From The English People on the Eve of Colonization : 1603-1630 (1954) by Wallace Notestein:
“The matter of the use of Sunday afternoon became presently a controversial one between Puritans and their opponents. In 1616 James I on his way down from Scotland was waited upon in Lancashire by a delegation of servants, laborers, and mechanics, who complained that they were estopped from all recreations on Sunday. James needed no coaxing to utter pronouncements and the chance to encourage Sunday sports was not to be resisted. The upshot was the Book of Sports authorizing the people to enjoy themselves on Sunday afternoon. It was ordered to be read in all churches … although here and there a daring [Puritan] clergyman failed to do so.”
So, we have King James to thank for NFL Football?