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.
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.
Sports are an important part of the culture of the United States. Three of the nation's five most popular team sports were developed in North America: American football, basketball and ice hockey, whereas soccer and baseball were developed in England. The four Major leagues in the United States are the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL); all enjoy massive media exposure and are considered the preeminent competitions in their respective sports in the world. Three of those leagues have teams that represent Canadian cities, and all four are among the most lucrative sports leagues in the world. The top professional soccer league in the United States, Major League Soccer, has not yet reached the popularity levels of the top four sports leagues, although average attendance has been increasing and in fact has matched or surpassed those of the NBA and the NHL.
Professional teams in all major sports operate as franchises within a league. All major sports leagues use the same type of schedule with a playoff tournament after the regular season ends. In addition to the major league-level organizations, several sports also have professional minor leagues, active in smaller cities across the country.
National Football League (1932–present)
Burgundy, Gold, White
The Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area is a combined statistical area consisting of the overlapping labor market region of the cities of Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, District of Columbia. The region includes Central Maryland, Northern Virginia, two counties in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, and one county in South Central Pennsylvania. It is the most educated, highest-income, and fourth largest combined statistical area in the United States.
Officially, the area is designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area. It is composed primarily of two major metropolitan statistical areas, the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD MSA and the Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV MSA. In addition, six other smaller urban areas not contiguous to the main urban area but having strong commuting ties with the main area are also included in the metropolitan area. These are: the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV MSA, the Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA MSA, the Winchester, VA–WV MSA, the California-Lexington Park, MD MSA, the Easton, MD micropolitan statistical area (µSA), and the Cambridge, MD µSA.
FedExField (originally Jack Kent Cooke Stadium) or known as Redskins Stadium is a football stadium located in an unincorporated area near the Capital Beltway (I-495) in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States, near the site of the old Capital Centre (later called USAir Arena in 1993 and US Airways Arena in 1996). FedExField is the home of the Washington Redskins football team. With seating for 85,000, FedExField is the largest venue in the NFL in terms of regular capacity.
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.
Landover is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 23,078.
Raljon, Maryland is a place name for the area around FedEx Field (originally called Jack Kent Cooke Stadium), near Landover, Maryland, where the Washington Redskins play. Former Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke derived the name from the names of his sons, Ralph and John. Introduced in 1997 to almost universal derision, the name enjoyed almost no currency beyond the Redskins and the United States Postal Service, which formally recognized the name.
Tony Kornheiser famously said "Lucky for us, Cooke didn't name his kids Peter and Ennis."
Washington Redskins lead 2–0
Super Bowl titles (8)