Portal:National Football League

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Introduction

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference (four division winners and two wild card teams) advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

The NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL agreed to merge with the American Football League (AFL) in 1966, and the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that season; the merger was completed in 1970. 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. The individual Super Bowl games account for many of the most watched television programs in American history, all occupying the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most watched U.S. television broadcasts by 2015. The NFL's executive officer is the commissioner, who has broad authority in governing the league. The players in the league belong to the National Football League Players Association.

Selected article

Program cover from the Heidi Game.

The Heidi Game or Heidi Bowl was an American football game played on November 17, 1968. The home team, the Oakland Raiders, defeated the New York Jets, 43–32. The game is remembered for its exciting finish, as Oakland scored two touchdowns in the final minute to overcome a 32–29 New York lead. The Heidi Game obtained its name because the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) controversially broke away from the game with the Jets still winning to air the television film Heidi at 7 p.m. in the Eastern Time Zone. In the late 1960s, few professional football games took longer than two and a half hours to play, and the Jets–Raiders three-hour time slot was thought to be adequate. A high-scoring contest, together with a number of injuries and penalties for the two bitter American Football League rivals, caused the game to run long. NBC executives had ordered that Heidi must begin on time, but given the exciting game, they decided to postpone the start of the film and continue football coverage. As 7 p.m. approached, many members of the public called NBC to inquire about the schedule, to complain or opine, jamming NBC's switchboards, and the change could not be communicated. Heidi began as scheduled, preempting the final moments of the game and the two Oakland touchdowns in the eastern half of the country, to the outrage of viewers. The Heidi Game led to a change in the way professional football is shown on network television; games are shown to their conclusion before evening programming begins. To ensure that network personnel could communicate under similar circumstances, special telephones (dubbed "Heidi phones") were installed, with a connection to a different telephone exchange from other network phones. In 1997, the Heidi Game was voted the most memorable regular season game in pro football history.

Selected biography

Brett Favre with the Packers in 2006

Brett Lorenzo Favre (born October 10, 1969) is a former American football quarterback who spent the majority of his career with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He was a 20-year veteran of the NFL, having played quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons (1991), Green Bay Packers (19922007), New York Jets (2008) and Minnesota Vikings (20092010). Favre is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 70,000 yards, over 500 touchdowns, over 300 interceptions, and over 10,000 pass attempts. He officially retired on January 17, 2011. Favre started at the quarterback position for the University of Southern Mississippi for four years before being selected in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft by Atlanta (33rd overall). He was traded to Green Bay on February 10, 1992, for the 19th pick in the 1992 NFL Draft. Favre became the Packers' starting quarterback in the fourth game of the 1992 season, and started every game through the 2007 season. He was traded to the New York Jets and started at quarterback for the 2008 season before signing with the Vikings on August 18, 2009 as their starting quarterback. He made an NFL record 297 consecutive starts (321 including playoffs). He is the only player to win the AP Most Valuable Player three consecutive times (1995–97). He has led teams to eight division championships (1995, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009), five NFC Championship Games (1995, 1996, 1997, 2007, 2009), and two Super Bowl appearances (Super Bowl XXXI, Super Bowl XXXII), winning one (Super Bowl XXXI). He holds many NFL records, including most career touchdown passes, most career passing yards, most career pass completions, most career pass attempts, most career interceptions thrown, most consecutive starts by a player, most consecutive starts by a quarterback, most career victories as a starting quarterback, most sacked, and most fumbles. He is also referred to by his nickname "The Gunslinger".

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