Archive for the ‘origins’ Tag

11/24/2022 “Football History”   Leave a comment

It’s unusual for me to post about sports but occasionally I do so anyway. My favorite sport by far is baseball but over the years football has wormed its way into my life. It all started back in the seventies with the “Steel Curtain” and the “Immaculate Reception” and my one and only hometown team the Steelers. Football has slowly become Americas pastime by not so gently nudging baseball aside. Today I would like to do a short history lesson about football, it’s origins, during the years 1861 – 1946 (my birth year). Read on, you may learn a few interesting things beacuse I certainly did.

  • 1861: The first documented football game that was essentially rugby and was played at the University of Toronto..
  • 1874: McGill University and Harvard play a hybrid version of rugby. The rule changes affect the game in the United States.
  • 1875: The official game ball becomes an egg-shaped rugby ball. The field is now 100 yards long by 53.5 yards wide and teams are cut to 15 players per side referees are also added to the game.
  • 1876: With the addition of the crossbar official goalposts now look like the letter “H”.
  • 1880 – 1885: Game fundamentals are introduced such as the down system (going 5 yards in three downs equals a first down), along with a scrimmage line and yard lines. Teams are now eleven to a side. A field goal is worth five points, a touchdown and conversion, four points each, and a safety is two points. The first play calling signals and planned plays are introduced.
  • 1894: The officiating crew is increased to three; a referee and two bodyguards, also known as the umpire and linesman.
  • 1896: Only one backfield man may now be in motion before the snap, any can be moving forward.
  • 1897: A touchdown now counts as five points.
  • 1909: Now a field goal is worth three points.

  • 1910: Seven players must now be on the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped, establishing the basic offensive formation concept. The forward pass becomes commonplace in college football.
  • 1912: A rules committee determines that a touchdown is now worth six points and adds a fourth down. It is now practical to punt.
  • 1922: The American Professional Football Association becomes the National Football League.
  • 1932: The NFL begins keeping statistics.
  • 1933: There is a major NFL rule change: the passer can throw from anywhere behind the line of scrimmage.
  • 1934: The modern football takes its current shape after a gradual evolution from the oddly shaped egg like rugby ball.
  • 1939: Helmets became mandatory in college football, and the pros followed within a decade.
  • 1941: It’s the end of the dropkick era. Ray McClean boots a conversion off the turf in the NFL championship game. In 2005, Doug Flutie created a sensation by doing it once again.
  • 1946: The NFL’s first major rival league, the All-American Football Conference begins play. It lasts just four seasons with the Cleveland Browns winning all four titles.

It took another eight years before I realized from my father that I had been born a Pittsburgh Steeler fan. I first became a rabid baseball fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates for the next 20 years. Slowly but surely football reached out and grabbed me and when the 1970’s hit I was hooked. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much to cheer about with the Steelers in recent years. I was fortunate enough to move to New England and got to enjoy all of the years of Tom Brady and the Patriots. My allegiance wavered when Brady moved to Tampa Bay, but everything must come to an end at some point. Now I’m what would be called a fair-weather fan.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

and

GO VIKINGS!

04/20/2022 “Cliches”   Leave a comment

Who doesn’t use cliches? You probably use one or two every day and don’t even realize it. I once wrote a four-minute speech using nothing but dozens of cliches strung together. I loved the challenge but the thirty people I read it to weren’t the least bit impressed. I really dislike people who can’t take a joke. Anyway, one other thing I love to do is to trace back into history to discover who originally came up with the cliche. Here are a couple just for you.

“By the skin of one’s teeth.”

“By the skin of one’s teeth” specifically is a (slightly misquoted) biblical phrase that means to have suffered “a close shave”.

My bone cleaveth to my skin, and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth. Job 19:20

😯😯😯

“A chip on one shoulder.”

There is an ancient proverb, “Hew not too high less chips fall in thine eye.” By the late 16th century, this health and safety warning had become something of a challenge, a dare to a fearless woodcutter to look high up without regard to any falling chips of wood.

😕😕😕

“The hair of the dog that bit you.”

The phrase likely originated in the 16th century. Back then, if one was bitten by a mad dog (which was likely to be suffering from rabies), It was accepted medical practice to dress the wound with a burnt hair of the dog, as an antidote. Amazingly, this cure was recommended for dog bites for about 200 years before its efficacy was finally brought into question.

GOTTA LUV EM

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