of plastic. Then as technology advanced helmets began to look more like the head gear athletes wear today. Although it still wasn’t until the early 1970’s that comfort came into play and pads were put into the helmets. To this very day there are still modifications being made such as a more light weight plastic in addition to other testing being done on helmets In order to enhance performance.

After the introduction of the helmets, face masks were added to protect the face. It wasn’t until the late 1950’s that a penalty was added to for those who attempted to pull or grab the face masks. Shoulder pads are said to the biggest revolution even only as far back as the 1990’s. What started out as a small combination of leather and wool that was sewn into the jersey went to massive pads that protected the shoulders, ribs, and chest. Only to now change to give players more of a lean muscle look versus the player putting on the pads and looking like “The Hulk”. However the latest transformation isn’t only in its appearance. These alterations have added mobility, increase protection, greater ventilation, and last, but surely not least more comfort. While the padding for the upper body and head has dramatically improved over the years there haven’t been significant changes to football pants. As football began to be played pants with padding were used early on. It wasn’t until later that hip pads were added and while the material of the pants is completely particular the actual pants themselves haven’t changed much (bleacherreport.com).

Just as the equipment has been changing over the years the game of football has too. While it started out in college eventually football became National sport played by professionals who were paid to play. The National Football League has a history extending back to 1892, but there wouldn’t be an actual organization until September 17, 1920, which is when American Professional Football Association (APFA) re-constructed and became active today. The Green Bay Packers who originated in 1919 are the only team to still play or the NFL using their same name and location. Currently there are two...

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