The first football was built as part of a New Deal–era jobs program in which American workers designed balls in confusing, impractical shapes.
Networks started airing Sunday football telecasts because they had trouble selling beer commercials during religious programming.
The first football game was played at Rutgers University, and you’d think they’d do better with a head start like that.
Vince Lombardi hired the first punter when the other Packers demanded someone to bully.
USA! USA! USA!
President Teddy Roosevelt solved a crisis in football safety when he banned swords on the field.
The Canadian Football League’s Championship is called the Grey Cup, every Canadian shares it, and it’s funded through a progressive income tax.
The forward pass was invented by James Van Der Beek’s character in Varsity Blues, as far as we can tell from watching that movie.
No team name literally describes the players in uniform. The Lions are not really lions, the Bengals are not really bengals, etcetera. The closest is “New York Giants,” but those large men play in New Jersey.
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Jonathan Zeller is a writer, editor and comedian who’s contributed to McSweeney’s, The New York Times, and Teen Vogue.