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Origins of soccer's name

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I was wondering how American football got to be called football when is it mostly carried or thrown, and why soccer, which is played by kicking the ball, is not called football but soccer in the United States?

Football was a fledgling sport at upper-crust English boarding schools in the early 1800s, according to Slate magazine. The rules varied from school to school, though.

So in 1863 a group of boys club members met in London to establish common rules. They named their group the Football Association, and their rules were published in a booklet called The Book of Rules of Association Football, by a Group of Former English Public School Men.

In the 1880s, British slang turned the "association" in the group name to "soc" and added er to give the sport an alternate name. At this point the game was called soccer, football and soccer football almost interchangeably, Slate reported.

In countries that liked the Football Association's rules, the sport that Americans know as soccer continues to be called football.

The United States changed the game but kept the name. Americans — and others around the world, notably Canadians and Australians — borrowed the British slang and began to refer to English football as soccer.

It was 1945 before the United States of America Foot Ball Association changed its name to the United States Soccer Football Association, and 1974 when it dropped the word football and became the United States Soccer Federation.

A few left out of Oscars tribute

While watching the Academy Awards, I was disappointed that Andy Griffith was not mentioned during the "In Memoriam" part of the program. He was a TV star, but he made a number of movies, including two classics, A Face in the Crowd and No Time For Sergeants. I know he died last July. Can you confirm why he was left out, and if it was an oversight.

Griffith was one of several actors and directors who were not included in this year's "In Memoriam," which is a video tribute to those who died in the past year. The New York Times reported last month that there are usually about 30-40 spots in the montage, which has been a part of the Academy Awards broadcast since 1994.

A committee of members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is charged with deciding who is included, but the committee members' names are "discreetly concealed from other members and the public," to avoid lobbying.

Others missing this year included two former best supporting actress nominees, Joyce Redman and Susan Tyrrell, Phyllis Diller, Larry Hagman and Ann Rutherford, who played Scarlett O'Hara's sister Carreen in Gone With the Wind. Missing directors included Michael Winner, Mel Stuart, Gore Vidal and David R. Ellis.

A more comprehensive slide show is at

Q&A: 04/14/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 6:35pm]
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