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 Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award, or Super Bowl MVP, is presented annually to the most valuable player of the Super Bowl, the National Football League's (NFL) championship game. The winner is chosen by a fan vote during the game and by a panel of 16 American football writers and broadcasters who vote after the game. The media panel's ballots count for 80 percent of the vote tally, while the viewers' ballots make up the other 20 percent. The game's viewing audience can vote on the Internet or by using cellular phones; Super Bowl XXXV, held in 2001, was the first Super Bowl where fan voting was allowed.
Since the first Super Bowl was held in 1967, the MVP award has been given to 42 players. From 1967 to 1989, the Super Bowl MVP was presented by SPORT magazine. Bart Starr was the MVP of the first two Super Bowls. Since 1990, the award has been presented by the NFL. At Super Bowl XXV, the league first awarded the Pete Rozelle Trophy, named after the former NFL commissioner, to the Super Bowl MVP. Ottis Anderson was the first to win the trophy. The most recent Super Bowl MVP was Joe Flacco, the quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, who was named the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLVII, held on February 3, 2013.
Peyton Williams Manning (born March 24, 1976) is an American football quarterback for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). He played for the Indianapolis Colts for 14 seasons from 1998 to 2011. He is a son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and an elder brother of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
Manning played college football for the University of Tennessee, leading the Volunteers to the 1997 SEC Championship in his senior season. However, No. 3 Tennessee lost to the No. 2 Nebraska Cornhuskers 42-17 in the Orange Bowl giving Nebraska and Tom Osborne their 3rd national championship in 4 years. He was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts with the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. From 1998 to 2010, he led the Colts to eight (seven AFC South and one AFC East) division championships, two AFC championships, and one Super Bowl championship (Super Bowl XLI). He has won a record four league most valuable player awards, was the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLI, has been named to twelve Pro Bowls, has twelve 4,000-yard passing seasons, and is the Indianapolis Colts' all-time leader in passing yards (54,828) and touchdown passes (399). In 2009, he was named the best player in the NFL, and Fox Sports, along with Sports Illustrated, named him the NFL player of the decade for the 2000s.
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.