Hello, everyone. In today’s ALT Report, I will talk about something very interesting and strange in Japanese history: the “American football boom.”

Do you know about American football? Maybe when you hear “football,” you think about soccer. Soccer is called football in Europe. But in the USA and Canada, we think about the American sport when we hear “football.” It is a game like rugby. Two teams try to get the ball to the other side of a large field. In America, football is more popular than soccer. The biggest football league is called the National Football League, or NFL for short. Every year, millions of people watch the NFL championship game, called the “Super Bowl.” This year the Super Bowl was on February 3, and the Kansas City Chiefs played against the San Francisco 49ers. The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl.

These days, you do not see American football on TV in Japan. But in the 1970s, the sport was very popular and you could watch games on TV. This time is called the “Amefuto boom.” Even college football was popular, and there was a famous toy at this time called “College Ace,” a college football player made of metal. Many children in Japan wanted to play American football, and the Amefuto boom was strong.

But what happened? Why was football so popular in the 1970s, but not now? This is what makes the Amefuto boom strange. We don’t know why it isn’t popular now. Sometimes things are popular for a short time and then they are not anymore. When this happens, in English we call it a “fad.” But American football is still in Japan.

The Japanese American football league is called the X-League, and they play games even today. The X-League started in 1971, the beginning of the Amefuto boom, as the Japan American Football League. It is not as popular as baseball or soccer, but I am happy that American football is still played in Japan. My country has an American football league too, the CFL (Canadian Football League). Many people in Canada love this sport.

Thank you for reading, and until next time;

-Devon (Kasachu ALT)