American football Essay
Though beaten, bloody, and drained of energy, the two teams in competition still thirst for victory and strive to defeat their opponents. Both teams can smell victory in the air and give their all to come out on top of this football game. All kinds of emotions stir, and as the men pound at each other constantly, the crowd roars. Because of all of the intensity involved in the game, football is on of the world’s most popular sports, however, understanding the game of football is not easy.
Football is a complex sport in its origin, evolution, and rules of the game. It is said that the forerunner of American football was a game called “harpaston,” played by the ancient Greeks. Similar to modern football, the object of harpaston was to move a ball across a goal line by kicking, throwing, or running with it. However, most modern versions of football originated in England in the twelfth century. A certain form of football was known during this time, and it became so popular that it was banned because it took away from the military sport of archery.
Modern football is a mixture of soccer- where a ball is kicked to opposite goals by two opposing teams and they have to defend their own goal and try to kick the ball into the opposite goal, and rugby- in which players run with the ball and tackle each other. The first football game was known as the “Boston Game,” and was played at Harvard University. Harvard accepted a challenge from McGill University, who played a sport somewhat like English Rugby Football. In the early years of football, each team used twenty-five players at a time.
In 1873, it was reduced to twenty players, in 1876 to fifteen players, and in 1880 to eleven players, where it has remained. The modern game of football is played on a field 100 yards longs and 53. 5 yards wide. Each team defends on end of the field, which is known as an end zone. The end zone is another ten yards added on to the length of the field on each side. The object of the game is to carry, pass, or kick the ball into the opposing end zone and to score.
In the middle of the back of each endzone are goalposts, through where the ball is kicked to score points. This is known as a field goal, which is worth three points. Carrying or passing the ball successfully into the endzone is called a touchdown, which is worth six points. Then, the team has the option to kick for one extra point or to try for a two-point conversion, where the ball is placed three yards from the goal line (two yards in the NFL) and is either carried or passed. If this is accomplished, two more points are added to the team’s score.
On defense, turnovers, which include interceptions (when a defensive player catches a pass thrown by the quarterback) and fumble recoveries (when an offensive player drops the ball and it is recovered by a defensive player), can occur and a player runs it back for a touchdown. Also if the defense can stop the offense behind its own goal line, this is known as a safety and is worth two points for the defense. When football is played, the team in possession of the ball is the offense and the team defending its goal against the offense is the defense.
Players involved in plays when the ball is being kicked are known as the special teams (this includes punt, punt return, kickoff, kickoff return, field goal, field goal block, and point after touchdown). The eleven players on offense are put into two groups, the seven linemen (offensive line) and four players in the backfield (also known as backs). The offensive line always consists of five or more players, the center (the person in the middle of the line that hikes the ball to the quarterback) the right guard, the left guard, the right tackle, and the left tackle. The offensive line blocks defenders for passes and runs.
There is also usually a tight end or two, but this is optional. There is a quarterback, who either hands of the ball to a halfback of fullback to run with the ball, or passes the to a wide receiver, the player that catches passes (wide receivers are usually in instead of other players such as halfbacks, fullbacks, tight ends, etc. ). On defense, there is the defensive line (usually three or four players, the left defensive end, the right defensive end, the left defensive tackle, and the right defensive tackle) that is responsible for stopping the run, but on passing plays they put pressure on the quarterback.
Also on defense, there are three or four linebackers (two outside and one middle), who line up behind the defensive line and stop runs, rush the quarterback, and cover wide receivers. Of course, what the linebackers do depends on the situation at hand. Finally we have the secondary (the group of players who cover receivers) composed of cornerbacks, who cover wide receivers, and safeties, who also cover receivers, but also help to stop the run and rush the quarterback when needed. Usually, the secondary is composed of two cornerbacks and two safeties.
To protect themselves from harm, players wear protective equipment on their bodies and heads. The protective equipment used today differs greatly from the equipment used in the beginning of football. Equipment offers much more protection now than it did a long time ago. In the beginning of the game, football players wore close to nothing for equipment, the shoulder pads were very small along with all the other pads and the helmet was made of leather and it was open faced. Today, helmets have evolved to hard plastic and are equipped with a protective face mask.
The shoulder pads are much larger and are also made of plastic and foam, which absorbs much more of the impact. The thigh, hip knee, and tail (commonly known as butt pads) pads are made of foam and prevent the player from injured while being hit in the lower body. The equipment used today is much more safe than it was in the early days of football and has evolved for the better over the years. Football players today have much less to worry about as far as hurting while getting hit. Football is one of the most popular sports today, and for good reasons.
The intensity involved is football is unlike any other sport, and this attracts people to football. The way the game has evolved over the years also intrigues audiences to gather around to watch. The sports industry today has become a great part of entertainment in the world. Because football is a very large portion of the sports industry, it is very important to many people. Large groups of people dedicate their entire lives to the game of football and without it, the world would be a completely different place. Sources New World Encyclopedia 1991.
Subject: American football positions,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 1 June 2017
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