An Introduction to American Football

Ask most people who are unfamiliar with American Football what they know about the game, and they will typically ask if it’s “a bit like Rugby”. Certainly this is the case in the U.K., where American Football remains a minor sport. However, those who associate the sport with Rugby are not entirely incorrect; the game does bear certain similarities to the game it owes its origins to, but they are ultimately very different sports.

The next thing those who are unfamiliar with the sport are likely to say is that it is dangerous. This claim is also not entirely unjustified; professional football players do not go out onto the field padded almost from head to toe for no reason. That said, when the correct safety equipment is worn and the rules are adhered to, American Football (or simply ‘Football’ as it is known in the U.S.) is not particularly dangerous. Certainly, the slight risk involved is counterbalanced by the enjoyment which can be gained from participating in this challenging sport.

American Football is not about brute force alone. It is also about meticulous planning and strategic thinking. The best teams owe their success to a combination of well-thought out plays and the athletic prowess of their players. The coach perhaps plays a more important role in Football than in any other sport. Like a military general, a good coach will drill his team in innovative plays until they are perfectly rehearsed. He will later assess the situation on the field during a game, take note of the vulnerabilities being exhibited by the opposing team, and will choose the plays that will give his team the greatest advantage. Thanks to all these factors, at its best, American Football can be a truly captivating game.