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 professional level of the sport 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 a nonprofit 501(c)(6) association. The NFL's executive officer is the commissioner, who has broad authority in governing the league.
American football (known as football in the United States and gridiron in some other countries) is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field 120 yards long by 53.33 yards wide with goalposts at each end. The offense attempts to advance an oval ball (the football) down the field by running with or passing it. They must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs and continue the drive; if not, they turn over the football to the opposing team. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown, kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal or by the defense tackling the ball carrier in the offense's end zone for a safety. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sport of rugby football. The first game of American football was played on November 6, 1869 between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, under rules resembling rugby and soccer. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, eleven-player teams and the concept of downs, and later rule changes legalized the forward pass, created the neutral zone and specified the size and shape of the football.
Gene Renard Atkins Jr. (born March 28, 1988) is an American football defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Georgia. He was drafted by the Bengals in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Rennie Curran (born November 10, 1988) is an American football linebacker for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. He played college football at the University of Georgia. Curran was considered one of the top weakside linebackers of his class, and has been called "the most dominant defensive player in the game" by The Sporting News. In January 2010, Curran announced that he was forgoing his final year of eligibility to enter the 2010 NFL Draft. He was the 97th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Titans.
Reshad Monquez Jones (born February 25, 1988) is an American football safety for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Dolphins in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Georgia.
Kade Weston (born November 29, 1986 in Arima, Trinidad and Tobago) is an American football nose tackle who most recently played for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He played college football at Georgia.
The National Football League draft, also called the player selection meeting, is an annual event in which the National Football League (NFL) teams select eligible college football players. It serves as the league's most common source of player recruitment. The basic design of the draft is that each team is given a position in the drafting order in reverse order relative to its record in the previous year, i.e., the last place team gets positioned first. From this position, the team can either select a player or trade their position to another team for other draft positions, a player or players, or any combination thereof. After each team has utilized its position in the drafting order, whether by trading it or selecting a player, a round would be complete. Certain aspects of the draft, including team positioning and the number of rounds in the draft, have seen revisions since its first creation in 1936, but the fundamental methodology has remained the same. Currently the draft consists of seven rounds. The original rationale in creating the draft was to increase the competitive parity between the teams as the worst team would, ideally, have chosen the best player available.
In the early years of the draft, players were chosen based on hearsay, print media, or other rudimentary evidence of a players ability. In the 1940s, some franchises began employing full-time scouts. The ensuing success of their corresponding teams eventually forced the other franchises to hire scouts also.
Jeff Owens (born October 14, 1986) is an American football defensive tackle who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He played college football at Georgia.
Red and Black
The Georgia Bulldogs football team represents the University of Georgia in the sport of American football. The Bulldogs compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). They play their homes games at Sanford Stadium on the university's Athens, Georgia, campus, and are currently coached by Mark Richt. Since their inaugural season in 1892, the Bulldogs have won two NCAA football national championships and 14 conference championships. The program has also produced two Heisman Trophy winners, two No. 1 NFL draft picks, and many winners of other national awards.
The University of Georgia (commonly referred to as UGA or simply Georgia) is an American land grant, sea grant, and space grant research university with its primary campus located on a 759-acre (3.072 km2) campus in Athens, Georgia, USA. It is the flagship university of the state of Georgia. The university is ranked 20th overall among all public national universities in the current 2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings and consistently ranks within the top 200 universities worldwide across numerous publications. UGA is classified as a 'Research University/Very High Activity', according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University of Georgia is a part of the University System of Georgia and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Founded in 1785 as the United States's first state-chartered university, it is the oldest and largest of Georgia's institutions of higher learning and along with the College of William and Mary and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill claims the title of the oldest public university in the United States. The university's historic North Campus is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places as a designated historic district.