College football started in New Jersey on this day in 1869
On November 6th, 1869, the first intercollegiate football game took place between Rutgers and Princeton in New Brunswick. Rutgers won 6-4. The two teams played again the next week with Princeton winning 8-0.
According to Wikipedia.com, the game played in 1869 resembled soccer much more than what we recognize as football: the ball was round, there were 25 players per team, and there was no running with the ball. The two schools also played under different rules. The home team set the rules.
The two schools were supposed to play a third game that season, but it was canceled. It was either because administrators thought too much emphasis on athletics or because the two teams couldn’t agree on which rules to use. The Rutgers team had no coach and was known as the “Queensmen,” reflecting the original name of the university, Queens College.
Next time you watch a Scarlet Knights’ football game on TV, you’ll know what that sign that says, 1869 National Champions means.
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