Happy New Year! It’s Time to Play Football

Did you know that New Year’s Day football was popular in medieval Europe? That predecessor of modern games has been around since at least the Roman Empire and became associated with various holidays throughout Christendom. It has morphed into today’s association, rugby, American football, and other games. In terms of American football and U.S. holidays, it originally became popular in the late nineteenth century at colleges and universities shortly after diverging from rugby and by the 1880s it was a Thanksgiving Day staple. By the early twentieth century the game’s popularity had spread and in 1916 the first Rose Ball was staged on New Year’s Day. The rest is history.

This information was found in the Encyclopedia of American Holidays and National Days (Reference Collection GT4803.A2 E63 2006). To read more about holidays, take a look at the following books:

About Martha

Martha is a Reference & Instruction Librarian and the liaison to the Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Languages and Literatures, Mathematics, and Physics Departments
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One Response to Happy New Year! It’s Time to Play Football

  1. spudart says:

    Football on New Years in medieval Europe. That’s rad. I’d like to see the Christmas tree toss become part of the American lexicon in the digital age.

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