Atlanta Falcons – How American College Football Elevated to Pro

In the early 19th century, some students at Princeton played a game that was known as “ballown,” where they used their fists and their feet to advance the ball. During that time, there were no hard and fast established rules; the goal was simply to advance the ball past the opposing team. At Harvard, freshmen and sophomores competed in a game that was called “Bloody Monday,” a link alternatif sbobet-like game that was played on the first Monday of every school year. Around 1860, the game soon caught popularity among the Boston Common and had several variations.

Around 1865, colleges began organizing football games, which still did not have clearly instituted rules and gameplay. Princeton established some rudimentary rules some time in 1867 and in that year, American football was patented for the first time. In addition to Princeton’s rules, Rutgers College contributed a set of rules in that same year. In November 6, 1869, Princeton and Rutgers, combining their set of rules, played the first intercollegiate football. Rutgers won six goals to four.

In 1873, representatives from Princeton, Rutgers, Columbia, and Yale met in New York City and formulated the first intercollegiate football rules and established the Intercollegiate Football Association (IFA), setting the number of players allowed in a team to fifteen.

Walter Camp, a football coach at Yale and member of the IFA, was a big dissenter of the fifteen-player football team and wanted to institute an eleven-player team. Considered as the “Father of American Football,” Walter Camp helped institute the final evolution of the American Football from the rugby-style of playing. Led by Camp, the IFA committee soon cut the number of football players to eleven from the original fifteen and instated the size of the football playing field at 110 yards. It was also Walter Camp who introduced the systems of downs in 1882 and the line of scrimmage rules. He also standardized the scoring system and created the safety, penalties, interference, and neutral zone. In time, further developments were made to the rules of the game, with the help of college football coaches such as Amos Alonzo Stagg, Knute Rockne, Glenn “Pop” Warner, and Eddie Cochems.

By the early 20th century, the increasing brutality of the game led some colleges to ban the sport. On record was close to 180 players who suffered serious injuries from playing football and eighteen who died from injuries or from the brutal mass plays that was common practice during that time. In 1905, then President Theodor Roosevelt called on Princeton, Yale, and Harvard to help save American Football from dying. Reforms were made in a meeting between schools, attended by more than 60 schools. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was established to uphold the new reforms.

American Football grew to be one of the most popular sports in the U.S., especially in Universities. Fierce competitions among colleges made it an exciting game that became a national pastime. Because of its popularity, a Professional league was established, and which is today known as the National Football League (NFL). Each state in the U.S. is represented by a football team. Some of the top ranking football teams in recent history include the San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, and Atlanta Falcons.

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