Eleven players on each side, all scrambling for an oblong, pigskin ball. What could be better? Grab that foam finger and get ready to cheer because it’s time to learn about and celebrate American Football Day!
History of American Football Day
Just known as ‘football’ in the US and Canada, American football has been around since the late 1800s. The first official football game in the US was played between the Rutgers College team and a team from Princeton College, both schools located in New Jersey.
Though the current ball in the game is elongated, inspired by rugby, the original ball was round and the rules stated that it could not be picked up or carried. And there were 25 players on the team at the time.
American football has since evolved with more rugby-style rules and only 11 players on each team’s side. By the 1890s, some players began to get paid to play in certain important games, ushering in the idea of professional football. The first National Football League (NFL) game was played in 1920 in Ohio between the Dayton and Columbus teams.
Today, football is an important American pastime, whether playing or watching it in person or on television. With youth, high school, college and professional games being played all over North America throughout the fall and winter football season, this sport is certainly here to stay. Even considering the inevitable injuries, football is beloved by players and fans alike, often building community and encouraging sportsmanship.
American Football Day was established to celebrate the excitement of this beloved sport!
How to Celebrate American Football Day
Enjoy the fun and excitement of football season by celebrating American Football Day with some of these ideas:
Attend an American Football Game
During the months of September through December, football games can be found in almost any American town. Whether it’s a youth league that teaches young kids to play, or a rivalry between local high schools, a football game can easily be found. In larger cities and university towns, college and professional football games can also be enjoyed, although the price of the tickets will be quite a bit higher.
Watch an American Football Game on TV
Of course, there is always the option to watch an American football game on television. Though the camaraderie with other fans might not be as high, the crowds are fewer and the snacks are cheaper in your own kitchen. Make a party out of it by having a few friends or family members over to watch a game in celebration of American Football Day!
Play American Football
Those who are interested in doing more than just watching might want to organize a local football game with friends in celebration of American Football Day. Though this is typically a tackle game, some people may want to make it less intense by playing a version of ‘touch’ football that is less likely to induce injuries. This type of play also requires very little equipment – really just a football.