Portal:National Football League

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The National Football League (NFL) portal

The National Football League (NFL) is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing its name to the National Football League in 1922. The league currently consists of thirty-two teams from the United States. The league is divided evenly into two conferences – the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC), and each conference has four divisions that have four teams each, for a total of 16 teams in each conference. The NFL is an unincorporated 501(c)(6) association, a federal nonprofit designation, comprising its 32 teams.

The regular season is a seventeen-week schedule during which each team plays sixteen games and has one bye week. The season currently starts on the Thursday night in the first full week of September and runs weekly to late December or early January. At the end of each regular season, six teams from each conference (at least one from each division) play in the NFL playoffs, a twelve-team single-elimination tournament that culminates with the championship game, known as the Super Bowl. This game is held at a pre-selected site which is usually a city that hosts an NFL team.

The NFL is the most attended domestic sports league in the world by average attendance per game, with 66,960 fans per game in 2010–11. Although not as frequently as the other major professional sports leagues in the United States, the NFL still is not immune to labor disputes, such as the players' strikes of 1982 and 1987, and more recently a lockout in 2011, though the latest did not result in the cancellation of any regular-season games.

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The 1987 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season was a year of great change for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' organization in the National Football League. The season began with the hiring of former New York Giants and University of Alabama head coach Ray Perkins. Perkins had only needed three seasons to build the Giants into a playoff team, and it was hoped that he would be able to repeat the feat with the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers possessed the first overall pick in the NFL Draft, and used it to select University of Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde. The Buccaneers appeared changed and won four games early in the season, but they notably lost large leads in later games and fell from playoff contention after midseason. The season was marked by a 1987 players' strike in which regular play was interrupted for a month, while the NFL owners fielded teams of replacement players.

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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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Outside view of Cowboys Stadium
Credit: Mahanga

An outside view of Cowboys Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas.

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