Summer course to examine the story of football


he History of Football traces the roots of one America’s most hallowed past times, teaching the gridiron history you never knew. Taught entirely online, this convenient, 3-credit course allows you to tackle this fascinating subject matter at your own pace while earning transferrable college credit in the process.

JRN 362 - The Story of Football

JRN 362 - The Story of Football

Online Summer Session 1: May 18 – July 2

The Story of Football reveals the game’s compelling history of characters and competition and explores why its enduring popularity reflects the religious ecstasy and physical violence embedded in American culture.

  • Learn how Napoleon — yes, the 19th century French dictator who never blocked or tackled — influenced the game to the point where his tactics deployed by a Harvard coach launched a national debate on whether football should be banned.
  • Understand how a military facility in Chicago served as football’s Silicon Valley during World Wars I and II and spawned — literally — Bill Belichick and the 21st century dynasty he built in New England.
  • Analyze how today’s spread offense is the logical result of rules first launched in the early 20th century that opened the game and triggered an evolution toward speed in addition to the traditional characteristics of brains and brawn.
  • Discuss whether the future of the game is in question as participation rates drop even as television ratings and fantasy football play rise.

In addition, the instructor will explain why he loves the veer offense and is overjoyed to see Lamar Jackson running a variant of it for the Baltimore Ravens and how he hopes that Tom Brady doesn’t end his career as Johnny Unitas did when he left the Colts for the Chargers. He is a fan of the New York Giants, who marked his birth in 1956 and 30th birthday in 1986 by winning NFL Championships.

Archival black-and-white photo of two boys wearing leather helmets in football gear for 1922