do not know who it was that first put an animal's bladder to his
lips and blew into it, neither do we know who then stitched it up
and kicked it, but whoever these odd fellows were, they can certainly
not have known that they were spawning the most popular game on
the planet. A game that has become the universal expression of life's
great struggles (imposing order to endless kinetic dilemmas and
creating an arena for the rebel yell of pure escapist joy).
to perfection our basic instincts to invade and protect, the earliest
forms of 'The Beautiful Game' became incredibly popular and so,
by the mid -fourteenth century, numerous decrees had been issued
forbidding the subjects of England to play the game. It is generally
imagined that 'footeballe' then, was just an excuse for a punch-up.
True, there were many deaths and people were 'cast over hedges at
the hazard of their limbs'. We believe however, that even these
early games, had more tactics and teamwork on display than we have
given our ancestors credit for.
by the eighteenth century we find that the game has become even
less indiscriminate, as reported by Joseph Strutt in his book "Sports
and Pastimes of the People of England" (written in 1801) where he
level of violence was the most notable aspect of the game for those
that did not appreciate its finer points though. King James refereed
to it as "Meter for laming than making able the users thereof" And
the author of "The Anatomie of Abuses in the Realm of England",
Stubbes, ranted in 1583 of the "develyshe pastime":