Football and Football

With this being the eve of the United States versus Belgium playing in the World Cup I find it only suiting that I should discuss some of my impressions of the differences between American football and the beloved international past time of football (soccer).


  1. American football is a sport that people around the world seem to be curious, interested as well as unsure about. American football is also a sport I find boring, violent, and obnoxiously popular. American football originated as a spin-off of rugby and “the father of American football” was Walter Camp who while attending Yale modified the rugby rules in the late 19th century.
  2. Football (soccer) around the world has been a sport of great popularity since as far back as the 2nd and 3rd centuries in China. Modern-day soccer came into popularity in the mid-19th century.
  3. In American football, players use their hands while soccer players use their feet, heads and bodies (no hands allowed).
  4. The soccer ball is round while the football is shaped like a rather large lemon.
  5. The Superbowl is the prized gem for American football players while the FIFA World Cup is the prized gem for soccer players.
  6. The Superbowl is not an international competition and the World Cup is. 
  7. The Superbowl occurs on one day in the United States every year and the World Cup occurs once every four years spanning approximately one month of soccer awesomeness.
  8. American football players are paid on average an annual salary of $2 million dollars and top players can make over $15 million dollars annually. Professional soccer players can make between over $100k annually to over $8-10 million annually (this is excluding endorsement salaries). 
  9. Similar to the Olympics, the World Cup occurs in different countries every year. In 2010, the World Cup was in South Africa and this year the World Cup is in Brazil.
  10. Media attention and coverage of the Superbowl varies greatly from the World Cup. The greatest difference I have noticed is the World Cup matches do not include outrageously lavish and over the top commercials or half time shows. You can expect to watch a World Cup game between 90-120 minutes and the coverage will be focused on the players. This is perhaps one of my favorite things about watching the World Cup. The World Cup is not about consumerism or Capitalism.

In conclusion, as a non-sporty person who knows very little about soccer, being in Sarajevo and following the World Cup has been rad. I like soccer (the real football) far more than American football. Unfortunately, Bosnia did not make it into the second round of the World Cup but they made a valid effort to show-up and play their best. 

I hope my attempt to highlight some of the differences I have noticed between American football and football has helped you. If it hasn’t I apologize. 🙂 


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