The Man who Saved Football

Early American Football

Early American Football

October 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt assembled an important summit conference at the White House. The topic: college football. The game had grown so brutal that over 100 student athletes had died. College and university presidents were disbanding teams. A number of state legislatures were giving major thought to making football illegal.

TR was himself a football fan, but he had a grim message for the men who ran the game: Sooner or later the rising public uproar would force his hand. If they failed to change the rules making football safer, he would have no choice but to ban it.

Roosevelt's requested reform prompted the creation of a new rules board to ensure major changes to the game. One board member suggested an idea encouraged by legendary coach John Heisman – legalizing the forward pass.

This solution would open up the game while minimizing dangerous mass collisions in the middle of the field.

The New York Times called the approach “radical,” and the head of the rules committee protested it. However, it was adopted for the 1906 season, along with rules that outlawed holding, unnecessary roughness and required a team to gain ten yards (instead of five) for a first down.

Though football loyalists criticized the changes, the changes wound up making the game not only safer but also more popular than ever. With the help of a play called by the president, football passed into a new era.

How does a new move to a classic game relate to ranking your content?

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

Football has always been a classic and beloved sport in America, not matter how rough it used to be. But with football’s forward pass change from President Theodore Roosevelt, the game was revolutionized close to what we see today.

This revolution is similar to the innovative concepts I found through Anthony Aires’ “Speed Ranking System” course. (If you haven’t already checked out the SRS course, it’s a great way to build your foundation on video ranking.) The “Speed Ranking System” course is a comprehensive overview to the mechanics of video marketing ranking, ranging from basic SEO to making money through affiliate marketing.

I’ve reviewed this course three separate times just to make sure I would learn the lessons by heart. Anthony Aires is one of the top three video ranking specialists in the country, and has helped create our program VideoPenguin. Just like President Theodore Roosevelt’s forward pass for modernizing football, Anthony’s ideas and courses are transforming video marketing.




This is Damon Nelson, co-creator of VidPenguin. Every Friday afternoon I will be sharing lessons “beyond the story” related to my program and other helpful platforms.


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Beyer, R. (2003). The greatest stories never told: 100 tales from history to astonish, bewilder, & stupefy. New York, New York: HarperCollins.

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