Football Another American Pastime
If you are looking to get your adrenaline pumping, look no further than football. While baseball has always been labeled “an American pastime,” one could argue that entertainment, in general, is more of an American pastime. Golf, football, baseball, hockey, they all serve the same purpose of riling up fans – especially arch-rivals, I’m looking at you Penguins and Flyers – making big plays and entertaining the masses. To be clear, we are discussing American football and not to be mistaken with what other countries, like England, call “football,” which is “soccer” in America.
What Is Football?
If you have been living under a rock and do not know what American football is, here is a grossly simplified version: two teams compete to score points by entering a specific goal zone, one on each end, with a cylindrical ball rather than a spherical one. The game usually lasts around 60 minutes. That is actually 10 minutes shorter than it used to be because Theodore Roosevelt – yes, that president – shortened football’s game time, one of many rules he demanded while he was in office.
Since that is, generally speaking, what most sports can be boiled down to, the rules and methods of playing set it apart as its own entity. Unlike American soccer, you can touch the ball, in fact, that is the main method of transporting the ball to the opposite end zone. NFL standards, that is National Football League, state that any official game ball needs to read 13.0 on a PSI scale; this can be done with inflating or deflating when necessary. This is because deflating a ball can make it easier for an individual to grip it, which can provide the team on offense an unfair advantage. When as many as 25,000 official game balls are provided by Wilson Sporting Goods, each team getting at least 780, a standard needs to be met.
Speaking of which, ball deflating stirred quite a bit of controversy during the AFC Championship game of the 2014 to 2015 NFL playoffs. The New England Patriots faced off against the Indianapolis Colts, and won. However, allegations were thrown resulting in the Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady, to be suspended for four games. The suspension was dropped, but later, an appeal was made that reinstated the four game suspension. In the end, the NFL, rightfully, changed their procedures concerning football pressure.
You do not have to be a prized athlete to join football. In fact, many schools allow for students to participate in their school’s team. With the help from parents, schools can provide football grip gloves, and the other various pieces of equipment needed to mitigate injury. Safety is a number one concern considering as many as 5.22 million participants, between six and older, joined tackle football just in 2017. However, since then, 2018 saw 25,000 fewer high school students opting out of football.