National Football League (1960–present)
Navy, Silver, White
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.
There is no single national governing body for American football in the United States or a continental governing body for North America. There is an international governing body, the International Federation of American Football, or IFAF, but it does not have much influence in American football in the United States. American football is the most popular sport in the United States, but does not get as much recognition around the world.
Befitting its status as a popular sport, football is played in leagues of different size, age and quality, in all regions of the country. Organized football is played almost exclusively by men and boys, although a few amateur and semi-professional women's leagues have begun play in recent years. A team / academy may be referred to as a 'football program' - not to be confused with football program.
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.
The Cotton Bowl Classic is a college football bowl game that pits a team from the Big 12 against a team from the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Between 1937 and 2009 the game was played at its namesake stadium in Dallas, Texas. The game hosted the champion of the Southwest Conference until that conference's dissolution in 1996. The other invited team was often the second-place or third-place finisher in the Southeastern Conference or a major independent.
Currently, the Cotton Bowl selects its teams after the participants in the five Bowl Championship Series games and the Capital One Bowl have been selected. In total, these games take either one or two teams from the Big 12 and either one or two teams from the SEC (although the Big 12 does not have an affiliation with the Capital One Bowl like the SEC does). The Cotton Bowl organizers choose from the remaining Big 12 teams and usually chooses the conference's runner up if that team is not BCS qualified. That team is usually paired with the SEC West's second place team, as the division winner is either guaranteed a slot in the BCS or the Capital One Bowl (which usually takes the losers of the SEC and Big Ten championship games).
As with all sports leagues, there are a number of significant rivalries in the National Football League. Rivalries are occasionally created due to a particular event that causes bad blood between teams, players, coaches, or owners, but for the most part, they arise simply due to the frequency with which some teams play each other, and sometimes exist for geographic reasons.
September 21, 2009
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants
February 14, 2010
2010 NBA All-Star Game
AT&T Stadium (previously known as Cowboys Stadium) is a city-owned stadium with a retractable roof in Arlington, Texas, United States. It serves as the home of the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. It replaced the partially covered Texas Stadium, which opened in 1971, and served as the Cowboys' home through the 2008 season. It was completed on May 27, 2009. The stadium seats 80,000, making it the fourth largest stadium in the NFL by seating capacity. The maximum capacity of the stadium, including standing room, is 105,000. The Party Pass (open areas) sections are behind seats in each end zone and on a series of six elevated platforms connected by stairways.
NYG leads 1–0
NFL Championships (13)
Washington Redskins lead 2–0
Super Bowl titles (8)