5 Facts About American Football That You (Probably) Didn’t Know

This is a guest post by Robert Everett; a freelance writer currently based in Chicago. Solving students career and university problems. Having an interest in marketing and business. Follow him on social media at: Facebook & Google+

American football, also simply known as football in North America, is an exceptionally popular team sport. A lot of people cleared up Sundays on calendars to watch and enjoy their favorite game.

Professional football remains the single most popular sport in the US. Nothing can attract as many viewers as football; not even baseball, basketball, and ice hockey.

Super Bowl alone gathers 110 million viewers on average.

Part of the appeal is probably in its stop-and-go nature. Football games have a 60-minute clock, but as it was discovered a couple of years back, only 11 minutes of actual playtime occurs during a match. The majority of remaining duration is given to action replays (gotta love that), some half-time and commercial breaks, and the analysis desk.

American Football is not to be confused with soccer, which is also referred to as football, but this time by everyone outside North America. Well, mostly.

Historically, American Football did share some similarities with its soccer counterpart.

It is played by 11 people on each side, and in a similar fashion, the goal is to score points by landing a touchdown or by getting a field goal.

Many interesting tidbits are surrounding the sport, and limiting them to just 5 is an impossible feat. Either way, doesn’t matter if you’re a female playing basketball or a soccer kind of guy, this article aims to provide a new perspective for outsiders and fans alike.

In no particular order, here are a couple of facts and numbers you (probably) didn’t know about American Football.

Former Rules and The Father of American Football

As it was already established, history of American Football begins with soccer and rugby. And rugby itself only become a thing when during a soccer match one of the Rugby School students took the ball into arms and started running with it. It was a provocative move that changed a lot of things; the scope is different but when you visit site of a writing service you can achieve the same thing. Well, sort of.

Rules of American football have evolved and lived through numerous changes.

The earliest recorded game took place on November 6th, 1869, between two college teams.

50 players in total (25 for each team) took part in this game and its rules wildly differed from the traditional rule set – the round ball couldn’t be picked up or carried by players.

As you can imagine, 50 players on a pitch trying to kick and punch the ball to the goalpost (without the ability to carry it) was quite the sight to behold. Modern American Football has a knack for being violent, having three times the player count must have been a grinder. The birthplace of football was a real battlefield.

In the following years, and after a few subsequent matches, player counts were reduced. In 1873 it was lowered to 20, and in 1880 it was reduced to the current number of 11.

The most important rule changes, however, were introduced by Walter Camp, who is referred to as the “Father of American Football.”

He is credited with most modern intricacies, like the concept of a “snap-back,” point system and arrangement of attacking players, among other things. Look him up.

NFL Cheerleaders’ Pay Grade

With salaries of players reaching tens of millions of dollars per year aren’t surprising anyone anymore.

But there is a more pleasant distraction NFL has – cheerleading.

Cheerleaders bring a lot to the NFL and the sport in general in terms of promotional power and merchandising.

But in comparison to massive paychecks of the players, they actually get paid minuscule amounts.

What is more depressing, these female athletes have to undergo rigorous training regimens in order to perform well in their dance routines.

Even though salaries differ for every team, most cheerleaders get paid anywhere from $50 to $200 per match, depending on their role in the grand scheme of things.

This has been a highly debated and controversial topic. And it is still ongoing.

Not to mention that a 30-second commercial at Super Bowl 50 (L) cost roughly $5 million. While the Super Bowl trophy itself costs $25,000. Everything is so out of proportion. Go figure.

From the Abattoir to the Football Pitch or How I Started Worrying About Cows

Even though footballs are sometimes called pigskins, modern balls are made out of leather. And leather doesn’t grow on trees.

And it takes quite a few cows to get the ball in a decent shape. NFL has standards, after all.

  • It takes 22 cows to supply a single Super Bowl event.
  • A single cowhide is enough to produce 10 balls.
  • Roughly 3 thousand cows are getting slaughtered to provide enough leather for a single NFL season.

A slightly morbid stat, it tells quite a lot nonetheless. It’s time cows got the recognition they deserve.

NFL Was a Non-Profit Organization the Longest Time

This is no longer the case as of 2015 when NFL dropped its controversial tax-exempt status.

If you take into consideration the amount of money that circulates around NFL, you would think this status was already applied. But NFL remained in the legal gray area for quite some time.

NFL Stadiums Run from North to South

Even though there no rule states it has to be done, a vast majority of stadiums in the NFL are built on that principle. And it is completely justifiable.

Countless factors go into the construction of a stadium, like the number of viewers it should hold, its location and the way sunlight interacts with everyone in the stadium.

If a stadium gets oriented from north to south, it takes direct sunlight out of the equation for players. However, some fans are sure to be hit with sunbeams during game time, virtually reducing the enjoyment to a flat zero.

But if the location allows for it, stadiums can be built inside a natural shade.

A stadium roof can easily solve any problem that stems from direct sunlight. Just saying.


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