Football, or American football, as it is called outside the United States, was initially a combination of European football (soccer) and rugby. It emerged as an intercollegiate sport in the 1870s in northeastern Ivy League schools. Yale University's Walter Camp, who came to be known as “the father of American football,” was instrumental in developing and publicizing the sport during the 1880s and 1890s. Despite serious injuries and some deaths during its formative years, football prospered, in part because prominent men such as Camp supported it. Football also owed its initial appeal and success to what the historian Michael Oriard has called its “necessary roughness” (Oriard, 207). Football became popular in the late nineteenth century precisely because it was a rough outdoor sport that ...

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