Teddy Roosevelt Saves Football

The Roosevelts Season 4, Ep 4 10/18/2016 Views: 18,435

Teddy Roosevelt rescues football from itself with some rule changes that make the sport less deadly. (5:53)

- Hello,I'm Katie Nolan,

and today I'm gonna tell youabout how Teddy Roosevelt

saved the sport of football.

I put the word "sport" inin case people didn't know.

- They still might think it'ssoccer, but we'll clear that up.

- [bleep] them if that's whatthey think.


Our story begins late 1890s when football was just

a college game, and there was no forward passing,

just dudes who wouldsmash their bodies

into each other's bodies,and then so in 19--

nope, 1894, there was this annual game between Harvard

and Yale that was so violent it was called:

Because it was just massacre.

Seven people were carted off the field

with dying injuries.

Yale won the game, and so they were so excited in their win,

they just started punching people.

They were like, oh, my God.

We won that game.

Like, it was really hard to watch, but we crushed them,

literally and alsosubject--object--what?

What's the opposite of literally?

- Figuratively. - Thank you.

Literally and figuratively we crushed those guys.

The Harvard fans were like,I want to go home and cry

and also invent Facebook.

[both chuckling]

And that game was sort of the catalyst for people realizing

hey, maybe, um...

football is, like, not good

because people are dying in a large sum

every year.

So enter Teddy Roosevelt, who was a huge football fan.

Like, he loved anything brutally manly.

So football to Teddy was, like, what America was about.

And so when they banned that game between Harvard and Yale,

he was like, excuse me.

No. Bring that game back.

We love that game. It means a lot to us as people.

It's been two years.

I can't live without it anymore.

Which is how I felt about sexin college.

- [laughs]

- So, like, Teddy Roosevelt's son, Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

joins the Harvard freshmanfootball team.

So his first game, the other team targeted him

because he's the president's son, and--

[mimics bone breaking] Nose broken.

Like, right away.

And then they put a huge gash on his face.

So Teddy Roosevelt decided that football's fantastic,

but it's maybe a little bit too violent.

Like, maybe we could calm it down.

And, you know, in hisspare time he was president,

so he ended the Russo-Japanese War

and then was like, I'm also gonna fix--

I'm gonna save football.

So anyway...

what was I talking about?

- Teddy Roosevelt.

- So Teddy Rooseveltcalled this meeting

with the heads of the college football powerhouses,

and he was like, look, guys, football.

Pretty violent, right?

Like, love the sport.

Doing a great job.

Let's not kill so many people.

And so the head coach of Yale, Walter Camp,

who's known as the father of American football was like,

um, don't talk about my sport that way.

I made this sport and we're not gonna change it.

Like, football is football.

Suck it, bro.

And so the president waslike, well,

this guy just told me to suck it, bro.

And so I think the meetingis ov--

meeting is adjourned.

I think the meetingis adjourned.

And so they didn't come to any sort of agreement,

and at the end of that season, the newsboys were like,

extra, extra!

Read all about it!

18 s-deaths--

I was gonna say serious deaths.


There are deaths that are,like, eh.

It's kind of funny.


18 deaths

and 159 fatalities.


Fatalities means death.

18 deaths and 159 super serious injuries

from football happening now.

Exclamation point, end quote.

Read about it.

Or don't.

So Teddy invited everybody back,

and he's like, hey, y'all.

All this stuff just happened.

Walter Camp, I see you raising your hand.

I don't acknowledge you.

We have to change your sport.

I get that it's your baby,

but sometimes your baby sucks.

If you give birth to a babyand you're like,

do whateverthe [bleep] you want,

it's gonna punch peopleand people are gonna die.

Your baby needs to be raisedproperly in a decent home,

and the decent home islet's make some new rules.

So, like, what if-- crazy thought--

what if we make first down instead of five yards,

make it ten?

And then he was like, what if you took a ball

and you threw it instead of only just being able

to shove into each other to move down the field?

Wouldn't that be wild?

And people were like, wait.

You want to throw a ball?

Like, yeah, that's why balls were invented, to be thrown.

Walter Camp was like, okay.


And so basically after that meeting, there was, like,

a national standard for what football was,

and it was great.

[uplifting music]

And it was all great because of Teddy Roosevelt,

and, like, nobody knows that.

They just thinkTeddy Roosevelt, oh, president.

Or actually, nowadays they go,Teddy Roosevelt?

Oh, you mean Franklin?

Because we're young and dumb

and nobody readsa goddamn book anymore.

- Cheers.