Talk with the Doc: Football history and humor reviewed

We are now into our high school, college, and professional football seasons. Today, let’s take a look at the history of football and offer some football humor and jokes as well.

The sport we now know in the United States and enjoy watching as football was previously called gridiron football, because of the vertical yard lines that marked the field. Our game of football was closely related to two popular ancient English sports known as rugby and soccer. This early version of football, then called gridiron football, originated in the USA at several United States Universities in the late 19th century. On November 6, 1869, players from Princeton and Rutgers held the first intercollegiate football contest in New Brunswick, New Jersey, playing a soccer-style game with rules adapted from the London Football Association.

Several other Northeastern USA colleges took up this sport in the 1870’s. However, Harvard University maintained its distance by sticking to a rugby-soccer version of this college sport and they called it the “Boston Game.” Then in May, 1874, after a match against McGill University of Montreal, the Harvard players decided they preferred McGill’s rugby-style rules to their own. In 1875, Harvard and Yale played their first intercollegiate match, and all the players and spectators embraced what is now our current style of football as well.

The man most responsible for the transition from this rugby-like game to the sport of football we know today was Walter Camp, known as the “Father of American Football.” As a Yale undergraduate and medical student from 1876 to 1881, Camp played halfback and served as team captain, equivalent to also serving as the head coach at that time. He also served as the guiding force on the rules board of the newly formed Intercollegiate Football Association (IFA).

Thanks to Walter Camp, the IFA made several key innovations to what we know as the current game of football. He introduced the requirement that a team give up the ball after failing to move down the field a specified yardage and therefore make a “first down”. Among the other innovations Camp introduced were the 11-man team, the quarterback position, the line of scrimmage, offensive signal calling, and the scoring scale used in football today. In addition to his great work on the current football rules, Walter Camp coached the Yale College team to a 67-2 record from 1888 to 1892.

Following are a few football jokes for you as we enjoy this great Fall Season sport.

≤ What did the football coach say to the broken vending machine? Give me my quarterback!

≤ Why do coaches like punters? Because punters always put their best foot forward.

≤ What did the football say to the punter? I really get a kick out of you.

≤ What did the wide receiver say to the football? I’ll catch you later.

≤ Where do football players go when they need a new uniform? New Jersey.

I hope you all enjoy watching our entertaining Fall Season of High School, College, and Professional football games as much as I do.


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