American football is a game with an intriguing and unique history, one that sets it apart from every other sport. While there are a few mentions of Native Americans having some influence on how the game came about, American football began being played at villages and schools in Europe long before anyone even knew America existed.
Some historians have uncovered reports of early settlers at Jamestown who played games involving inflated balls. These early games seemed to have a lot in common with the more traditional and already established game called “mob football” in England. This game was mostly unorganized and underground, until the 19th century rolled around and intramural games were being played on college campuses. It was when the games became recognized as a sport among the universities, that football would truly start to be defined. Walter Camp, who would go on to be called the father of American football, came up with many of the ground rules we still adhere to today.
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One of the oldest traditions established for American football was at Harvard. This tradition was known as “Bloody Monday”, and began the school year by playing a massive football game between the freshman and sophomore classes. Even Dartmouth had its own version of this tradition. Though the rules of the game they played were only first published in 1871, many were playing it as early as the 1830s, even in academia and colleges.
Akash Brahmbhatt is a professional businessman who also loves football, including the interesting and unique history that it has.