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.
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.
The American Football League (AFL) was a major American Professional Football league that operated from 1960 until 1969, when it merged with the National Football League (NFL). The upstart AFL operated in direct competition with the more established NFL throughout its existence.
The AFL was created by a number of owners who had been refused NFL expansion franchises or had minor shares of NFL franchises. The AFL's original lineup saw an Eastern division of the New York Titans, Boston Patriots, Buffalo Bills and the Houston Oilers along with a Western division of the Los Angeles Chargers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, and Dallas Texans. The league first gained attention by signing 75% of the NFL's first-round draft choices in 1960, including Houston's successful signing of All-American Billy Cannon.
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.
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.
National Football League (1953–present)
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The Manning Award has been presented annually since 2004 to the collegiate American football quarterback adjudged by the Sugar Bowl Committee to be the best in the United States. It is the only quarterback award that includes each candidate's postseason-bowl performance in its balloting.
The award is named in honor of former University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) quarterback Archie Manning and his quarterback sons Peyton and Eli. Archie was also the quarterback for the NFL New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings. Peyton was the star quarterback at the University of Tennessee as well as with the Indianapolis Colts, and now for the Denver Broncos. Eli was also a star quarterback at Ole Miss and is the current quarterback of the NFL's New York Giants. Both Peyton and Eli were All-America selections during their college careers and both have led their respective professional teams to Super Bowl championships, each winning the Super Bowl MVP award (Peyton with the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI and Eli with the New York Giants in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI). Archie was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989. All the award winners have gone on to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft except Colt McCoy, who was drafted in the third round, and the most recent recipient Johnny Manziel, who currently plays for Texas A&M.
Elisha Archibald "Archie" Manning III (born May 19, 1949) is a former professional football player, a quarterback in the National Football League. He played for the New Orleans Saints from 1971 to 1982, then for the Houston Oilers and Minnesota Vikings. Manning is the father of Cooper Manning, current starting Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, and current New York Giants starting quarterback Eli Manning.
Super Bowl XLI was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Indianapolis Colts and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Chicago Bears to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2006 season. The Colts defeated the Bears by the score of 29–17. The game was played on February 4, 2007, at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
This game featured two teams ending long Super Bowl appearance droughts. The Colts, who finished with a 12–4 regular season record, were making their first Super Bowl appearance since winning Super Bowl V in the 1970 season during the team's tenure in Baltimore; they had moved to Indianapolis in 1984. Meanwhile, the Bears, who posted an NFC-best 13–3 regular season record, were making their first appearance since winning Super Bowl XX in the 1985 season. In addition, the Bears' Lovie Smith and the Colts' Tony Dungy both became the first African-American head coaches to coach in the Super Bowl.