Hooray, football is back – pass the pig bladder

Hooray, football is back – pass the pig bladder

Hooray! College and professional football is back and it’s exciting to root again for your favorite teams. Finally, television is worth watching again.

The college football season kicked off the first weekend of September amid an incredible season opener. The televised Brigham Young University versus Nebraska game was a thriller as the BYU quarterback lobbed a ‘Hail Mary’ pass in the final play of the game which was caught on the goal line, for a come from behind road win over the football powerhouse Nebraska.

Actually, college football dates back to 1869 when Rutgers and Princeton played the first college football game. This was 10 years before Thomas Edison invented the first incandescent light bulb and 25 years before Gugliemo Marconi invented “the wireless telegraph” (radio).

Like the light bulb and radio, football has evolved over the last 150 years. According to the www.todayifoundout.com website, ‘footballs’ made in the mid-1800s were made of animal bladders (many from pigs) and stuffed with straw and other items. This is likely where the term ‘pigskin’ originated.

Early footballs were round and hard to catch so air was let out to make it more catchable. For pro football buffs, perhaps no one knows better about deflating footballs today than the New England Patriots.

The physical football changed in 1844 when Charles Goodyear of later Goodyear Tires fame invented vulcanized rubber which, in the end, took the air out of using animal bladders for pigskin action. Rubber and cowhide footballs followed and today most footballs are made of cowhide.

While football champions can earn fancy, diamond rings, farmers and ranchers are also big game winners. The National Football League’s ‘super game’ of the year held early each February is an agricultural paradise as fans toss aide diet ambitions to pig out on good eats.

What’s at the top of football feasts?

The website www.mashable.com says super game fans consume about 290 million pounds of chips – enough to fill 39 Boeing 747 airplanes; more than 1.2 billion chicken wings – enough for three wings for every U.S. resident; plus four million pizzas, 2.5 million pounds of nuts – all washed down with about 325 million gallons of beer.

Indeed, football fans contribute to agricultural prosperity.

Game on.

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