Football is one of the 21st century's most loved and hated sports, bringing communities together and at times, tearing them apart. Many people in different societies feel it promotes sexism, racism and violence, and fuels America's culture wars.
American football began in England as a very violent sport which used horses and a hands-off technique. As the sport grew in popularity, it made its way to America. In 1869, the first collegiate match was played between Princeton and Rutgers and from then on, a more hands-on game was played. Football continued evolving and new rules were put in place, many of which are still used today.
As football became more popular, it served as holiday entertainment. People would gather together to watch their favorite teams battle it out on the football field. This helped to bring societies together which is evident in the 1913 battle between Notre Dame and Army. Irish and Catholics, two groups that usually avoided one another, got together to watch the game and cheer for their favorite team.
Temporarily driving a wedge between two groups of people is another way football affects society. This is evident in strong team rivalries like Texas versus OU and Midland versus Odessa, where whole cities will bicker and fight before, during and shortly after the big game.