National Football League (1976–present)
College Navy, Action Green, Wolf Grey, White
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 (known as football in the United States and gridiron in some other countries) is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field 120 yards long by 53.33 yards wide with goalposts at each end. The offense attempts to advance an oval ball (the football) down the field by running with or passing it. They must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs and continue the drive; if not, they turn over the football to the opposing team. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown, kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal or by the defense tackling the ball carrier in the offense's end zone for a safety. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sport of rugby football. The first game of American football was played on November 6, 1869 between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, under rules resembling rugby and soccer. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, eleven-player teams and the concept of downs, and later rule changes legalized the forward pass, created the neutral zone and specified the size and shape of the football.
Leroy Hill, Jr. (born September 14, 1982) is an American football linebacker who is currently a free agent. He played high school football in Milledgeville, GA for the Baldwin High School Braves. He was selected with the 34th pick of the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft out of Clemson University by the Seahawks.
Injuries to starting veteran linebacker Jamie Sharper put him into the starting lineup in his rookie year, and he did very well, totaling 72 tackles and 7.5 sacks from the outside linebacker position. He and rookie middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu were two of the biggest contributors to the 2005 Seahawks squad that went to Super Bowl XL. Hill was also named to the Pro Bowl roster that year but was unable to play due to an ankle injury. He wears #56 for the Seahawks. In the 2009 offseason, Hill was tagged as the Seahawks franchise player. The Seahawks removed the franchise tag on Hill on April 26, 2009, making him a free agent because the Seahawks drafted highly touted Wake Forest Linebacker Aaron Curry at number 4 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. However, several days later, on April 30, 2009 Leroy Hill re-signed with the Seattle Seahawks on a 6-year 38 million dollar deal.
Gerard Ross (born December 27, 1982) is an American football player who currently is a free agent.
He was signed by the Seattle Seahawks in 2006, activated to their active roster in January 2007. He was released in August 2007.