Welcome to the Reader Rant Roundtable for January 19 to 25, 2014 Are you ready for some Football?
Football, or American football, "a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field 120 yards long by 53.33 yards wide with goalposts at each end. The offense attempts to advance an oval ball (the football) down the field by running with or passing it. They must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs and continue the drive; if not, they turn over the football to the opposing team. Most points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins." American Football, Wikipedia
Football has been an American pastime for over a hundred years, being established in 1869, and taking its current form in the late 19th Century (the Ohio league was formed in 1903, and, after some additional maturation, became the NFL twenty years later). "Only two teams currently in the NFL, the Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears) and the Chicago Cardinals (now the Arizona Cardinals), are founding members. The Green Bay Packers, founded 1919 (joined the NFL in 1921), is the oldest NFL franchise in continuous operation with the same name in the same location." History of the NFL
Taking its ubiquity on both college campuses, and professional football, it has surpassed baseball as "America's pastime" and is now the most popular sport in the United States. Poll
In some parts of the country, Football takes on religious significance.
As with many sports, football began as a contest between two colleges:
College Football has taken on a different life than professional football since, with the professional league culminating in the Super Bowl between the champions of the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference. College Conference play is concluded with a series of Bowl games, although no actual contest determines the final winner of the various conferences. College Bowl games have proliferated to the point that for the last few years there are 35 recognized "Bowl" games following the regular season, and virtually any team with a winning record has the opportunity to play in a bowl game. While there is a "Bowl Championship Series", the football is the only sport in the NCAA that does not have a tournament to determine the national champion. "Bowl season" runs from December to January and has become a major financial activity for most participating schools and sponsorship from major corporations.