American Football

September 24, 2013
Football has become a pastime in the United States. It comes from the ancient Greek game of harpaston and early rugby. The first official American football game occurred on November 6th, 1869 between Princeton and Rutgers Universities. In 1873, the first collegiate football league was created. Walter Camp, widely regarded as the father of American football, established the system of downs and regulated field size. In 1920, when the American Professional Football Conference was formed, organized professional football began. Today, the NFL is the most popular American football league in the world.

The rules to football are simple. Each team can have only 11 active players on the field. The field is 100 yards long and 53 yards wide. The team with the ball has to score a touchdown (worth 6 points), while the defending team has to stop their opponent. The offense has 4 downs to score (unless they gain 10 yards, at which time they get another 4 downs). If the offense chooses to kick the football, they must kick the football through the goalpost (also known as a field goal, worth 3 points). The game has 4 15-minute quarters with a 15 minute overtime quarter. The clock stops when a pass is incomplete, when a player goes out of bounds, or when a penalty is called.

Football greatly affects a player’s fitness. The player has to drink water and eat healthy, as well as do various exercises (such as sprinting and lifting) in order to stay active on the football field. Playing football should make a person stronger and faster, because of the constant pushing and running. Football is, however, a legitimate cause of injury. Injuries such as concussions and torn ACLs are common amongst players.

Football institutes a sense of leadership and teamwork in its players. It makes people work with others in order to achieve a goal and respect other people, both of which are important in life. Since there are rules against poor sportsmanship, that is never an issue. It gives a player a sense of belonging, opens the opportunity to make friends, and many other things. It may improve the lives of players so much that the players will want to improve their communities. In all, football is a great sport for anybody looking to improve their character, sportsmanship and citizenship (especially in adolescent football, where the players are still young enough to learn these values).

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