THE BRONX - A historian is claiming to have discovered the reason why football has become a major nationwide sensation over the years.

Bronx professor and historian Victor Mastro says the reason football has a ubiquitous presence in the United States is because of a game played right here in the Bronx. He says a game played on Dec. 28, 1958 in Yankee Stadium between the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts, who are currently located in Indianapolis, is what really caused masses of people to become interested in the sport.

Mastro discussed that game today at the City Island Public Library and read a poem he wrote, called "The Greatest Game Ever Played," complemented with collages he has made as part of a hobby of his.

Mastro says this is the greatest game because it was the first professional football game to go into sudden-death overtime. He says the game's excitement boosted the nation's interest in football.

The "greatest game" was played 55 years ago on this day.