Football Has Been Shaped By the Military

Football Has Been Shaped By the Military

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The armed forces, according to recent research, played a major role in turning football from an elitist college sport into an American pastime. In the early 20th century, military institutions also helped popularize and develop regulations for the sport. And today, military influences linger in the language used to describe football strategy. As you watch, listen for phrases like “trench warfare” and “field generals.” Even terms like “sacking” and “blitzing” have roots in war-speak.

Football first met the armed forces in 1882, when the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., adopted the sport as an important part of a military education. the United States Military Academy at West Point followed in 1890. Both institutions used football to keep cadets fit in and prepare them for the strategies of warfare.

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