Men enjoy sports because they are a way to exercise and compete, both of which have a great impact on people’s state of mind and self-worth. This is mostly true in what regards the male gender, but women enjoy sports as well. One of the most popular organized games is the American football, known simply as football in the United States. This sport was played professionally for the first time on November 6th, 1869, with a match between Rutgers and Princeton, two competing universities.
American football as we know it today was probably inspired from rugby and European football, which have slightly older histories than it. Though it is still not recognized as an Olympic sport, American football is amongst the favorite American pastimes and it has become something of a phenomenon. Just like rugby and soccer, American football requires the use of two teams, each with eleven players. The whole idea is to score points by getting the ball on the opposing field, in your adversary’s territory, but the means of doing that are different than with rugby or soccer.
The main difference between American football and soccer is that the first allows the use of hands in playing the game, while the other penalizes it. Rugby allows the use of hands as well, and you can see that by comparing the types of ball the two outdoor sports use. Since American football has its roots in rugby rules, it has also adopted the type of elongated ball used there. This allows for a better and firmer grip of the ball while running and tackling other footballers on the field.
Just like rugby, American football is one of the toughest sports and it usually recruits robust and tall men for professional play. This sport is more than just entertainment and competition; it has really become an opportunity for many disadvantaged children, because high schools and colleges offer scholarships to those that are talented at this sport. Many of today’s professional footballers came from poor families who wouldn’t have afforded to pay for college and other studies. Many students work hard on their football practice precisely because they know it is an opportunity for college and university that they wouldn’t get to go to otherwise.
In the United States, American football is a phenomenon and its major players are celebrities of the same level as Hollywood personalities. The most important professional football league is the National Football League, or NFL.