If you watch TV, you may have heard there is a big event happening in the United States next week. The nation of America and its 361 million people will be glued to their televisions on February 1, 2015 to watch a game called The Superbowl. This is the championship for football teams in the U.S., but the fascination with football does not end at American borders. According to an article in International Business Times from January 2014, regarding that year’s Superbowl, the “broadcast will reach 198 countries and territories in the more than 25 languages.”
Perhaps the interest in football is born in its similarity to soccer and rugby, games which are played on every continent on Earth.
Football, soccer, and rugby are thought to be the evolved versions of an ancient Greek game known as harpaston. Harpaston is referenced very often in the classic Greek literature. The goals of the were similar to the way it is played now, except that there are now rules that must be honored. At the time football was invented, it was a win any way you can game. The goal was to cross the goal line by kicking the ball, running with it across the goal line, or throwing it across the line to a receiver waiting to catch the ball. The field length was random and the number of players was not specified.
England has been the home ground for much of the modern transformations of football. At one point, during the twelfth century, the Kings banned football because they felt it was taking away from the more intellectual sports, such as archery and fencing. Over the years, versions of soccer and rugby were born and played all over England. It hopped across the Atlantic Ocean and in November of 1869, American football was initiated into the culture when a team from Rutgers University played a team from Princeton University. The twenty players on each team would change the history of sports in the United State on that November 6th. In 1873, Columbia University, Rutgers, Princeton University, and Yale University officials met in New York City and made plans for an intercollegiate season.
November 12, 1892 professional football would come to life when two teams in Pennsylvania would play and change how America would experience sports over the next 123 years. Today, team blankets will be purchased, snacks will be made, friends will choose sides, and one team will win the biggest prize in football!