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1890: The Beginning of Nebraska Football

It started with a ball and a guy who knew what he was doing.

1890 Nebraska football team
What a dashing bunch of lusty fellows!

1890 was the first year Nebraska played football. The 1890 Nebraska football team played two games, although one was actually played in 1891. They won both games and did not allow either opponent to score.

The game of football was different from the game we know today. The forward pass was illegal. The concept of downs and the line of scrimmage had only just been established a few years before. The ball was much rounder than it is today. Players wore canvas uniforms with no padding.

We know the first (designated first anyway) college football game occurred in 1869 between Princeton and Rutgers. What happened between 1869 and 1890, the year Nebraska started playing football?

Why did Nebraska start in 1890? What was happening in and around Nebraska?

A man named Langdon Frothingham arrived on campus, stayed for six months, and was critical in Nebraska’s first success. Who was Frothingham and why was he important?

I answer all these questions in this video - 1890: Nebraska Football Begins

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