Football: Some Random Thoughts

I am very clearly not an athletic person. The only game I can somewhat play almost decently is tennis, but I dislike playing tennis, and the only sports game I watched was hockey. But I only watched hockey twice, and it wasn’t really of my own free will.

So being generally unathletic, I tend to look at sports differently than athletic people, which brings us to our question of the day: Why is a football called a football?

First, let us consider the first part of this compound word: foot.

Even with my limited knowledge of sports, I know that footballs are usually carried or thrown, and things that are carried or thrown by humans are usually carried or thrown by the hands, not the feet.

But we shall let this part of the word slide because footballs are occasionally hit by the foot (aka “kicked”) when a player is attempting to launch the football in a parabolic arc through the tuning fork-shaped apparatus.

So the “foot” part of “football” has been considered acceptable, although it is not the ideal choice of word. The most troublesome part of the word is “ball,” anyway.

According to, a ball is “a spherical or approximately spherical body or shape; sphere.”

A football is clearly not a sphere.

It’s shaped more like a lemon.

Let’s all call it a footlemon!

P.S. That looks like foo-tulle-mon, but it is pronounced foot-le-mon.