Football is an American past time that is enjoyed by the millions every season. Everyone has a favorite team, or perhaps even a favorite player. Football players start up at a young age, joining school football teams as soon as they can and going on into college. If they are lucky, and good enough, they eventually have the opportunity to join the NFL, competing against other teams all over the United States for the Super Bowl trophy. Football wasn’t always played this way, however, and the history is quite fascinating.
A Brief History
The version of American football that we enjoy today wasn’t always around. The American way of playing this past time can be tracked all the way back to the early to mid 19th century. They originated in the United Kingdom, or Britain as they were referred to back then. However, back then, football could be compared to the game of soccer that they named rugby football, with participants kicking a ball to a set up goal or sometimes even being shuffled over something that would pass as a line at that time in public schools all throughout the English country.
It wasn’t until the game hit the United States that it was changed to how it is today. Walter Camp, a scholar and graduate from both Hopkins School and even more well known Yale University, changed the rules, and has been dubbed as the, “Father of American Football.” The first prolate spheroid footballs were actually made from the inflated bladder of the pig. With such an interesting history, it is no wonder why so many people are interested in playing and watching the sport.
There have been many players that have passed through the NFL (National Football League.) There have been some, however, that will forever be remembered as the most important and successful players in the history of American football. Here is just a short list of the most influential football players of all time.
Tom Brady is an amazing story of how someone who has achieved riches in the world of football. A native of the state of Michigan, Brady has known what it is like to start from nothing and finish with everything. At the age of 37, Brady has been able to win over four Lombardi trophies and 3 different awards for the Super Bowl MVP. His stats are as impressive as any other quarterback that has been in the world of professional football. In the year of 2007, he had an unmatched 4,800 yards in the air and more than 50 different touchdowns, earning his spot on this list.
4. Dick Butkus
Dick Butkus was an intense linebacker, earning his spot on this list. He stood at over 6 feet tall and weighs over an amazing 230 pounds. He had a tendency to show his intimating personality in the games by releasing blood-curdling shrieks. Anyone would be unsettled by this, or may think that Butkus wasn’t taking his job in the NFL seriously, but his success would disprove this notion in an instant. He became a legend for his team, the Chicago Bears, and acted as an enforcer of the football law on the field, putting any misbehaving players in their place. Someone like this earns a spot of their own on this list.
3. Walter Payton
Walter Payton really belongs on his own list as well. He was quite the hard worker. At the shorter height in the NFL at 5 foot 10 inches and only around 200 pounds, he had’t been known to be the toughest looking of player. However, the results speak for themselves, and boy he brought some interestingly amazing results. Nicknamed Sweetness by the Chicago Bears, his team for over 12 years, he actually led the number of carries in the entire NFL for four consecutive years! By the end of his career, he racked up the number of yards that he had rushed to over 16,000 and had achieved well over 145 touchdowns.
2. Joe Montana
Joe “Cool” Montana was known for his cool attitude to the world of football. His silent confidence shown through based on his performance, as he has won over four different Lombardi awards and three Super Bowl MVP awards. He has been iconic in the twenty third annual Super Bowl, in which he made a famous play that allowed them to win the game, leading his team and passing the game-winning shot to his teammate, John Taylor. He was doubted at one point, as many teams debated whether he was strong enough or tall enough to be a professional football player, but he proved based on his success that he didn’t need to be extremely strong or taller than most to become a legend.
1. Jerry Rice
Jerry Rice is what can be considered the greatest wide receiver of all time, unarguably. He has been known to have the best and quickest hands in all of the NFL. He had the most accurate routes that he’d select to make a run across the field. He had it all that made him such an iconic player. He was nicknamed the San Francisco Treat, and had proven why he belonged on the NFL, and this list. He had racked up an astonishing 22,800 yards of running over the span of his career. He had the opportunity to score at every throw that he made, which he almost always did. He is the perfect NFL player, and will be a prime example for many to strive for for many years to come.