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 and 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

Brock Lesnar at the WWE show in 2003

Brock Edward Lesnar (born July 12, 1977) is an American professional wrestler, actor, mixed martial artist and amateur wrestler. He is currently signed with professional wrestling promotion WWE. He is also a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and was ranked the No.5 Heavyweight in the world by Sherdog before he announced his retirement at the end of 2011. Lesnar is an accomplished amateur wrestler, winning the 2000 NCAA heavyweight wrestling championship and placing second in 1999, losing in the finals to 1999 world freestyle wrestling champion and future New England Patriots offensive lineman Stephen Neal. He then gained prominence in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where he was a three-time WWE Champion, becoming the youngest WWE Champion at age 25 with his first reign. Lesnar was the 2002 King of the Ring and the winner of the 2003 Royal Rumble. After leaving WWE in 2004, Lesnar pursued a career in the NFL. He played during the preseason for the Minnesota Vikings, but ended up being a late cut. Lesnar returned to professional wrestling at the end of 2005, and joined New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in his first match. He was stripped of the title in July 2006, although he held the physical belt until June 2007. Lesnar started a career in mixed martial arts and won his first fight in June 2007. He then signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in October 2007. He lost his UFC debut against Frank Mir. He captured the UFC Heavyweight Championship from Randy Couture on November 15, 2008, then avenged his loss to Mir at UFC 100 to become the Undisputed Champion. After being sidelined from fighting in late 2009 due to diverticulitis, Lesnar returned to defeat the Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Shane Carwin at UFC 116. Lesnar lost the Heavyweight belt against Cain Velasquez at UFC 121. He was once again stricken with a bout of diverticulitis in May 2011 and had surgery to try to cope with the ailment. In August 2011, Lesnar stated that he was ready to return to fighting in the UFC. Lesnar retired from the UFC following his loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 141.

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