American football has risen to become one of the most popular sports in the world, not just in the USA. The game was created back in the 1800s, and the minds behind the game could never have predicted its success. The NFL alone is estimated to be a $9 billion industry, while college football is thought to be worth around $6 billion.
That’s a lot of money, which means there are a ton of people who love the sport. We’re looking at what attracted them and why American football is so popular.
Pro football was born from two other sports, soccer and rugby. The game really took off after it was introduced at the collegiate level, with Rutgers and Princeton Universities adapting an early version in 1869. Walter Camp eventually decided to change the rules that Rutgers and Princeton played to what we are now familiar with as football.
The Yale undergraduate played football in college and had a vision for where the sport should go, and he’s the one who came up with the ‘downs’ rule. Camp also implemented the quarterback position which revolutionized football, and it became a favorite game of many collegiate athletes.
The college game
As football grew in popularity at college, the game began to be taken seriously. Long before we had the NFL, the colleges were battling it out on the gridiron. That game has developed into one of the biggest sports industries in the world as football fans from all across America follow their local teams.
This is where you’ll find the super passionate fans, usually in the student sections of the arenas. College sports are huge and get so much coverage that the athletes are already household names before they’re drafted to the NFL.
The right season
There is one thing that football has over most other sports. It tends to be played over the winter months, which means it gets played during the holidays. Both Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day fall during the football season, and the sport now goes hand in hand with these moments in our calendars. We’re associating football with the time we spend with our families and friends, which means we look forward to the new season as much as the holidays.
Short and sweet
Don’t blink when the football season begins; otherwise you’ll miss it. There are just 16 games in the regular season, so every result matters, and a patch of good form could be enough to get you into the playoffs. Because the season is so intense, there is never a sense that games don’t matter, so fans know something is riding on every victory or defeat.
In sports like baseball and basketball, there are a lot of games and sometimes it really doesn’t feel as though they’re that important. Fans of football know they’ve only got 16 games, so they get excited for every bit of action.
A huge spectacle
Once the regular season is over, you’ve got the playoffs that culminate in one of the biggest spectacles in all of sports, the Super Bowl. Fans from all over the world tune in to watch the Super Bowl, and it’s watched by over 100 million each season.
Everything that happens during the regular season leads up to one big game that can make heroes out of players. The stakes are high from the beginning of the season, but by the end, players will do whatever it takes to win the important postseason games. Winning a Super Bowl is like sealing your place in history.
Passed down the generations
Football fans tend to inherit their love of the sport through their parents, who in turn, inherited their love through their parents. With love for the sport growing every day, it was inevitable that football was going to grow in popularity. Fans grow up loving the sport, and it’s that passion that keeps the game alive. Some supporters are growing disillusioned with the sport due to internal issues, but the core group of fans remains.
So much coverage
You cannot turn on your television, or go onto social media during the football season and miss the coverage. People go bananas for football, and they are consuming any kind of material dedicated to the sport all the time. Thanks to the internet, we are closer than ever to the stars, and that helps to keep the popularity increasing.
The coverage is now so extensive that people from other countries are also becoming fans of the sport. Games are played in the UK because so many British fans were crying out for some NFL action played on their turf. The games held in London have proven to be a success, and that’s all thanks to the extensive coverage of the NFL.
Combining tactics and physicality
There are two elements to any game of football. There is the physical play that gets fans out of their seat when they see a huge hit, but there’s also a subtlety to football. Tactics play a huge role in the sport, and some fans can’t get enough of the constantly changing tactics and formations on the field as coaches look for advantages. Football is like a game of chess played at 100 miles per hour, and people love it.
Football is still growing in popularity as it reaches out all across the world. It’s very much the most popular sport in the USA, and if the trend keeps on growing, it might be the most popular on the planet before long.