American Football Database
American Football Database
The First Game
ArtistArnold Friberg
Typeoil painting
Dimensions95 cm × 150 cm (37.5 in × 60 in)

The First Game is a painting by Arnold Friberg, and was commissioned in 1968 by Chevrolet Motor Division as one of four paintings to commemorate the then-upcoming centennial celebration of college football in the United States.[1] It depicts the famous first game of American intercollegiate football, played by Rutgers College (now Rutgers University) and the visiting College of New Jersey (by then more commonly known as Princeton College) on November 6, 1869, at College Field in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The game was played in front of approximately 100 spectators, including a Rutgers professor who is reported to have waved his umbrella at the participants while yelling, "You will come to no Christian end!"[2] Friberg included the man with the umbrella in the painting as a tribute.


  1. Scott, Ricahrd (2008). "Chapter 2". SEC Football: 75 Years of Pride and Passion. p. Page 42.
  2. Hyman, Vicki (October 23, 2010). "How New Jersey Saved Civilization... the first intercollegiate football game". Retrieved 27 December 2017.