Sports in The United States - Popular Team Sports - American Football

American Football

American football, known within the country simply as football, has the most participants of any sport at both high school and college levels.

The NFL is the preeminent professional football league in the United States. Through expansion teams and the landmark merger with the American Football League in 1970, the NFL has reached its current mark of 32 franchises divided into two conferences. After a 16-game regular season, each conference sends six teams to the NFL Playoffs, which eventually culminate in the league's championship game, the Super Bowl.

Millions watch college football throughout the fall months, and some communities, particularly in rural areas, place great emphasis on their local high school football teams. The popularity of college and high school football in areas such as the Southern United States (Southeastern Conference)and the Great Plains stems largely from the fact that these areas historically generally did not possess markets large enough for a professional team. Nonetheless, college football has a rich history in the United States, predating the NFL by decades, and fans and alumni are generally very passionate about their teams.

Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest annual sporting event held in the United States. The Super Bowl itself is always among the highest-rated programs off all-time in the Nielsen ratings. Some notable players include Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Larry Csonka, Roger Staubach, Walter Payton, Brett Favre, Dick Butkus, Jack Youngblood, Joe Greene, Alan Page, Troy Aikman, Joe Montana, Otto Graham, Emmitt Smith, John Elway, Bart Starr, Fran Tarkenton, Kurt Warner, Ray Lewis, Lawrence Taylor and Johnny Unitas. Some notable current NFL players include Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, J.J. Watt, Adrian Peterson, Aaron Rodgers, and Andre Johnson.

Arena football, a form of football played in indoor arenas, has a professional league, the Arena Football League. The original league was active from 1987 to 2008 and folded in 2009, but several teams from the AFL and its former minor league, af2, relaunched the league in 2010. Several semi-professional leagues, mostly regional in nature, also exist.

Read more about this topic:  Sports In The United States, Popular Team Sports

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Famous quotes containing the words football and/or american:

    People stress the violence. That’s the smallest part of it. Football is brutal only from a distance. In the middle of it there’s a calm, a tranquility. The players accept pain. There’s a sense of order even at the end of a running play with bodies stewn everywhere. When the systems interlock, there’s a satisfaction to the game that can’t be duplicated. There’s a harmony.
    Don Delillo (b. 1926)

    This American system of ours ... call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you like, gives to each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it.
    Al Capone (1899–1947)