From Smart Football:
Is there some pure, true, Platonic-ideal football? If not, then why? The answer is that there is not such a pure, true, ideal football because football is a game; all the rules – except ones designed around safety – are arbitrary. They might have in mind competitive balance, but this doesn’t make it “true” or “real” in any meaningful sense.
[There] simply is no such thing as “real” or “true” Platonic football. The next time someone next to you says, upon seeing someone successfully employ a double-reverse pass or some next-wave offensive system, that what you just saw was not “real” football (this group includes many football coaches) you can safely think to yourself that this person has no idea what they are talking about… Football is a game designed for fun and its rules are designed for no other reason than to promote fun and safety for players and spectators.