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Matt Ventre


10 Things You Didn't Know About Football

Thanks, AI @RayInNJ, for the idea!

Which football, you ask?

Turns out...

10 Things You Didn't Know About Football

    1. Soccer (Association) Football and American (Gridiron) Football Originate from the Same Place.

    Every version of football is descended from a prior version of football. They're no distinct "games" rather they are "codes" of football that share, in most cases, similarities in rules and play environment.

    2. Codes delineate versions of football that appear to be the same, but are nuanced in their rulesets.

    For example: Rugby Union and Rugby League are two different codes of rugby football with essentially one or two major rule differences that require them to compete in different settings (league resembles American gridiron football in that it uses a pseudo "down" system, it's slower and choppy whereas union has fewer stoppages and flows closer to a soccer [or, association football] match).

    3. Canadian (Gridiron) Football is older than American (Gridiron) Football.

    That's right. The NFL might be the biggest gridiron football organization globally, but it is not the oldest (and the code itself, American Gridiron Football is a spinoff of Rugby Football the same as Canadian, but was not established as a separate code until after Canadian Gridiron Football was founded).

    4. That makes the CFL's Grey Cup gridiron football's oldest trophy.

    114 years to the Lombardi Trophy's 56.

    5. It used to be common for scholastic teams on the US/Canada border to scrimmage in both Canadian and American Gridiron codes.

    I'm uncertain if they still do this, but there are records of games even as recently as the late 20th century where high school teams would compete across borders using the opposing country's rules. Pretty interesting!

    6. Every code leads back to one type of proto-football game played in the middle ages.

    Also known as Shrovetide Football, it was a full on mob-style game between neighboring towns which would take days at a time to score a goal.

    7. Then the Italians got involved and turned it into a bloodsport.

    Calcio Fiorenze (Florentine Football) was more organized than Shrovetide Football, but barely. Play resulted in deaths and dismemberment. Part gladiator spectacle, part soccer game.

    8. The Australians have their own version of the game they play locally.

    Called, appropriately, Australian Rules Football.

    9. So do the Irish.

    Gaelic Football is another regional code played near exclusively on the Emerald Isle.

    10. Next time someone who fancies themselves "cultured" thinks soccer (association) football is more "refined" than gridiron football and tells you it's "akshually hand egg, LOLOL" you can direct them to this list.

    Midwittery is unbecoming a true football fan.

    Now you know.

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