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When Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football

Written By: Dr. Gary Scott Smith  |  Posted: Monday, November 7th, 2011

             For more than a century baseball has been called America's national pastime, and Major League Baseball is flourishing today. However, in recent decades, football-college and professional-has surpassed baseball in popularity and prominence. For many men and some women, fall weekends and football are synonymous. Both the National Football League and major colleges attract huge audiences to stadiums and television sets to watch games, and football fantasy leagues abound. The NFL owners' lockout and potential cancellation of the NFL season caused widespread consternation.

            And yet, a much greater "tragedy" was averted in 1905-1906, when President Theodore Roosevelt helped save college football. Although professional football did not begin until the 1920s, about 50 years after the origin of professional baseball, it might not have existed without Roosevelt's earlier decisive action.

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