GMU Club Football – A Universal Language

By Matt Caron, Staff Writer

The Mason club football team hosted its second annual “Intro to American Football for International Students” event on the RAC field on Friday, September 1.

The club football team drew a very diverse crowd, including both men and women from as far away as India and as local as Stafford County, Virginia.  Those who attended participated in drills designed to teach them more about American Football.  

“The officers of the club football [team] put on this event in order to give back to the students on campus”, said Wide Receivers coach Virgil Seay. The students who attended had mixed levels of prior knowledge about American Football.

To kick off the event, members of the club football team and its coaching staff led the audience through a series of non-contact drills that helped to explain the basics of blocking, passing and other fundamental aspects of the game.  The demonstrations were met with enthusiasm from the audience, which resulted in a more in depth explanation of the rules and goals of the game.  

The event achieved its purpose as the students who attended the event indicated that if they watched an American Football game, they would be able to understand the general goals and rules of the game.  

When the staff was asked why football was so popular in the United States, they responded that American Football, like most sports, is a showcase for athleticism and that athleticism is universally appealing and does not require a shared language or culture to understand.  

The general principles of using your body to throw, catch, kick, and run with a football are universal concepts not cabined by a person’s culture or background.

Many of the International students seemed to agree with this principle stating that even though American football is somewhat different than the traditional football with which they are more familiar, that both sports were interesting and shared similar movements. The students acknowledged that while American football has remained relatively a domestic sport, it has the potential to be an international sport.  

According to Coach Seay, “They would be able to understand parts of [the game].” This is because they obviously can’t teach the entire sport to a group of students in the span of a couple of hours.

Many of the students indicated that they would come to see a Mason club football game.  Additionally, they indicated that they would have better understanding of what was going on when they watched an NFL or NCAA football game on television.  

Photo Courtesy of Creative Services