Kid’s Craic: Are You ready for Some Football? Gaelic or American?

Are You Ready for Some Football?  Gaelic or American?
By Megan Lardie

As the calendar flips to September, football season is ready to kick off!  The Cleveland Browns are gearing up for, hopefully, another winning season!  Ohio State Buckeye fans can hardly wait for the first kickoff! All the high schools are ready for Friday Nights under the lights. Sunday afternoons are all booked for CYO players. 

American football, as we know it, is only played in the United States and in Canada. The rules of the American football game actually came from rugby and soccer. Most of the rest of the world refers to soccer as football. In Ireland, there is also Gaelic football.

Gaelic football is somewhat like American football and soccer. Gaelic football is played with two teams of fifteen players and a rectangular grassy field. Players score by kicking or punching the ball into the other team’s goal. Players can score points if the ball goes between the upright posts above the goal bar or if the ball goes into the net.

Players move the ball up the field by carrying, bouncing, kicking, hand passing, or kicking it up to the hands of another teammate. The positions are similar to the ones in soccer. There are six forwards, two midfielders, six backs, and one goalkeeper.

Gaelic football is one of the few sports left in the world that is only for amateurs. That means none of the players, coaches, or mangers get paid any money. The “Super Bowl” of Gaelic football is called the All-Ireland Championship and is held every year at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland. If you are interested in learning more about Gaelic football in Cleveland, there is a youth league that meets at the West Side Irish American Club. Check the website for more information. If you live in another city, there are links on to find the one closest to you.

Walter Camp
American football has changed a great deal since its early days. American football began in 1879. Walter Camp was a player at Yale University and helped come up with the rules of the game, making it different than the rules of rugby and soccer.

Some of the changes he made were that there would only be eleven players instead of fifteen, a quarterback and center position was created, as were penalties. During this time, football was only played in college and its popularity was growing. Small teams and leagues popped up around the Midwest in cities such as Pittsburgh and Chicago in the late 1800s. Forward passing was not allowed until 1906!

When teams started developing in towns such as Massillon, Akron, and Canton, Ohio became the center of professional football. That is why the Football Hall of Fame is in Canton! The Ohio League was created and supported several professional teams.

Soon after, the National Football League (NFL) was formed, in 1920. American football has changed since it began. In the beginning, players did not wear any of the protective gear that you see today. The first game that was shown on TV was not until 1939, and it was a college game. Today, players are protected from head to toe, and the Super Bowl is the most watched event on TV.

Sports all over the world have changed and grown in popularity over the years. As I watched the Olympics this year, I was in awe of all the athletes. I was impressed by the events that had been added such as skateboarding and surfing.

The stories of how the athletes got to the Olympics were inspiring; some made me cry, some made me laugh; all wowed me. Whether you play football, soccer, rugby, volleyball, basketball, baseball, swim or run cross country, you should be proud of yourself! It takes commitment to be a part of a team and the team is not the same without you! If you do not play a sport, whatever you do, be proud of yourself for learning how to do it and work hard to achieve your goals. Never let anyone tell you no!

             “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” –  Michael Phelps

Trail Mix Recipe
This trail mix recipe is perfect to bring along in the car on your way to practice. Packed with sweet and salty ingredients, everyone is going to love it! This is just a basic recipe; you can add anything else that you might enjoy or leave out what you do not like! 


1 cup Peanuts

1/2 cup Yogurt Covered Raisins

1/2 cup Candy Covered Chocolates (M&Ms)

1 cup Banana Chips

2 cups Pretzels

Instructions: Just mix everything together in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container. Put in small Ziplock bags and take them to go!

Literature Corner

Everything you ever wanted to know about soccer; pages and pages of fascinating facts about the game of soccer and its history, from the earliest games played in China to the origin of the word to the strangest injuries to the richest soccer player! Written by Juan Pablo Lombana, who grew up and played soccer in Columbia, the book was illustrated by Zamie Casazola.

Rising Above
Eleven Athletes Overcame Challenges in Their Youth to Become Stars

Think you are not good enough, fast enough, tall enough? Have you been diagnosed with a disorder, so you think you cannot follow your dream? Find out how these athletes overcame their challenges through hope, discipline, and inspiration and became stars!

Lardie’s Laughs
Q: What is harder to catch the faster you run?
A: Your breath.

Q: Why are soccer players really good at math?
A: They know how to use their heads.

Gab in Gaelic
There is no strength without unity = Ni ceart go cur le cheile (pron: knee keart guh kurr leh kaileh)

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