Gym: National Football League and Ivy League Schools Essay

Submitted By timothyli
Words: 808
Pages: 4

The game of American football can be traced back to mid and late nineteenth century and ever since then, it has become an integral part of American culture. Football is a game of adrenaline-fueled violence and aggression that consists of predominantly men tackling each other to get a ball over a line. The violent tendencies associated with football has also been associated with acts of domestic violence, as seen in the media regarding the players of the National Football League. These acts of domestic violence raise the question of the validity of football’s representation in American culture and its impact. American football was essentially a cross between soccer (football) and rugby, derived by the ancient Greek game of harpaston. Harpaston is often referred as a rough and brutal game, especially in classical literature. The game of modern American football isn’t actually as American as it played out to be, as the cross of soccer and rugby originated in England. The combination of the two sports started out as an informalized game between colleges and universities, but eventually made its way to the Ivy League schools in the United States. Princeton v. Rutgers of November 1869 became first inter-school football match . In 1879, Yale University coach Walter Camp instituted a set of fixed rules of modern football, the set of rules that would regulate the sport and kickstart its success. Football’s popularity can be can be credited to the rise of televisions in modern homes- in fact one the main causes of its success was the first televised football game in 1958- the first NFL game filmed by NBC. Ever since, the sport has become the heart of American sports. The NFL also created the Super Bowl, a competition between the top teams of the football season. The Super Bowl was a marketing strategy to associate football with fun and parties. As of recently, the Super Bowl has incorporated pop culture icons to promote football.The popularity of football is also due to the idolization of football players in our contemporary society. Football players are stereotyped as an ideal partner in our media, shown in TV, movies, books, etc. and they are seen as major celebrities in the real world- receiving endorsements and put up as a model human being. Football symbolizes a variety of things to certain people. Football does not mean anything to me. It is a patriarchally controlled sport that relies on dominance and aggression, and supported by capitalism. The Super Bowl is essentially a marketing ploy to sell unnecessary commodities to consumers and to further promote the idea of football being THE sport of the United States. The sport is far too violent and gives unrealistic societal expectations for young boys to participate and young girls to distance themselves from the sport. Young boys and men are conditioned to understand that the violent tendencies associated with football is a “manly” thing, and any opposition would invalidate their masculinity. In the media, lately, domestic violence has become prevalent amongst several NFL players. Several NFL players have been involved with engaging in violent acts against women. One recent example is Ray Rice, a veteran of the Baltimore Ravens