It is really hard to trace out the origins of a sport that had its start in some of the most tumultuous times in history. American football started out as a Rugby game that got modified on the way. While traditional games of rugby did not have scrum lines and goal posts, the modified American football introduced these factors to the game over time. There remains, however, some strong essentially points in rugby and soccer that are taken from the original source the American football.
American football originated in the mid19th century as rugby being played in some of the schools and colleges in England. They did have a fanatic fan following most of the time and matches were fought to the wire. But interestingly as the game crossed over to the west and across the Atlantic, there came to be introduced certain variations which in essence gave the new lands the American Football.
The game was played on a field of 22 individuals divided into two teams that competed with each other to put the ball or bladder into a goal post most of the time. Thus, more than the dissimilarities, it is the common playing points that make the game stand out from the very inception.
A big difference that came about in the approach and playing of the game of football came about when people took it to a professional level. Money that flowed into the game not only changed the manner people looked at the game but on the overall changed the way players approached the game too.
With professional football, there came to be a change of emphasis that shifted from something of indifference to active participation. As corporate money was poured to popularize the teams and the corporate bodies that backed the very teams, the standards of the game improved tremendously too.
As big corporates involved themselves in a big manner, the game and its administration took on a new lease of life quite unseen earlier. Thus, what happened to be a simple game of kicking around the ball became something of a national pass time for most people. Corporate involvement brought to the fore coaches and team managers who were greater than the players who played the game at any time.
Managing a team became a full-time affair and people often punted on team management rather than on the team players.
It is indeed debatable if the football game has indeed benefited from corporate sponsorship. But what is evident is the amount of money that got itself involved with each game and with it the issues of managing the game to the full. The future path the game evolves into would be decided by how the corporate teams fare and introduce changes to the formats.