Rock legend Dave Grohl thanks Canada for inventing football in Super Bowl commerical

Screenshot courtesy: Crown Royal/YouTube

Dave Grohl expressed his gratitude for Canada in a Super Bowl commercial for Crown Royal, thanking the country for a number of things including the invention of football.

According to historians, Grohl’s claim is accurate. The first recorded instance of gridiron football took place in November 1861 at the University of Toronto’s University College. The sport was evolving rapidly over different parts of North America, though the rules became more standardized over time through intercollegiate competition.

A watershed moment for American football came when Harvard University and McGill University played a pair of exhibition games on May 13 and 14, 1874.

The first game was played under American rules with a round ball and 15 or more players per team. The second game was played under Canadian rules using an oblong ball with 11 players per team. Players were permitted to run with the ball, throw forward passes, tackle one another, and score touchdowns in a game that more strongly resembled rugby than soccer. Following the two exhibition games, Harvard chose to adopt the Canadian rules as their own and use them in future intercollegiate matchups.

Canadian and American football continued to develop in their respective countries with rules that still differ to this day. However, were it not for the influence of Canadian innovation, it’s likely that American football would have evolved much differently over time.

The other inventions for which Grohl thanked Canada included the egg carton, ironing board, electric wheelchair, paint roller, canola oil, whoopee cushion, poutine, instant potatoes, walkie-talkies, trash bags, batteries, Hawaiian pizza, peanut butter, replay, hockey, and basketball. He also paid tribute to a number of iconic Canadian musicians, actors, and comedians including Rush, Joni Mitchell, Oscar Peterson, Celine Dion, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Seth Rogen, and Michael Cera.

Grohl is best-known today as the creator, lead vocalist, and guitarist for the Foo Fighters, who have sold approximately 45 million records worldwide since their self-titled debut album was released in 1995. The 54-year-old is also an accomplished drummer having been a member of Scream (1986-90) and Nirvana (1990-94). He also plays drums in Them Crooked Vultures, a supergroup that recently reunited after releasing an album in 2009.

Crown Royal was founded in 1939 and is produced exclusively in Gimli, Man., which is located 90 kilometres north of Winnipeg. It is then blended and bottled just south of Windsor in Amherstburg, Ont.