American football and soccer, also known as football in Europe, have different appeals for different people, even here at Washburn.
In general, the main differences between the two are that American football is primarily a contact sport requiring players with physical aggression, speed and power. It requires the player to wear helmets and padding. The egg-shaped ball is run down the field to the opponents touch line in order to score. Players can also kick the ball between goal posts to score as well.
Soccer is not a contact sport. In general, players aren’t allowed to touch each other and the ball is kicked, rather than held, like in the case of American football. The round ball is kicked to a goal at each end of the field with the objective to put the ball into the opposing team’s goal.
For Matt Mohr, who is studying to be an occupational therapy assistant and played American football for 12 years, American football is about team spirit.
“The best part about it is being with your team,” said Mohr, “You form some kind of brotherhood, almost like a family.”
According to Mohr, American football relies more on tactics to score points.
“I got a playbook from my coach with all the plays we needed to know, and I had to study that over the summer,” Mohr said.
Mohr said American football is also a good way to release stress.
“If you are having a rough day, you can just tackle somebody in practice and it kind of takes a weight off your shoulders,” Mohr said.
Derrick Schwarz, a mass media major who plays soccer occasionally, disagrees.
“I like the attitude of European football better, you don’t go out there to hurt somebody,” Schwarz said.
Shawn Porter, a Washburn student, thinks soccer is more “classy” than football.
“I think the culture surrounding [American] football is more violent,” Porter said.
Indeed, concussion rates in American football are a point of controversy. According to the NCAA in February 2014, in a survey of about 20,000 student-athletes, about 17.9 percent of men self-reported having one concussion while 8.2 percent reported having multiple.
However, in the same report, men’s soccer had a 16.8 percent self-report rate for a single concussion and a 9.5 percent report rate for multiple.