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). It 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, seven teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held on the first Sunday in February and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC. The league is headquartered in New York City.
Here are a few NFL curiosities:
- The NFL was founded in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season.
- The first Super Bowl was played on January 15, 1967, between the National Football League champion Green Bay Packers and the American Football League champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers won the game 35-10.
- The New England Patriots have made the most Super Bowl appearances, with 11 appearances and 6 wins. The Pittsburgh Steelers have the most Super Bowl wins, with 6 titles.
- The shortest player in NFL history was Jack Shapiro, who was just 5 feet 3 inches tall and played for the Staten Island Stapletons in 1929. The tallest player in NFL history was Richard Sligh, who was 7 feet 0 inches tall and played for the Oakland Raiders in 1967.
- The NFL has had a few ties in its history, but they are rare. The last tie in the NFL was on November 7, 2016, between the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals, with a final score of 6-6.
- The longest field goal in NFL history was a 64-yard field goal by Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos on December 8, 2013.
- The NFL has had a few father-son combinations play in the league. The most notable is probably Archie Manning, who played quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, and his sons Peyton Manning, who played quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, and Eli Manning, who played quarterback for the New York Giants.
- The NFL has a few unique rules, such as the “Tuck Rule,” which states that if a quarterback is attempting to pass and has the ball knocked out of his hand, it is considered an incomplete pass as long as he was in the process of tucking the ball back into his body. This rule was famously used in the 2002 AFC divisional playoffs between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders, when a call using the Tuck Rule helped the Patriots win the game.
- The NFL has a few traditions, such as the coin toss to start the game, the halftime show during the Super Bowl, and the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before every game.
- The NFL has a few notable rivalries, such as the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, who have played each other more times than any other teams in NFL history, and the Dallas