A Brief History of American Football

Football is generally known as an American sport. But what many people don’t know is that American football was actually developed in many other countries. Just here, in America, were the rules and ideas of other civilizations brought together, modernized, modified, and constructed into one of America’s most popular professional sports.

Many historians believe that American football originated from the ancient Greek game, harpaston. In this game there was no limit on how many players could participate. The object of harpaston, much like American football, was to run, kick, or throw a ball over a goal line. Harpaston also included many other elements of modern American football, such as aggressive tackling. Harpaston was a game played thousands of years ago. But more modern versions of football also existed.

These modern day versions came from the European country of jolly old England. In fact, at times football became so popular that English monarchs such as Edward II and Henry IV banned the sport. They said it distracted the soldiers from the military sport of archery.

By 1850, football had broken up into two distinct sports. The first one, was the football association game (soccer), which is still extremely popular all around the world today. The second one was the still popular sport of rugby. Soccer and rugby then eventually further evolved into what we now know as American football.