National Football League (1933–present)
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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.
The culture of Philadelphia goes back to 1682 when Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn. Originally inhabited by the Lenape, Philadelphia was envisioned as a place where people could live without fear of persecution because of their religion. As a result, many Quakers, Mennonites, and others came to find refuge within the city. As Philadelphia grew into a major political and economic center of the United States, many different groups of religions and ethnicities flocked to the city. 19th and 20th century immigration and migration led to large concentrations of Germans, Italians, Asians, Irishmen, Puerto Ricans and African Americans. Philadelphia is still a major center of immigration, with large Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, East African, Middle Eastern, Indian and Mexican immigrant populations, among others.
The city's cultural prominence has risen and fallen since its founding. The city has made contributions in art, music, television, architecture and food. Philadelphia institutions range from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to Pat's Steaks.
National Football League (1960–present)
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The NFC East is a division of the National Football League's National Football Conference. It currently has four members: the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Washington Redskins.
The division was formed in 1967 as the National Football League Capitol Division, keeping with the theme of having all of the league's divisions starting with the letter "C." The division was so named because it was centered around the capital of the United States, Washington, DC. In 1967 and 1969 the teams in the NFL Capitol Division were Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington and the expansion New Orleans Saints, which had been replaced by the New York Giants for the 1968 season.
The National Football League occasionally schedules matchups on Christmas, December 25 or Christmas Eve, December 24.
Unlike their counterparts, the Thanksgiving Classic games, Christmas Day and Christmas Eve games in the National Football League are not a regular annual part of the schedule; rather, the NFL only schedules a Christmas game on a night when football would be played anyway, and has only scheduled regular season games on Christmas Day since 1989. Through the 2011 season, there have been 17 Christmas Day contests.