American Football League (1960–1969)
National Football League (1970–present)
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 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.
National Football League (1932–present)
Burgundy, Gold, White
Super Bowl XVIII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Los Angeles Raiders to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1983 season. The Raiders defeated the Redskins by the score of 38–9. The Raiders' 38 points and their 29 point margin of victory broke Super Bowl records; as of 2013, it remains the most points scored by an AFC team in a Super Bowl, and the only Super Bowl won by a Los Angeles-based team. The game was played on January 22, 1984, at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida, the first time the Super Bowl was held in that city.
The Redskins entered the game as the defending Super Bowl XVII champions, and finished the 1983 regular season with a league-best 14–2 record, and led the league in the fewest rushing yards allowed, and set a then-NFL record in scoring with 541 points on the season. The Raiders were in their second season in Los Angeles since moving from Oakland in 1982, and posted a 12–4 regular season record in 1983.
Super Bowl XXXVII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Oakland Raiders and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2002 season. The Buccaneers defeated the Raiders by the score of 48–21, winning their first ever Super Bowl. The game played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California on January 26, 2003, was the fifth Super Bowl to be held a week after the conference championship games. It is also the last Super Bowl to have been played in the month of January, since 2001 (Super Bowl XXXVI was the first to be played in February after the September 11 attacks, Super Bowl XXXVIII joined permanently for it to be played in February).
It was the first time in Super Bowl history that the league's #1 ranked offense (Raiders) was pitted against the league's #1 ranked defense (Buccaneers). However, the game is sometimes referred to as the "Gruden Bowl", because the primary storyline surrounding the game revolved around Jon Gruden. Gruden was the Raiders' head coach from 1998 to 2001, and then became the Buccaneers coach in 2002. Tampa Bay, "Gruden's new team", entered their first Super Bowl in team history after posting a 12–4 regular season record. Oakland, "Gruden's old team", advanced to their fifth Super Bowl after posting an 11–5 regular season record.