New England (//) is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. New England is bordered by New York State to the west, Long Island Sound to the south, the Atlantic Ocean and the Canadian province of New Brunswick to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north.
In one of the earliest English settlements in North America, Pilgrims from England first settled in New England in 1620, to form Plymouth Colony. Ten years later, the Puritans settled north of Plymouth Colony in Boston, thus forming Massachusetts Bay Colony. Over the next 126 years, New England fought in four French and Indian Wars, until the British defeated the French and their native allies in North America.
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 League (1960–1969)
National Football League (1970–present)
The Bills Toronto Series is a deal consisting of a series of National Football League games featuring the Buffalo Bills played at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The series began in the 2008 season and expired in 2012, though the deal was later renewed for five years on January 29, 2013. The Bills were originally scheduled to play eight (later reduced to seven) home games over five seasons as part of the agreement, which included one regular-season game each of the 5 years and one pre-season game on the 1st, 3rd and (originally) 5th year of the series. This includes the first regular-season NFL game played in Canada which the Bills lost to the Miami Dolphins.
The league has approved one additional Toronto home game for the Bills each season through 2017, should the parties come to an agreement on an extension, and the terms of the current lease on Ralph Wilson Stadium (agreed upon in principle in December 2012) also allow for one regular season game throughout the terms of the contract for the purposes of extending the series. The series was conceived by a group that includes Bills owner Ralph Wilson, the late Ted Rogers of Rogers Communications and Larry Tanenbaum of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.