McLoughlin Brothers "Parlor Foot-Ball Game" bears an early copyright date of 1891. The sport, as we know it today, really only began about 20 years before this time. American football was primarily enjoyed at the college level then; professional teams did not yet exist. The sport enjoyed great popularity early on. A clue to the sport's heritage can be seen on this box cover's illustration. The actual ball depicted is less lozenge-shaped and nearly round. Today's actual ball shape, in football, grew out of the shape of the ball used for rugby, which was round. It gradually evolved to the shape we recognize.