The Oakland Raiders are a professional American football franchise based in Oakland, California. The Raiders compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's American Football Conference West division. Founded on January 30, 1960, they played their first regular season game on September 11, 1960, as a charter member of the American Football League which merged with the NFL in 1970; the Raiders' off-field fortunes have varied over the years. The team's first three years of operation were marred by poor on-field performance, financial difficulties, spotty attendance. In 1963, the Raiders' fortunes improved with the introduction of head coach Al Davis. In 1967, after several years of improvement, the Raiders reached the postseason for the first time; the team would go on to win its first AFL Championship that year. Since 1963, the team has won 15 division titles, four AFC Championships, one AFL Championship, three Super Bowl Championships. At the end of the NFL's 2018 season, the Raiders boasted a lifetime regular season record of 466 wins, 423 losses, 11 ties.
The team departed Oakland to play in Los Angeles from the 1982 season until the 1994 season before returning to Oakland at the start of the 1995 season. Al Davis owned the team from 1972 until his death in 2011. Control of the franchise was given to Al's son Mark Davis. On March 27, 2017, NFL team owners voted nearly unanimously to approve the Raiders' application to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas, Nevada, in a 31–1 vote at the annual league meetings in Phoenix, Arizona; the Raiders plan to remain in the Bay Area through 2019, relocate to Las Vegas in 2020, pending the completion of the team's planned new stadium. The Raiders are known for distinctive team culture; the Raiders have 14 former members. They have played at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Frank Youell Field in Oakland, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland; the Oakland Raiders were going to be called the "Oakland Señors" after a name-the-team contest had that name finish first, but after being the target of local jokes, the name was changed to the Raiders before the 1960 season began.
Having enjoyed a successful collegiate coaching career at Navy during the 1950s, San Francisco native Eddie Erdelatz was hired as the Raiders' first head coach. On February 9, 1960, after rejecting offers from the NFL's Washington Redskins and the AFL's Los Angeles Chargers, Erdelatz accepted the Raiders' head coaching position. In January 1960, the Raiders were established in Oakland, because of NFL interference with the original eighth franchise owner, were the last team of eight in the new American Football League to select players, thus relegated to the remaining talent available; the 1960 Raiders 42-man roster included 28 rookies and only 14 veterans. Among the Raiders rookies were future Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee center Jim Otto, a future Raiders head coach, quarterback Tom Flores. In their debut year under Erdelatz the Raiders finished with a 6–8 record. Ownership conflicts prevented the team from signing. On September 18, 1961, Erdelatz was dismissed after the Raiders were outscored 77–46 in the first two games of the season.
On September 24, 1961, after the dismissal of Erdelatz, management named Los Angeles native and offensive line coach Marty Feldman as the Raiders head coach. The team finished the 1961 season with a 2–12 record. Feldman began the 1962 season as Raiders head coach but was fired on October 16, 1962 after an 0–5 start. From October 16 through December, the Raiders were coached by Oklahoma native and former assistant coach Red Conkright. Under Conkright, the Raiders went 1–8, finishing the season with 1–13 record. Following the 1962 season the Raiders appointed Conkright to an interim mentor position as they looked for a new head coach. After the 1962 season, Raiders managing general partner F. Wayne Valley hired Al Davis as Raiders head coach and general manager. At 33, he was the youngest person in professional football history to hold the positions. Davis began to implement what he termed the "vertical game", an aggressive offensive strategy inspired by the offense developed by Chargers head coach Sid Gillman.
Under Davis the Raiders improved to 10–4 and he was named the AFL's Coach of the Year in 1963. Though the team slipped to 5–7–2 in 1964, they rebounded to an 8–5–1 record in 1965; the famous silver and black Raider uniform debuted at the regular season opening game on September 8, 1963. Prior to this, the team wore a combination of black and white with gold trim on the pants and oversized numerals. In April 1966, Davis left the Raiders after being named AFL Commissioner, promoting assistant coach John Rauch to head coach. Two months the league announced its merger with the NFL; the leagues would retain separate regular seasons until 1970. With the merger, the position of commissioner was no longer needed, Davis entered into discussions with Valley about returning to the Raiders. On July 25, 1966, Davis returned as part-owner of the team, he purchased a 10% interest in the team for $18,000, became the team's third general partner — the partner in charge of football operations. Under Rauch, the Raiders matched their 1965 season's 8–5–1 record in 1966 but missed the pl
Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award
The Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award, or Super Bowl MVP, is presented annually to the most valuable player of the Super Bowl, the National Football League's championship game. The winner is chosen by a panel of 16 football writers and broadcasters and, since Super Bowl XXXV in 2001, fans voting electronically; the media panel's ballots count for 80 percent of the vote tally, while the viewers' ballots make up the other 20 percent. The game's viewing audience can vote by using cellular phones, they can nominate one player from each team, with instructions to count their vote for the player on the winning team. Voters cannot select an entire unit; the Super Bowl MVP has been awarded annually since the game's inception in 1967. Through 1989, the award was presented by SPORT magazine. Bart Starr was the MVP of the first two Super Bowls. Since 1990, the award has been presented by the NFL. At Super Bowl XXV, the league first awarded the Pete Rozelle Trophy, named after former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, to the Super Bowl MVP.
Ottis Anderson was the first to win the trophy. The most recent Super Bowl MVP, from Super Bowl LIII held on February 3, 2019, is New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who had 10 receptions for 141 yards. Tom Brady is the only player to have won four Super Bowl MVP awards. Starr and Bradshaw are the only ones to have won it in back-to-back years; the MVP has come from the winning team every year except 1971, when Dallas Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley won the award despite the Cowboys' loss in Super Bowl V to the Baltimore Colts. Harvey Martin and Randy White were named co-MVPs of Super Bowl XII, the only time co-MVPs have been chosen. Including the Super Bowl XII co-MVPs, seven Cowboys players have won Super Bowl MVP awards, the most of any NFL team. Quarterbacks have earned the honor 29 times in 53 games. General"Super Bowl History". National Football League. Retrieved January 6, 2009. Specific
Tajuan E. "Ty" Law is a retired American football cornerback who played fifteen seasons in the National Football League. He played college football at the University of Michigan, he was drafted by the New England Patriots 23rd overall in the 1995 NFL Draft. Law is a two-time All-Pro, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, a Pro Bowl MVP, has won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, his 53 career interceptions rank 24th all-time in NFL history. Law was added to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame as its 20th member and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019. Law attended Aliquippa High School in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania where he played football and ran track, he played in football as a cornerback, wide receiver, running back. He was named MVP of the school's basketball team. Law had a three-year stint at the University of Michigan where he lettered three years in a row, earned first-team All-American honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation as a junior and was a two-time unanimous All-Big Ten Conference selection.
He was on the cover of the October 3, 1994 issue of Sports Illustrated, though it was an ignominious honor: he is the defender over whom Colorado Buffaloes receiver Michael Westbrook is leaping on the famous Miracle at Michigan play. Following his junior year, he left Michigan to enter the 1995 NFL Draft due to financial hardship after his grandfather declared bankruptcy, he finished his college career with 154 tackles, 6 interceptions, 17 passes defended. The New England Patriots selected Law in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft. Law was the second cornerback drafted in 1995 after Fort Valley State’s Tyrone Poole. On July 20, 1995, the New England Patriots signed Law to a five-year, $5.50 million contract. Throughout training camp, Law competed to be a starting cornerback against Maurice Hurst. Head coach Bill Parcells names Law the third cornerback on the Patriots’ depth chart, behind Ricky Reynolds and Maurice Hurst, he made his professional regular season debut in the New England Patriots’ season-opener against the Cleveland Browns against Bill Belichick.
On October 1, 1995, Law earned his first career start and made four combined tackles during a 30-17 loss at the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4. He missed two games due to an injury. Law became a starting cornerback in Week 12. On November 26, 1995, Law made six combined tackles, deflected a pass, made his first career interception against the Buffalo Bills off of Jim Kelly. In Week 15, he collected a season-high eight combined tackles, broke up a pass deflection, intercepted a pass attempt by Jets’ quarterback Boomer Esiason during a 31-28 win against the New York Jets, he made an interception in three consecutive games since taking over the starting role. In Week 17, he collected a season-high eight solo tackles and made his first career sack during a 10-7 loss at the Indianapolis Colts. Law sacked Colts’ quarterback Jim Harbaugh for a six-yard loss during the first quarter, he finished his rookie season in 1995 with 47 combined tackles, nine pass deflections, three interceptions, one sack in 14 games and seven starts.
Former Cleveland Browns head coach Bill Belichick became the assistant head coach for the New England Patriots in 1996. Law and Rickey Reynolds retained their roles as starting cornerbacks. On October 20, 1996, Law collected a season-high 12 combined tackles and deflected two passes during a 27-9 victory at the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8. Law was inactive for three games due to an injury. On December 8, 1996, Law recorded one tackle, deflected a pass, returned an interception for his first career touchdown as the Patriots defeated the New York Jets 34-10 in Week 15. Law intercepted a pass by Jets’ quarterback Glenn Foley, intended for wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, returned it for a 38-yard touchdown during the third quarter. In Week 16, Law made seven solo tackles, a season-high three pass deflections, intercepted two pass attempts by Troy Aikman during a 12-6 loss at the Dallas Cowboys, he finished the 1996 NFL season with 62 combined tackles, nine pass deflections, three interceptions, one touchdown in 13 games and 12 starts.
The New England Patriots finished first in the AFC East with an 11–5 record and earned a first round bye. On January 5, 1997, Law started in his first career playoff game and made three combined tackles during a 28–3 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Round; the following week, he recorded four tackle as the Patriots defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 20–6 during the AFC Championship Game. On January 26, 1997, Law started in Super Bowl XXXI and made three combined tackles during a 35–21 loss against the Green Bay Packers. On January 31, 1997, New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Parcells resigned five days after their loss in Super Bowl XXXI. On February 3, 1997, the New England Patriots announced their decision to hire San Francisco 49ers’ defensive coordinator Pete Carroll as their new head coach. Law started alongside Jimmy Hitchcock. In Week 15, he collected a season-high nine solo tackles during a 26-20 victory at the Jacksonville Jaguars, he started in all 16 games in 1997 and made 77 combined tackles, 11 pass deflections, three interceptions, was credited with half a sack.
Patriots’ head coach Pete Carroll named Law and Chris Canty the starting cornerbacks to begin the regular season. On September 13, 1998, Law recorded two solo tackles, three pass deflections, intercepted two passes, return
Super Bowl XXXVI
Super Bowl XXXVI was an American football game between the National Football Conference champion St. Louis Rams and the American Football Conference champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League champion for the 2001 season; the Patriots defeated the Rams by the score of 20–17. It was New England's first Super Bowl championship, the franchise's first league championship of any kind; the game was notable for snapping the AFC East's long streak of not being able to win a Super Bowl championship, as the division's teams had lost eight Super Bowls in total. It would be the last time; the game was played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, on February 3, 2002. Following the September 11 attacks earlier in the season, the NFL postponed a week of regular-season games and moved the league's playoff schedule back; as a result, Super Bowl XXXVI was rescheduled from the original date of January 27 to February 3, becoming the first Super Bowl played in February. The pregame ceremonies and the halftime show headlined by the Irish rock band U2 honored the victims of 9/11.
Due to heightened security measures following the terrorist attacks, this was the first Super Bowl designated as a National Special Security Event by the Office of Homeland Security. The OHS established the practice of naming each subsequent Super Bowl an NSSE. Additionally, it was the last Super Bowl to be played in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina slammed the city in 2005; this game marked the Rams' third Super Bowl appearance in franchise history and the second in three seasons. St. Louis posted an NFL-best 14–2 regular season record, led by quarterback Kurt Warner and "The Greatest Show on Turf" offense; the Patriots clinched their third Super Bowl berth after posting an 11–5 regular season record, led by second-year quarterback Tom Brady and a defense that ended the regular season ranked sixth in scoring. Although the Rams out-gained the Patriots 427–267 in total yards, New England built a 17–3 third-quarter lead off three Rams turnovers. After a holding penalty in the fourth quarter negated a Patriots fumble return for a touchdown, Warner scored a 2-yard touchdown run and threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to tie the game, 17–17, with 1:30 remaining.
Without any timeouts, Brady led his team down the field to set up kicker Adam Vinatieri's game-winning 48-yard field goal as time expired. Brady, who completed 16 of 27 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown, was named Super Bowl MVP. After their Super Bowl-winning 1999 season, the Rams offense again dominated the league in 2000, leading the NFL in passing and total yards. However, the Rams had one of the worst defenses in the league. This, along with injury problems and a coaching change from Super Bowl winning coach Dick Vermeil, who left the team to Mike Martz, caused the Rams to slip to a 10–6 record in 2000; the season ended with a disappointing loss to the New Orleans Saints in the wild card round of the playoffs. After signing several new defensive players in the off-season, hiring new defensive coordinator Lovie Smith, the Rams finished the 2001 season with the NFL's best regular season record at 14–2, they led the league in scoring. This was the Rams' third consecutive season with over an NFL record.
On defense, they only allowed 271 points, improving their 31st ranking in 2000 to 7th in 2001. The Rams' 1999–2001 offense, nicknamed "The Greatest Show on Turf", is considered one of the best in NFL history; the team possessed an incredible amount of offensive talent at nearly every position. In 2001, quarterback Kurt Warner was awarded his second NFL Most Valuable Player Award after throwing for 4,830 yards and 36 touchdowns, with 22 interceptions, earned a league high 101.4 passer rating. Wide receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce each amassed over 1,100 receiving yards, combining for 142 receptions, 2,469 yards, 13 touchdowns. Wide receiver Ricky Proehl caught 40 passes for 5 touchdowns. Tight end Ernie Conwell caught 38 passes for 4 touchdowns. Wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakim caught 39 passes for 374 yards, added another 333 yards returning punts. Running back Marshall Faulk won NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award for the third year in a row in 2001, he rushed for 1,382 yards, caught 83 passes for 765 yards, scored 21 touchdowns, became the first NFL player to gain more than 2,000 combined rushing and receiving yards for 4 consecutive seasons.
Running back Trung Canidate was a major contributor, rushing for 441 yards, catching 17 passes for 154 yards, returning kickoffs for 748 yards, scoring 6 touchdowns. The Rams offensive line was led by guard Adam Timmerman and offensive tackle Orlando Pace, selected to the Pro Bowl for the third consecutive year; the Rams' defense ranked third in the league in fewest yards allowed. The line was anchored by Pro Bowl defensive end Leonard Little, who led the team with 14.5 sacks and recovered a fumble, defensive end Grant Wistrom, who recorded 9 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery. The Rams linebackers unit was led by London Fletcher, who had 4.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles. St. Louis had an outstanding secondary, led by Dré Bly, Pro Bowl selection Aeneas Williams, Dexter McCleon; the Patriots' chances for a Supe
Antowain Drurell Smith is a former American Football running back in the National Football League who played nine NFL seasons, most notably with the New England Patriots. At 6'2", 232 pounds, Smith's powerful running style made him an effective runner between the tackles. Smith attended Stanhope Elmore High School in Millbrook and played football only in his senior year. Smith worked in a factory for two years before enrolling at East Mississippi Junior College in 1993. At East Mississippi, Smith was a JUCO All-American running back. In 1995, Smith transferred to the University of Houston and played two seasons on the Houston Cougars football team at running back. In 21 games with Houston, Smith rushed for 19 touchdowns. Among records set by Smith include the longest touchdown in school history at 96 yards and six touchdowns in one game. Antowain Smith was drafted in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. In his rookie season Smith ran for 840 yards and 8 touchdowns with catching 28 passes.
The next season Smith ran for 1,124 yards and again scored 8 times, although his yards per carry dropped from 4.3 to 3.7. Smith gained just 27 total yards in the Bills first round playoff loss in 1998; the next season saw Smith score 6 times while rushing for just 614 yards. He did manage to run for 79 yards and two scores in the Bill's first round playoff game but the Bills still lost to the Titans. Having fallen out of favor with the coaching staff Smith ran for just 354 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2000; the next season Smith rejuvenated his professional career. He ran for 12 touchdowns in the regular season, he ran for 204 yards in the playoffs as the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI. The iconic moment of him being the first Patriot to run onto the field after Adam Vinatieri kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired is what Smith is remembered for the most in his career. Smith's numbers dropped off a bit in 2002 as he ran for 6 touchdowns, he did get more involved in the passing game however, caught 31 balls including 2 touchdowns.
2003 was Smith's final season in New England and he managed just 642 yards, although he still led the team in rushing. His play improved in the playoffs that year as he ran for 252 yards and 2 scores as Smith and the Patriots won their second Super Bowl championship, Super Bowl XXXVIII. Smith joined the Titans for 2004 and he ran for 509 yards, it was the only season in his career. Smith played his final NFL season in 2005, with the New Orleans Saints, running for 659 yards and 3 scores. For his career Smith played in 131 games, running for 6,881 yards and 54 touchdowns, good for 50th and 44th on the all-time lists respectively
Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. is an American football quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. He has won the most of any football player ever. After playing college football for the University of Michigan, Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. Due to his late selection, Brady is considered the biggest "steal" in the history of the NFL Draft. In Brady's seventeen seasons as a starter, he has played in a record nine Super Bowls with the Patriots, is one of only two quarterbacks to win the Super Bowl in their first season as a starter. Brady holds most of the postseason quarterback records, leading all players in postseason touchdowns, passing yards, completions, while owning the corresponding Super Bowl records as well. Brady has won four Super Bowl MVP awards, the most by a player, as well as three league MVP awards. Brady has been selected to 14 Pro Bowls, has led his team to more division titles than any other quarterback in NFL history.
He is fourth all-time in career passing yards for regular season play, third in career touchdown passes, first in postseason career passing yards, first in postseason career passing touchdowns, fourth in career passer rating, fourteenth in postseason career passer rating. For regular season and postseason combined, Brady is first all-time in career passing yards and touchdown passes; the only quarterback to reach 200 regular-season wins, Brady is the winningest quarterback in NFL history. With a postseason record of 30–10, he is first all-time in playoff wins and appearances for an NFL player. Brady has led the Patriots to an NFL-record eight consecutive AFC championship games since 2011, has never had a losing season as a starting quarterback, he is tied for the record for the longest touchdown pass at 99 yards to Wes Welker. For his alleged involvement in the publicized Deflategate football-tampering scandal, Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season. Brady and the Patriots won two of the next three Super Bowls, making him the record holder for most Super Bowl wins by a player, the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl, at 41.
Brady was born in San Mateo, California, on August 3, 1977, the only son and fourth child of Galynn Patricia and Thomas Brady, Sr. He has three older sisters, Nancy and Maureen, was raised as a Catholic, his father is of Irish descent, while his mother has German, Norwegian and Swedish ancestry. Two of Brady's great-great-grandparents on his father's side and Bridget Brady, were Irish refugees from the Great Famine who moved to San Francisco from Boston before the American Civil War, they were accompanied by Bridget's sister Ann and her husband Lawrence Meegan, the parents of the 19th-century American Major League Baseball player "Steady" Pete Meegan. Brady's great-uncle Michael Buckley Jr. was the first American prisoner of war in World War II. In the 1980s, Brady attended San Francisco 49ers games at Candlestick Park, where he was a fan of quarterback Joe Montana. At age four, Brady attended the 1981 NFC Championship, against the Dallas Cowboys, in which Montana threw The Catch to Dwight Clark.
As a child, Brady attended football camp at the College of San Mateo, where he was taught to throw the football by camp counselor and future NFL/AFL quarterback Tony Graziani. Brady grew up as a Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics fan, he attended Junípero Serra High School in San Mateo, where he graduated in 1995. He played football and baseball in high school, he played against Bellarmine College Preparatory rival Pat Burrell in both baseball. Brady began his football career as the backup quarterback on the Padres junior varsity team. At first, Brady was not good enough to start on the 0–8 JV team, which had not scored a touchdown all year. Brady ascended to the starting position, he held the position until he graduated. By Brady's senior year, he was striving to be noticed by college coaches, he created highlight tapes and sent them to schools he considered attending. This led to strong interest from many football programs around the nation; the process of recruiting was much different during Brady's time, athletes' rankings were not as prominent.
In terms of recruiting in the 2000s, Brady would have been considered a four-star recruit. In essence, he was a rated prospect. Brady was on Blue Chip Illustrated as well as a Prep Football Report All-American selection. After his recruiting process, he narrowed down his list to five schools. "Probably the ones that we did hear from and pared the list to were Cal–Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Illinois”, his father said. As a Cal fan, his father hoped that Brady would attend the nearby Cal, where Brady was a silent commit, that he would be able to watch his son play. Brady was known as a great baseball player in high school, he was a left-handed-batting catcher with power. His skills impressed MLB scouts, he was drafted in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft by the Montreal Expos; the Expos projected Brady as a potential All-Star, offered him money typical of that offered to a late second-round or early third-round pick. Brady was determined to play football at the ne
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves; the offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, otherwise they turn over the football to the defense. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal; the team with the most points at the end of a game wins. American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sports of association football and rugby football; the first match of American football was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams and Princeton, under rules based on the association football rules of the time.
During the latter half of the 1870s, colleges playing association football switched to the Rugby Union code, which allowed carrying the ball. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, the line of scrimmage, eleven-player teams, the concept of downs; the sport is related to Canadian football, which evolved parallel and contemporary to the American game, most of the features that distinguish American football from rugby and soccer are present in Canadian football. American football as a whole is the most popular sport in the United States; the most popular forms of the game are professional and college football, with the other major levels being high school and youth football. As of 2012, nearly 1.1 million high school athletes and 70,000 college athletes play the sport in the United States annually all of them men, with a few exceptions. The National Football League, the most popular American football league, has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world.
In the United States, American Football is called "football". The terms "gridiron" or "American football" are favored in English-speaking countries where other codes of football are popular, such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia. American football evolved from the sports of rugby football. Rugby football, like American football, is a sport where two competing teams vie for control of a ball, which can be kicked through a set of goalposts or run into the opponent's goal area to score points. What is considered to be the first American football game was played on November 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton, two college teams; the game was played between two teams of 25 players each and used a round ball that could not be picked up or carried. It could, however, be kicked or batted with the feet, head or sides, with the ultimate goal being to advance it into the opponent's goal. Rutgers won the game 6 goals to 4. Collegiate play continued for several years in which matches were played using the rules of the host school.
Representatives of Yale, Columbia and Rutgers met on October 19, 1873 to create a standard set of rules for all schools to adhere to. Teams were set at 20 players each, fields of 400 by 250 feet were specified. Harvard abstained from the conference, as they favored a rugby-style game that allowed running with the ball. After playing McGill University using both Canadian and American rules, the Harvard players preferred the Canadian style having only 11 men on the field, running the ball without having to be chased by an opponent, the forward pass and using an oblong instead of a round ball. An 1875 Harvard–Yale game played under rugby-style rules was observed by two impressed Princeton athletes; these players introduced the sport to Princeton, a feat the Professional Football Researchers Association compared to "selling refrigerators to Eskimos." Princeton, Harvard and Columbia agreed to intercollegiate play using a form of rugby union rules with a modified scoring system. These schools formed the Intercollegiate Football Association, although Yale did not join until 1879.
Yale player Walter Camp, now regarded as the "Father of American Football", secured rule changes in 1880 that reduced the size of each team from 15 to 11 players and instituted the snap to replace the chaotic and inconsistent scrum. The introduction of the snap resulted in unexpected consequences. Prior to the snap, the strategy had been to punt. However, a group of Princeton players realized that, as the snap was uncontested, they now could hold the ball indefinitely to prevent their opponent from scoring. In 1881, both teams in a game between Yale-Princeton used this strategy to maintain their undefeated records; each team held the ball. This "block game" proved unpopular with the spectators and fans of both teams. A rule change was necessary to prevent this strategy from taking hold, a reversion to the scrum was considered. However, Camp proposed a rule in 1882 that limited each team to three downs, or tackles, to adva