Throughout history, society has always joined together over the joy of structured competition. Every civilization has had some kind of sporting event that not only represented a unique national pastime but also symbolized an identity. Certain sports are so popular and powerful, that they can actually work on a global level unifying people across countries in a common passion. Soccer is an example of this, as globally this is one of the most popular and famous competitive sports.
However, when it comes to sporting events that tie nations together and actually have a sort of patriotic identity to them, every country is unique. In the United States of America, perhaps no other sport does this quite like football. While baseball is lovingly called the National Passtime, football holds a special place not only across the country but also in marketing. While the United States is a massive hub for a variety of different professional-level sports, and there are multiple ‘American’ sports, football is one of the largest and most successful.
The NFL and Superbowl tend to draw the largest crowds, make the most money, and are unmatched for coverage and attendance. Other truly American sports would be basketball, and baseball, however, neither of them can outperform the numbers that American football sees on a yearly bases. In 2020, a year wrecked by a global pandemic that created a true challenge for any kind of societal functions including sporting events, the NFL still managed to generate over 12 billion dollars.
One of the main reasons that football continues year after year to be one of the most famous and loved sports, is because of its origin. Football is a truly American sport that originated in the United States. This sport, which originated from a hybrid of old European-style games like soccer and rugby, first started to be played in Universities on the East coast. In fact, this game was created largely thanks to one man, Walter Camp.
Walter Camp is considered the father of football because he took the popular game of rugby and implemented changes that would transform the game into what is now known as football. Rules and concepts like the line of scrimmage, the unique point system, the number of players each team could utilize, and the system of downs were all thanks to Walter Camps.
As collegiate teams were formed at popular universities like Harvard and Yale, this game quickly caught on in popularity. In fact, it took no time at all for much of the eastern seaboard to be obsessed with this new and exciting sport. Football, as mentioned above, is a hybrid of both soccer and rugby, pulling mostly from rugby. It uniquely takes aspects of rugby’s brawn and rough gameplay, but then injects it with a more structured, strategy-focused play style.
This created a unique game that was exciting to watch because of its pure physicality, but thrilling to enjoy because of its emphasis on smart, planned, and precisely enacted strategy. Few games walk the line between brute strength and wise strategy the way that football does, and because of this, it has a wide appeal. The National Football League, initially called the American Professional Football Association, was first formed in 1920.
With the NFL being the largest sports group in the United States, it follows that it also represents the most lucrative market for sports betting. Big Al is one of the most trusted sources of sports picks on the internet, and a valuable resource for anyone wanting to improve their chances of winning big. For people that are passionate about sports betting, finding high-quality picks can be a huge advantage and help them make the best choices.
As the 20th century unfolded, this sport became common not just on college campuses or professional arenas, but in high schools across the country. In fact, over time, football became accessible to school children at a variety of levels. One of the reasons that this kind of sport became such a core and staple part of American culture in the U.S., is that it had a kind of primal quality to it.
For young men, football became a way of proving themselves and entire communities found a deep sense of identity in this game. Not only is it common for someone to have a favorite professional or college-level team, but this kind of pride extends to their local high school. Even for students who never played high school football, the pride associated with their team became a passionate part of their identity as a member of the school.
In a lot of ways, this same kind of passion extends even to the patriotic sense. As football rose to become the most famous and popular sport in the culture of the United States, it fostered a patriotic identity. Suddenly, football just wasn’t an American sport, it was a part of being American.