About Football

American football is a tough and physically demanding sport. Roots of the game can be traced to rugby and association football played in the UK and brought to the States by immigrants. Walter Camp initiated major rule changes, introducing the down and distance rule and the line of scrimmage with further modifications by notable coaches like Eddie Cochems and others that helped players benefit by the forward pass.

Professional football in the US goes back to 1892. The Ohio League was the first professional league to come into existence in 1903 going on to become the National Football League. The memorable 1958 championship game contributed greatly to the popularity of the game and the League. 1920 saw the formation of the American Football Association and rivals American Football League started in 1960 but the two merged into the Super Bowl, the most watched annual football event in the States.

The present day version of American football has two teams, each with eleven players, that compete to score points. Unlike soccer, players advance by either carrying it while running or throwing it to a teammate.

While the field measures are in yards, inches determine a win or a loss. Success is determined by the yards a team accumulates or lets the opponents gain into its territory. The two teams battle it out to take the maximum from the opponent while defending its territory, progressing towards scoring a goal or a touchdown. Players specialize and play an offensive line, as quarterbacks, running backs, halfback or fullbacks while wide receivers operate close to the sidelines and their job is to catch the ball and block opponents. Tight end players play close to the offensive line. Seven players line up for the scrimmage with the other players behind the line. The defense line has three to six players across the offensive line with the purpose of tackling the running back of the opponent. Linebackers form the second line of defense and rush quarterbacks or cover receivers. The last line of defense is made up of defensive backs whose job is to stop the opponents from completing passes. Central to the game is the ball, an oblong sphere of leather covering a polyurethane bladder, measuring 11 to 11.5 inches in length and weighing between 14 and 15 ounces.

Professional football is overseen by the National Football League in a regular season lasting seventeen weeks at the end of which six teams get to play in the NFL Playoffs, an elimination tournament ending with the championship game known as the Super Bowl.


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