NFL Football ( Events)
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league composed of 32 teams divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The highest level of professional football in the world, the NFL runs a 17-week regular season from the week after Labor Day to the week after Christmas, with each team playing sixteen games and having one bye week. Out of the league's 32 teams, six (four division winners and two wild-card teams) from each conference compete in the NFL playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, played between the champions of the NFC and AFC. The champions of the Super Bowl are awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy; various other awards exist to recognize individual players and coaches. Most games are played on Sunday afternoons; some games are also played on Mondays and Thursdays during the regular season. There are games on Saturdays during the last few weeks of the regular season and the first two playoff weekends.
The NFL was formed on August 20, 1920, as the American Professional Football Conference; the league changed its name to the American Professional Football Association (APFA) on September 17, 1920, and changed its name to the National Football League on June 24, 1922, after spending the 1920 and 1921 seasons as the APFA. In 1966, the NFL agreed to merge with the rival American Football League (AFL), effective 1970; the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that same season in January 1967. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance 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 programs in American history. At the corporate level, the NFL is an nonprofit 501 association. The NFL's executive officer is the commissioner, who has broad authority in governing the league.
Each team is allowed to have up to 53 players during the regular season, but only 46 can be active (eligible to play) on game days. Teams are given exclusive rights to sign free agents that have three or fewer seasons in the league, but free agents that have been in the league at least four years can sign with any team. Each team is subject to a salary cap. The champions of the most recent season, the 2012 season, are the Baltimore Ravens, who defeated the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII. The team with the most championships is the Green Bay Packers, who have won 13 championships. The team with the most Super Bowls is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have won six Super Bowls.