not really i have played football plenty of times without pads all you need is a field and a ball.
Bah. Football will never have my respect until the Superbowl skips all the commercials. I don't care if they're funny, and I realize the players need a break, but what kind of sport stops every few seconds?
Note: Now that I've ranted, I shall command you to go out and play soccer. The head injuries are harder to get, and there's only one commercial break. Yes, I realize it's cheerleader-less, but women can actually play the game. Plus, it's a lot more fun when your big tournament involves "The World" as opposed to just having several cities battle it out (Soccer has that too). Not only that, but you only need a soccer ball and some sort of field to play, as opposed to football, where you need tons of equipment (for the guys) and a killer body (if you plan to play cheerleading). Etc etc.
*Goes on for days*
and to me football is way more fun to watch. but i am a basketball person.