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Football: A Prominent Sport in the United States


American football or more commonly known as Football is a popular team sport in the United States. Football games are played by two teams with eleven players. In this sport, the goal is to advance the ball into the opponent team’s end zone by running with the ball or passing it to a teammate. Carrying the ball over the opponent’s goal line, catching a pass thrown over that goal line, kicking the ball through the opponent’s goal posts or tackling an opposing ball carrier in his own end zone can gain a team points in the game. American football and Canadian football can be linked to early forms of association football and rugby football; hence these sports are closely associated with only minor differences in rules and the field.

The major forms of football in the United States are high school football, college football and professional football governed by slightly different rules. High school football and college football is administered by the National Federation of State High School Associations and National Collegiate Athletic Association along with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics respectively. Additionally, the National Football League has the mandate on the major league for professional football.

Strategy is a significant aspect in playing football for this sport requires a team-coordinated effort to win the game. In fact, every team has a playbook of dozens to hundreds of plays. As part of preparation and strategizing, films of the games are being reviewed by both players and coaches in between the football games. Football is also physically demanding for it is a collision sport. In order to stop the offense from going forward with the ball, it entails knocking or pulling down the player with the ball while complying with certain rules and guidelines. Tacklers are not allowed to kick or punch the runner as well as grab the face mask of the helmet or do spearing (leading into a tackle with their own helmet). Players are required to wear special protective gear like padded plastic helmet, shoulder pads, hip pads and knee pads to minimize lasting injury. There are also optional equipment that can be used such as neck rolls, spider pads, rib protectors (referred to as “flak jackets”), and elbow pads to ensure safety.

Since football is physically demanding, football players are usually tall with a bigger built like Steven Heyer. He is a veteran professional American football player in the National Football League. Steven Heyer has played for the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raider and he currently plays for the New York Jets.