(American) Football

The History Behind the Sport

The Beginning of a Hybrid Sport

  • Football is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with a goalpost on each side
  • American football was evolved from the sport of rugby football.
  • The first game of American football was played on November 6, 1869 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Princeton vs. Rutgers
  • The first college national champion was the 1876 Yale Bulldogs, whose record was 3-0
  • In 1905, Theodore Roosevelt threatened to abolish the sport because mass formations as the flying wedge caused 19 fatalities in 1905 alone
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1876 Yale Bulldogs - first national champion football team

The Sport gets a Professional League

  • The sport was first played professionally on November 12th, 1892
  • The first paid professional player was William Heffelfinger
  • The National Football League was established in 1920
  • Football took off in popularity following the 1958 NFL Championship game
  • The American Football League arose in 1960 to challenge the NFL, but merged into the NFL completely in 1970
  • Once the two leagues merged, the Super Bowl was born

The Popularity of Football

  • In a 2014 poll conducted by Harris Interactive, professional football ranked as the most popular sport in America
  • Professional football is the most popular sport among people living in the eastern United States, as the most popular sport among people in the southern US
  • Football is the most played sport in high school and college athletes
  • The Super Bowl is the most popular single day sporting event in the US
  • The most recent Super Bowl, XLIX, was watched by a record 114.4 million Americans
  • The NFL makes approximately 10 billion dollars every year