Origin of Football and the ‘Pigskin’
Football was invented in 1879 and originates from rugby. It took almost 40 years worth of football to be played before the ball’s unusual shape changed to what it is today. The term pigskin came from the pig bladders that were used because they were highly durable. Traditionally pig bladders were utilized for sausage casings in Germany and to hold paints and other sensitive liquid items in China.
History of the Game:
The sport of football can be traced back to early versions of rugby and different varieties of football from Britain played in the mid-19th century. After the Father of American Football, Walter Camp, changed the rules, college football became a staple in American society. Professional football can be traced back to 1892 when William Heffelfinger was signed for $500 to play for the Allegheny Athletic Association. In 1920 the American Professional Football Association was formed. Today football is a national phenomenon enjoyed by many.
History of the Ball:
The unique shape of the ball was somewhat formalized in the early 20th century and that form was exploited to great success when the forward pass was introduced to football in 1906. Technically speaking the shape is called a prolate spheroid. The players would have to stop the game multiple times to blow it up, the last man generally got tired and they put the ball back into play somewhat lopsided.
The laces used to help keep the stitch closed up, are now mostly for show but also used for a better grip. Other contributors that cemented this awkward shape into football history were the forward pass and also the spiral toss. Here are two of the most influential footballs in the history of the game:
The White Night Football
In 1929 a night football game between Chicago and Providence was played under the flood lights of Kinsley Park in RI. Common practice was to paint the football white in order to have better visibility of it, eventually Rawling Sporting Goods Company and the Wilson Sporting Goods Company both began producing painted white footballs in the 1940s with two black stripes on the conical ends of the ball which allowed players to better identify the ball in the dark. White footballs would be used in night games until the mid-1950s when the advent of the television allowed for games to be seen by a national audience.
In 1941 the official football used by the NFL was nicknamed “The Duke” after Wellington Mara, the man whose father named him after the Duke of Wellington. The Wilson Sporting Goods company has been producing the official football of the NFL for the past 70 years. And with the death of Wellington Mara in late 2005, the NFL reinstated the late Mara’s legacy and every NFL pass from 2006 until today has been courtesy of “The Duke”.
History of the Super Bowl:
The first Super Bowl was played on January 15, 1967 following the regular 1966 season. The game was created as a part of the merger agreement between the NFL and its then-rival league, the AFL (American Football League).
The Super Bowl is now considered a de facto American national holiday, called Super Bowl Sunday. It has been the most watched American television broadcast of the year and is among the most watched sporting events in the world.
With such a high volume of viewership, commercial airtime during the Super Bowl broadcast is the most expensive of the year. Along with entertaining commercials, the half time show is always a crowd pleaser.
In order to be a part of this great piece of American history every year, it is important to make the Super Bowl a priority at your house. A great TV, snacks and enough room for your friends and family are essential.