National Football League (1953–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.
American Football League (1960–1969)
National Football League (1970–present)
Steve Myhra (born April 2, 1934 in Wahpeton, North Dakota; died August 4, 1994, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota) was a professional American football player who played offensive line and placekicker for six seasons for the Baltimore Colts.
After playing at the University of North Dakota, Myhra was drafted in the 12th round of the 1956 NFL Draft by the Colts as an offensive guard and linebacker. In 1957, Myhra became the Colts' placekicker, and was successful on 88% of his extra point attempts (14 of 16) and 4 of 6 on field goals. The next season, Myhra was only 4 for 10 on field goal attempts, which many have speculated may be why Johnny Unitas and the Colts went for the touchdown in overtime of the championship game rather than line up for a game-winning field goal attempt.
Philip Michael Rivers (born December 8, 1981) is an American football quarterback for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). Rivers was drafted in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft with the fourth overall pick by the New York Giants, who traded him to the San Diego Chargers for their first overall pick, quarterback Eli Manning. Rivers played college football at North Carolina State University. Rivers' career passer rating of 95.6 is tied for fourth-best with Tom Brady all-time among NFL quarterbacks with at least 1,500 passing attempts. Known for his durability, he set a NCAA record with 51 consecutive starts, and is ranked 4th all-time in consecutive starts by a quarterback in NFL history.
After starting Chargers' quarterback Drew Brees went to the New Orleans Saints following the 2005 season, Rivers came off the bench to lead the Chargers to a 14-2 record in his first season as a starter. In 2007, he helped the Chargers win their first playoff game since 1994 after beating the Tennessee Titans in the wildcard round of the 2007 playoffs and eventually leading them to the AFC Championship game. He has a career total of 14 fourth quarter comebacks, his most recent being on September 15, 2013, when he led the Chargers to a 33-30 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.