Americans have been playing a game called football since 1869. The modern form of the game was developed in the late 1800s. Amateurs initially played it, but by the early 20th century, it became popular with people from all backgrounds, and professional players emerged.
Today, Football is America’s most popular sport, and its popularity is growing worldwide. Football can be played at any level, from youth to professional, if you have enough ambition and talent to pursue your dreams. This article will give you an overview of American Football history for easy reading!
Football was invented in 1869 by a group of young men, students at the New Haven school, known as the “Football Club.” William G. Morgan drafted the first rules, and Yale University became the first team to play football under those rules. Soon, Harvard and Princeton also joined this new game.
In 1879 Walter Camp helped rewrite the rules of football. He designed a more open game that could be played on a field with side boundaries instead of goalposts at each end of the area. He also proposed having 11 players on each team with four downs to make 10 yards to gain a first down. The ball could be run with a “prohibited forward pass” but wasn’t allowed to be thrown for a first down.
The game grew in popularity (greatly helped by the success of the Yale Bulldogs in the late 1870s), and soon other schools began to form teams. In 1892 President Theodore Roosevelt became captivated with football. He wrote about it in his book “The Winning of the West”, where he was involved in organizing games between college teams from various universities.
In 1901 and seven years later, Roosevelt became U.S. President and continued his love affair with football by starting the first official national championship games for college football champions, now known as the Rose Bowl Game.
A fundamental rule change was introduced in 1906: the forward pass. This made the game much more exciting, and scores increased rapidly. Teams had to pass the ball 15 yards at a time or move it 20 yards ahead if they failed to make a first down on three attempts. Soon, passing and scoring became more important than rushing and tackling.
A professional football league named the American Professional Football Association (APFA) was formed in 1922 by owners of professional football teams such as George Halas of Decatur (Chicago Bears), Grange (Chicago Bears) and Carr of Akron (Cleveland Tigers). The APFA changed its name to National Football League (NFL) on June 24, 1922. It established a professional team on October 3, 1923.
The APFA changed its name to National Football League (NFL) on June 24, 1922. It established a professional team on October 3, 1923. The NFL was comprised of 15 units: the Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, Dayton Triangles, Decatur Staleys (Chicago Bears), Hammond Pros (Green Bay Packers), Columbus Panhandles, Detroit Heralds, Evansville Crimson Giants, Hammond Pros (Chicago Cardinals), Muncie Flyers (Indianapolis Colts) Racine Cardinals, Rochester Jeffersons and Rock Island Independents. The Chicago Bears were founded as the Decatur Staleys in 1920 and renamed in 1922. The team moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1930 and changed its name to the Chicago Bears. The Packers were founded as an independent professional team in 1919 by Curly Lambeau and George Calhoun. The team then joined the NFL in 1921 when it became known as the Green Bay Packers.
The American Football League (AFL) was a professional football league that operated from 1960 until 1969. It was considered a “major” league football by many people; however, it was not formally named a “major” league until 1970. The AFL began to play in 1960 with eight teams: The Buffalo Bills, Boston Patriots, Denver Broncos, New York Titans (later the Jets), Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders and Dallas Texans (later the Kansas City Chiefs). In 1962 it expanded to 10 teams with the addition of the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals. By 1969 it had grown to 16 units; however, only ten were left by 1970.
American Football was primarily established in the 1960s, including the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Because a significant league football was created to preserve the game during this time, “major” leagues were also formed. The Board of Trustees of Football deemed it necessary to organize a divided football league that would have teams play each other to allow for stability and continuity. With this in mind, the American Football Conference (AFC) was created in 1960; however, it didn’t last long after only two years with its name changed into National Football Conference (NFC).