Why is it Called Football?

The College Football National Championship is just 4 days away and as the Clemson Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide duke it out in Tampa, I wonder how many of those fans really know why the game they are watching is called football. After all, there is an average of only 14 times the ball ever contacts the foot in a game.

Have you ever wondered? As many interesting American words began, the origins of the term football lead us back to 19th century England. Colleges during that time played a variety of sports involving inflated balls, running, kicking, carrying, etc. Each school had their own version and it could be difficult to distinguish between the subtle variations. Eventually, (around 1805) the first modern rules of football were officially written down. The umbrella term for these games was deemed football since all the games were played on foot.

The larger schools, Such as Eton College and Rugby College, popularized their versions and turned them into what we know today as Association football (Soccer—to Americans) and Rugby football. Other variations of these games became Australian rules football, Gaelic football, international football, and our definite favorite – Gridiron football (known also as North American football). Each of these is called a football code since each has their own code of rules and regulations for play.

Whether you are heading South for the game or maybe just watching it on TV with your friends, tell someone next to you what you learned and maybe you will impress them with your newfound knowledge.

Happy New Year!

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