This article is about American football or, as we call it in America, football. This is an introductory article on the sport, so it includes all the basics as well as more in-depth coverage. This article includes:
A history section, with extensive detail going into the formative days of the sport and its evolution into the top American sport. For comparison to other FA sports articles, this is longer than the history section in the Association football article, and shorter than the one in the Baseball article. The short length relative to the baseball article is primarily due to the broader coverage in the History of American football article, a featured article.
An etymology section, which explains why the sport is unambiguously called 'football' in American despite relatively little use of the foot. It also gives common names for the sport in other countries besides the US.
A teams and position section, which gives a basic overview of substitution rules, the division of teams into units, and the specialized roles of each player.
A rules section, which gives a basic overview of the fundamentals of the game: scoring, field dimensions, timekeeping, advancing the ball, kicking, and officiating.
A leagues and tournaments section, which covers the major American leagues, minor American leagues, and international competition. It also gives an overview of the sport's Olympic history and the main obstacles to Olympic entry (namely, lack of international participation and large team sizes).
A safety section, covering common health risks and protective measures that have been made to try and combat them.
Overall, it provides a basic but comprehensive overview of the sport. I think it meets all criteria, and is of similar or better quality than our other FA sports articles. ToaNidhiki05 02:46, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Comment I would expect to find information about the impact of football on U.S. culture and society, just like in baseball#Popularity and cultural impact. Granted that it's not on the same "apple pie"-level as baseball as a cultural icon, but it's still pretty darned American. Just the hullabaloo surrounding the Super Bowl seems like it would deserve its own paragraph. PeterIsotalo 15:05, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
I've begun work on this section now. ToaNidhiki05 18:48, 17 April 2014 (UTC)
Definitely an improvement. It's rather strictly focused on audience statistics, how it compares to other sports, etc. Are you sure there's nothing to say about actual cultural aspects? For example, what's the perception of football in the US? High school football seems like something that is a minor field of study of it's own. For example, the archetypal jock always seems to be a football player (preferably a quarterback).
Any chance we'll be seeing anything on football and gender roles, btw? I'll admit that there's a gender perspective on just about anything, but I can hardly think of anything that could be considered more masculine in the US than football. Here's a good source with some references to further studies on the subject.
I'm still working on the section, it's not complete yet. :) ToaNidhiki05 17:30, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
I've added more on US perception of football and masculinity in the sport. ToaNidhiki05 17:39, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Now that's what I call improvement. Good work! I'd recommend adding a tad more on the critical aspects of masculinity. I think the quote from USA Today is a great illustration, but its openly disparaging view of non-masculine male behavior could use a little bit of balancing. I might even help you to add a sentence or two based on Smith (2009). The information about popularity and playing outside of North America is very good, but it would be very good to provide some indication about how it actually compares to other sports, especially association football.
Understood, I'll see what I can find. As to comparative popularity to soccer, I'm not sure exactly what you mean - are you wanting a comparison within American or a worldwide comparison? The latter might be fairly difficult as no sports really compare to soccer in popularity, and football is often regarded as just an American sport. ToaNidhiki05 02:05, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
I was thinking something like how 45,000 registered German amateur players could be contrasted with the equivalent number of soccer players. You know, stating the obvious about its relative lack of popularity outside of North America. People often know of it, but very few actually play it locally, or watch local teams.
Oppose at this time per concerns about completeness, source reliability, neutrality, and cleanliness. These issues can be fixed, in which case I'll give my support if nothing else arises, but it won't be too easy and I really would not feel comfortable with the article passing as is.
Elaborate a little on what rugby is like and its ancestral similarities to American football.
"Teams and positions" contains an awfully high number of subheaders. I'd merge the level-4 headers into the level-3 ones, considering how short they are.
In fact, I think you could probably stick them all under the simple level-2 header, if you wanted, and bullet each of them as is done in "Offices and fouls". Either way, pick something as it looks cluttered as is.
For the time being, I have simply removed the level-4 headers. I'll see if I can do anything else. ToaNidhiki05 19:05, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Is For Dummies a reliable source for the rules of football?
Okay, that's fine. Tezero (talk) 19:20, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Likewise, Merriam-Webster is probably not a reliable source for information about those sub-strains of the game. I'd replace it with an exhaustive source about the history of the game, so that another complaint of mine about the coverage of these versions of football can be addressed:
How so? I'll note that the baseball article hardly mentions any variant sports like softball, and soccer only devotes a few paragraphs to it. Aside from Canadian football (which has a rather large section), variants like arena football and indoor football are basically the same game with a smaller playing field (and a few rule changes to fit that), and casual variants have rules that are different from person to person. ToaNidhiki05 19:05, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Alright, that's fair. Tezero (talk) 19:20, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Other sources whose contextual reliability/appropriateness I question:
Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
How is this unreliable, especially for the only thing it is used to cite (the shape of the ball)? ToaNidhiki05 19:05, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Surely you can find a better alternative if it's so obvious? And why isn't the shape or structure of the ball mentioned anywhere else in the article? Tezero (talk) 19:20, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Removed; the bit of information is obvious and has been removed, and for some reason the website - despite having the right url - is linking to an entirely different page now. ToaNidhiki05 19:05, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Section ordering is a little weird; Safety should probably go between Rules and Leagues and tournaments.
In Popularity and cultural impact, I'd mention something about football, despite its massive popularity, never having made it to the Olympics besides its "demonstration", whatever that means.
Technically, this information is already mentioned in a prior section - leagues and tournaments - where it has a whole paragraph elaborating on this in-depth. Should I just move that to the popularity section? ToaNidhiki05 23:36, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
"American football is by far the most popular sport" - Debatable. By which metrics is it the most popular sport? If none are given in the source, frame it as the author's opinion.
I'll keep this FAC on my watchlist. Tezero (talk) 17:17, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Oppose, suggest withdrawal due to poor sourcing. A third of the cites are to the official rules themselves (violating WP:NOR), another bunch to the poor-quality For Dummies website, and the rest to the popular press. Barely any scholarly peer-reviewed works feature (a children's book does though). Compare this with the Baseball FA's sources.—indopug (talk) 11:19, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
How is citing factual assertions about the rules of a sport to the definitive source of rules (namely, rulebooks) original research? I would think they would be the most reliable sources to use, as they are ones declaring the facts on the matter. The baseball article does this with many of its citations.
Because they are primary sources, and we shouldn't citing/interpreting them directly if we can help it. And looking at the scholarly Nelson book, we clearly can—why not cite that instead? I'm also curious why uncontroversial statements such as "A football game is played between two teams of 11 players each" requires three citations.—indopug (talk) 07:43, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
The For Dummies books were written by not just one, but two highly credible sources (namely, a football analyst who was a Hall of Fame player and an editor for a football program that is a Hall of Fame voter), and the "children's book" was written by John Madden, a Hall of Fame coach and football analyst. You might not like the publisher or format, but the writers themselves are more than qualified on hte subject matter.
How is citing factual assertions to reliable third-party media outlets a bad thing? Are the BBC, ESPN, USA Today, the New York Times, Popular Mechanics, Time Magazine, The Economist, the International Business Times, and Sports Illustrated not reliable enough sources? WP:SOURCES makes it clear that it is perfectly fine to cite to reputed, non-academic publications.
Why exactly does an article need to overload itself with scholarly sources when reliable third-parties more than suffice? The featured article critera makes no such requirement - instead, it says it simply needs to be "a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature. Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by inline citations where appropriate". And to the contrary, this article does cite from academia when needed - citations 10, 51, and 101 are cited directly to academic sources.
That all aside, I don't really understand how I can make fixes if you don't give direct concerns. Which media outlets I am using are unreliable? What individual media claims should instead be given to academia? ToaNidhiki05 23:09, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
But I have listed my direct concern—that this article doesn't nearly present "a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature". (How can it when you admit to not perusing any of the books written on the subject?)
And you've not given me any examples of media outlets I am using that are unreliable for the content cited. And I have read books on the subject - David M. Nelson's fantastic book The Anatomy of a Game is sourced here. ToaNidhiki05 14:46, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
And thus you can make fixes—by withdrawing this article from FAC, and rewriting it using scholarly sources. As you've read in WP:SOURCE, "If available, academic and peer-reviewed publications are usually the most reliable sources". You may also want to read this.
That is not helpful at all. You have not given a reason why any of the 153 internal citations in this article are unreliable, save for a few I have proven are in fact reliable. ToaNidhiki05 14:46, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Further, even the sources that exist in the article should be checked whether they are used correctly. For eg, "Concussions are particularly concerning" is cited to a repository of NYT reporting on head injuries. The very strong claim that concussions in American football are a "particular concern" is not backed anywhere (the medical article at the end of the sentence doesn't mention football). And this is just the first thing I happened to check.
See, this is helpful. Giving me a specific source that isn't good allows me to fix it. Just taking a short look at the article and saying "This is crap because it doesn't use as many scholarly sources as I want" doesn't help me improve this at all. ToaNidhiki05 14:46, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Lastly, looking at the lead, it's clear that the writing isn't up to par. A most likely reader of this article is somebody who doesn't have a clue about the game. But he is told that "They must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs" without "downs" ever being defined. And then there is tautology (American football evolved in the United States), another unexplained term (snap), easter-egg linking (November 6, 1869) and an acronym out of nowhere (NFL).
Once again, this is more helpful. The terms 'down' and 'snap' are linked - per WP:UNDERLINK, this is an acceptable way to explain technical terms. At the same time I'd be more than willing to define it. ToaNidhiki05 14:46, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
It's clear there's simply far too much to be done than is possible within the scope of an FAC.—indopug (talk) 07:43, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't be so certain. I'm pretty much always available to fix these sort of issues. If you'd be willing to do a more thorough source check I'd be more than willing to work to correct them. ToaNidhiki05 14:46, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm siding with Toa Nidhiki05 here. indopug, if you don't have the time to actually detail what you want changed, that's not Toa's problem. Tezero (talk) 17:05, 23 April 2014 (UTC)
Indopug is absolutely right about the children's book, though. It has to go, even if it's Madden. The type of sources I'd expect for an FA-level article should cover facts so basic that they've made it into a children's book. So why use the children's book at all? Or is the fact itself dubious? It's a completely unnecessary source of doubt.
The lone fact cited by the Madden book (Walter Camp being the "Father of American football") is minor, but I've now replaced it with two other sources currently in the article (NFL.com and PFRA). ToaNidhiki05 17:30, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
The intro is surprisingly easy to read, but honestly I would prefer to have some figures there too (such as how many athletes are registered, how much revenue it generates, how many people watch the Super Bowl). And please, before promoting this clarify or mention or say something about having a game called football but not being played with the feet 99%+ of the time. Nergaal (talk) 21:56, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your input! I'm not sure I can get full registration information for the entire world, because to my knowledge no single source keep track of that number, but would just US numbers suffice? I'd expect to encounter similar problems with revenue (I'd likely have to rely solely on American leagues), but I can get the worldwide Super Bowl viewership numbers fairly easily. As to the last (no foot in football), I'm sure I can find a way to sneak that in. There is already an explanation for the name in the 'etymology' section, I'm sure I can find something to talk about the 'foot' issue. :) ToaNidhiki05 22:26, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Update: I've added the 'foot' thing to the etymology section, where it explains why the sport has the name it now has. More to come. ToaNidhiki05 22:35, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, US figures are fine, since the game is mostly played in the US. The figures are more for people who live outside of US to get a better grasp of the phenomenon there. As for the foot think, I am sure I am not the first person who thought a game named football would be at least non-negligibly played with the feet (like if association football were to be called handball because the keeper can use his hands). Nergaal (talk) 23:24, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Alright, good, I'll see if I can find those numbers. It appears my edit adding elaboration on the 'foot' bit was reverted though, so I may have to bring that up with the editor who reverted it. ToaNidhiki05 23:30, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
OK, I've added the numbers for amateur (college and high school) athletes as well as the NFL's average revenue. ToaNidhiki05 03:06, 26 April 2014 (UTC)
Quick comment – The Bennett and Vancil cites lack an associated book in the reference list. I think they're used in the history article as well, so the same information applies here.Giants2008 (Talk) 11:20, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
Note: It looks like I have only one comment that you haven't yet addressed. I wouldn't say I still oppose this candidacy, but if you fix it I'll take another run-through and, if reasonable, support it. Tezero (talk) 21:26, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
I think I'll support; everything looks up to par and my complaints have all been addressed. Nice work! Tezero (talk) 01:30, 4 May 2014 (UTC)