The National Football League (NFL) is the top professional league in the United States for American Football. Based on attendance and television ratings, the NFL has become the most popular pro sports league in the United States. Its championship, the Super Bowl, is often the most watched television event of the year.
History of the NFL
The NFL has its beginnings in a league formed in 1920 called the American Professional Football Association. There were 10 teams in the original league, none of which are still part of the NFL. The Green Bay Packers joined in 1921 and would be the oldest and longest running franchise in NFL history. In 1922 the league changed its name to the National Football League. Over the next several years or so many teams would come and go as the sport tried to catch on. The last team to fold was in 1952.
In 1959 a rival league was formed, the American Football League (AFL). The AFL was very successful and soon was competing with the NFL for players. In 1970 the two leagues merged together. The new league was called the NFL, but they incoporated a lot of innovations from the AFL.
There are currently 32 teams in the NFL. They are split into two conferences, the NFC and the AFC. Within each conference are 4 divisions of 4 teams each. To see more on the teams go to NFL teams.
NFL Season and Playoffs
In the current NFL season (2010), each team plays sixteen games and has one week off called a bye week. The top 6 teams from each conference get into the playoffs with the top two teams getting a bye the first week. The playoffs are single-elimination and the final two teams meet up in the Super Bowl.
What is Fantasy Football?
Fantasy Football has become very popular with fans of the NFL. It's a game where fans create their own leagues, usually with friends and family, and then draft players onto their teams. Each member drafts players in different positions, like quarterback and running back. Players get points each week depending on different stats like yards gained and touchdowns. Whoever has the most total points for that week wins.
There are all sorts of ways to play fantasy football on the internet. Most of them are free like NFL.com and ESPN.
Fun Facts about the NFL
- NFL players weren't required to wear helmets until 1943.
- The Chicago Bears had 6 tie games in 1932.
- A 30 second commercial in the 2011 Super Bowl cost around $3 million.
- More than 100 million people watch the Super Bowl every year. They eat around 14,500 tons of chips!
- The Dallas Cowboys is worth over $1.5B and is one of the most valuable franchises in all of sports.
- Eli and Peyton Manning are the only brothers to both win the Super Bowl MVP.
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