How Football Began
Just as many fans get caught up in the hype and hoopla of today’s NFL, many others love the game for its sense of tradition. The game itself has endured for more than 140 years.
Games involving kicking a ball into a goal on a lined field have existed for more than 2,000 years. American football evolved from two particular games that were popular in other parts of the world: soccer (as it’s known in the United States) and rugby. Both the Romans and the Spartans (remember that movie Spartacusl Now those guys were tough!) played some version of soccer. Soccer and rugby came to North America in the 19th century, and historians have noted that the first form of American football emerged on November 6,1869,when teams from Princeton and Rutgers, two New Jersey universities, competed in a game of what was closer to rugby than football.Rutgers won that game 6-4.
The following sections introduce you to the contributions of two key individuals in the football world: Walter Camp and Harold “Red” Grange.