First off, before starting this post I took a quick look into why there are two sports with the same name. So I’ll give you a quick history lesson to get you up to speed. Football was and still is the most popular sport in the world. Way back in the day, when football enacted the no-hand rule, some people didn’t like it, so they broke off and created rugby. Still considered a variation of football, rugby became more popular and spread to north america, where they played a variation of rugby that used alot less kicking and a lot more handling of the ball, which you all now know as gridiron, or “american football”. So even though modern day gridiron relies more on handling of the ball than..um…footing, it is still considered a variation of original football. So long story short, gridiron is the devil spawn of original football, and this is why they both go by the same name.
But why is it that football is still the most popular sport in the world and gridiron has only really been embraced by North America? They have both been played, in various forms, since the 1840’s (although football was played prior to that without standard rules), and they both demand a massive fan base in their respective markets. So why is football’s market so much bigger than gridiron?
The Dale thinks it there are two main reasons. The first has to do with the simplicity of football compared to the seemingly complicated rules of gridiron. Alot of people get turned off of gridiron because, as I’m sure anyone who’s had to explain football to a girlfriend knows, there is ALOT to explain when you start from scratch. Once you watch a couple of games with the rules in mind, it doesn’t seem as complicated, but seasoned gridiron fans, there was a point where YOU were clueless as to why large black men in costumes were attacking smaller white men in costumes on a green floor. The perceived complexity of the game is a a detrimental barrier of entry to an intense, captivating sport.
The second reason, and IDO (In Dale’s Opinion) the reason that explains why football is played and revered by so many more millions of people is the simplicity of the equipment. all you need is a ball (or something that resembles a ball, as I saw a guy playing football with a blown up condom in a sock on tv the other day), 4 sticks and an open patch of pretty much any surface to have a full game. Realistically, all you need is the ball and a target. This is why millions of children grow up learning to play football rather than hockey or gridiron. For gridiron, to play a proper game you need protective equipment, a marked field, uprights AND a specially shaped ball. It should also be noted that alot of people who play football could not afford to play gridiron due to the expenses associated with the equipment.
So there it is. The Dale’s two pence. I hope you weren’t expecting a “OUR FOOTBALL’S BETTER NO OUR FOOTBALL IS BETTER” meathead argument, because I won’t get into which one is more enjoyable to watch or play. That sort of thing is too subjective. But hopefully I have given you insight as to why football is considered better BY MORE PEOPLE than gridiron football.
See you next time. Same bat place, same bat channel.