True. Along with Wumpus being another early release. Football plays like it was probably a graphical front end added to the popular mainframe text-based football simulator also found on early 70s time-share systems.
I’ll bet the early TI game programmers played variants of the early computer sports and adventure games in college.
”During the 1960s, Dartmouth’s membership in the Ivy League revolved around its football team. In 1962, computing students under the tutelage of Kemeny and Kurtz named one of the college’s homegrown compilers the problematic acronym SCALP. The Kiewit Center brought the same rough-and-tumble masculine bonding into the teletype room again with sport- and war-oriented computer games, including at least three versions of computer football games (FTBALL, FOOTBALL, and GRIDIRON). In fact, Dartmouth distinguished itself from most other universities by actively encouraging student gaming and recreation on the network.”
TI Football is probably a port of these older style games.
Dartmouth is also where BASIC was invented in 1964.
”In the 1960s, Dartmouth College became ground zero for the coming explosion in American computing after college mathematics professors John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz developed a new programming language that was relatively easy to learn: Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, or BASIC. Kemeny and Kurtz wanted to a create a novice-friendly computing entry point that would attract young talent for the college’s newly developed Dartmouth Time-Sharing System, a network of teletype terminals located across New England colleges and high schools that connected, via telephone lines, to a mainframe General Electric computer at Dartmouth.”