Though quite different than the sport called football in America today, early settlers of the American colonies were known to sometimes kick a bladder filled with air around in groups. It was not until the 1800s, however, that the pastime really took root in the society, primarily through the attention of college students. Some of the first schools to take an interest in the developing sport, which was known by many different names and played with widely varying rules, were Princeton, Rutgers, Harvard, Yale, and Columbia. Many of the early games played by these and other universities were a sort of blend between soccer and rugby, but were notoriously violent. Around 1880, some major changes in the sport took place, it finally becoming truly differentiated from the other games that helped inspire its development. Largely responsible for these changes was Walter Camp, who played on the Yale varsity team from 1877 to 1882 and is commonly known as the “Father of American Football.”

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