National Football League (1995–present)
Black, Blue, Silver
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league composed of 32 teams divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The highest level of professional football in the world, the NFL runs a 17-week regular season from the week after Labor Day to the week after Christmas, with each team playing sixteen games and having one bye week. Out of the league's 32 teams, six (four division winners and two wild-card teams) from each conference compete in the NFL playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, played between the champions of the NFC and AFC. The champions of the Super Bowl are awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy; various other awards exist to recognize individual players and coaches. Most games are played on Sunday afternoons; some games are also played on Mondays and Thursdays during the regular season. There are games on Saturdays during the last few weeks of the regular season and the first two playoff weekends.
The NFL was formed on August 20, 1920, as the American Professional Football Conference; the league changed its name to the American Professional Football Association (APFA) on September 17, 1920, and changed its name to the National Football League on June 24, 1922, after spending the 1920 and 1921 seasons as the APFA. In 1966, the NFL agreed to merge with the rival American Football League (AFL), effective 1970; the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that same season in January 1967. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance (67,591) of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States. The Super Bowl is among the biggest club sporting events in the world and individual Super Bowl games account for many of the most-watched programs in American history. At the corporate level, the NFL is an nonprofit 501(c)(6) association. The NFL's executive officer is the commissioner, who has broad authority in governing the league.
The National Football League regular season begins the weekend after Labor Day and ends in December or early January. It consists of 256 games, where each team plays 16 games during a 17-week period. Traditionally, the majority of each week's games are played on Sunday afternoon, with weekly games on Sunday night and Monday night, and occasional games on Thursday night or Saturday.
Super Bowl XXXVIII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Carolina Panthers and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2003 season. The Patriots defeated the Panthers by the score of 32–29, winning their second Super Bowl in three years. The game was played at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on February 1, 2004. At the time, this was the most watched Super Bowl ever with 144.4 million viewers.
The Panthers were making their first ever Super Bowl appearance after posting an 11-5 regular season record. The Patriots were seeking their second Super Bowl title in three years after posting a 14-2 record.
National Football League (1995–present)
Black, Gold, Teal, White
The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), the highest level of professional American football in the United States, culminating a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. The Super Bowl uses Roman numerals to identify each game, rather than the year in which it is held. For example, Super Bowl I was played on January 15, 1967, following the 1966 regular season, while Super Bowl XLVII was played on February 3, 2013, following the 2012 season.
The game was created as part of a merger agreement between the NFL and its then-rival league, the American Football League (AFL). It was agreed that the two leagues' champion teams would play in the AFL–NFL World Championship Game until the merger was to officially begin in 1970. After the merger, each league was redesignated as a "conference", and the game was then played between the conference champions. Currently, the National Football Conference (NFC) leads the league with 25 wins to 22 wins for the American Football Conference (AFC). The Pittsburgh Steelers hold the record for Super Bowl victories with six.
Thomas Edward Patrick "Tom" Brady, Jr. (born August 3, 1977) is an American football quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). After playing college football for the University of Michigan, Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
In Brady's eleven seasons as a starter, the Patriots have earned five trips to the Super Bowl, winning three. He has also won two Super Bowl MVP awards, has been selected to eight Pro Bowls, and holds the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a single regular season. His career postseason record is 17–7; his playoff win total is the highest in NFL history. He also helped set the record for the longest consecutive win streak in NFL history with 21 straight wins over two seasons (2003–04), and in 2007 he led the Patriots to the first undefeated regular season since the institution of the 16-game schedule. Brady has the third highest career passer rating of all time (96.6) among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 career passing attempts. In 2012, Brady became the first quarterback in NFL history to lead his team to 10 division titles.
Cardiac Cats is the nickname of the 2003 Carolina Panthers, who were known for close games often decided in the final minutes or the final play of the game. After finishing the season 11–5, the Panthers captured their first division title since 1996. They advanced to Super Bowl XXXVIII, but lost to the Patriots 32–29 after a last second field goal.
The "Cardiac Cats" played in five road overtime games during the season, winning four of them (an NFL record). This included a double overtime victory over the Rams in the Divisional playoffs (the fifth-longest game in NFL history). The team also tied an NFL record by winning seven games by 3 points or fewer, and led the NFL in comeback wins during the season.
Ken Walter (born August 15, 1972 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a former American football punter for the New England Patriots in the National Football League. From 1997 – 2000, he played for the Carolina Panthers, from 2001 – 2003 he played for the Patriots, and in 2004 played for the Seattle Seahawks. Previously, he played collegiately for Kent State University.
On the Patriots, Ken served as the holder for placekicker Adam Vinatieri. He successfully held for both of Vinatieri's Super Bowl winning kicks in Super Bowl XXXVI and Super Bowl XXXVIII. He also held for Vinatieri's famous kicks in the Tuck Rule Game against the Oakland Raiders.
American Football League (1960–69)
National Football League (1970–present)