School of Communications to add football history course

Daniel Grosso

Course registration for many of Quinnipiac’s undergraduate students begins this week, and with a slew of new courses on its way, students’ options are open.

One of the School of Communications’ new courses is JRN300: The History of Football.

“[Co-Director of Sports Studies] Lisa Burns and I thought it would be a good idea to give students a firm grounding in how football emerged and became the most popular sport [in America] through the last 100 or so years,” Director of the Graduate Program in Journalism Richard Hanley said.

Hanley will teach the new course in the fall and said he is excited to get started. The course will take students on a guided journey through America’s new favorite pastime, from the beginning of football in the 19th century all the way up to the present-day National Football League.

Students will explore how the game of football has evolved throughout its history and how the American media shaped the game into what it is today.

“Football has always cared about its popularity,” Hanley said. “The organizers always cared about the popularity of the game, and as such have cultivated it through the media.”

Using clips from NFL Films, old newspapers and several texts, students can explore how football and its media coverage have changed throughout the 20th century up to the present day. The course will also require its students to develop their own research, creating their own theories and reaching new conclusions about the history of the game.

The course will go beyond the game’s history. Students will explore present-day issues surrounding the game.

“We’ll also question the viability of football as the science progresses about head injuries, and whether or not Americans would watch a less violent game,” Hanley said.

For the most watched sport in America, it is only natural Quinnipiac’s communications and sports studies students be well-versed in the game’s history and its relationship with the American media.