Portal:American Football
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Portal:American Football

The American Football Portal

Sport football.svg
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team with possession of the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with the ball or passing it, while the defense, the team without possession of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs or plays; if they fail, they turn over the football to the defense, but if they succeed, they are given a new set of four downs to continue the drive. Points are scored primarily by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.

American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sports of soccer and rugby. The first American football match was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, using rules based on the rules of soccer at the time. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, the line of scrimmage, eleven-player teams, and the concept of downs. Later rule changes legalized the forward pass, created the neutral zone and specified the size and shape of the football. The sport is closely related to Canadian football, which evolved in parallel with and at the same time as the American game (although their rules were developed independently from that of Camp's). Most of the features that distinguish American football from rugby and soccer are also present in Canadian football. The two sports are considered the primary variants of gridiron football.

American football is the most popular sport in the United States. The most popular forms of the game are professional and college football, with the other major levels being high school and youth football. , nearly 1.1 million high school athletes and 70,000 college athletes play the sport in the United States annually. The National Football League, the most popular American football league, has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world. Its championship game, the Super Bowl, ranks among the most-watched club sporting events in the world. The league has an annual revenue of around US$13 billion. Other professional leagues exist worldwide, but the sport does not have the international popularity of other American sports like baseball or basketball.

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A group of men standing in rows of three in their football uniforms. One executive is all the way to the left, and the other executive is on the right. The words "Triangle Football Team, 1920" is written on the photograph.

The 1920 Dayton Triangles season was the franchise's inaugural season in the American Professional Football Association (AFPA)--later named the National Football League. The Triangles entered the season coming off a 5-2-1 record in 1919 in the Ohio League. After the 1919 season, several representatives from the Ohio League wanted to form a new professional league; thus, the APFA was created. A majority of the team stayed from the 1919 team, including the coaching staff, while two players left the team.

The Triangles opened the season with a win against the Columbus Panhandles. This game is considered the first league game where two APFA teams played against each other. After a six-game winning streak, the Triangles faced their first loss of the season to the future champions, the Akron Pros. This team would give the Triangles their only two losses of the year. The Triangles finished the season with a 5-2-2 record, which earned them sixth place in the APFA standings. No players were awarded with the first team All-Pro award, Norb Sacksteder made the second team, and Frank Bacon made the third team. Read more...

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Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, played center and linebacker for the Michigan Wolverines, helping his team to two national titles.

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A photo of Otto Graham in 1959 while serving as football coach at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Graham in 1959

Otto Everett Graham Jr. (December 6, 1921 - December 17, 2003) was an American professional football player who was a quarterback for the Cleveland Browns in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and National Football League (NFL). Graham is regarded by critics as one of the most dominant players of his era, having taken the Browns to league championship games every year between 1946 and 1955, winning seven of them. With Graham at quarterback, the Browns posted a record of 57 wins, 13 losses, and one tie, including a 9-3 win-loss record in the playoffs. While most of Graham's statistical records have been surpassed in the modern era, he still holds the NFL record for career average yards gained per pass attempt, with 8.63. He also holds the record for the highest career winning percentage for an NFL starting quarterback, at 0.810. Long-time New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, a friend of Graham's, once called him "as great of a quarterback as there ever was."

Graham grew up in Waukegan, Illinois, the son of music teachers. He entered Northwestern University in 1940 on a basketball scholarship, but football soon became his main sport. After a brief stint in the military at the end of World War II, Graham played for the Rochester Royals of the National Basketball League (NBL), winning the 1945-46 championship. Paul Brown, Cleveland's coach, signed Graham to play for the Browns, where he thrived. Graham's 1946 NBL and AAFC titles made him the first of only two people to have won championships in two of the four major North American sports (the second was Gene Conley). After he retired from playing football in 1955, Graham coached college teams in the College All-Star Game and became head football coach for the Coast Guard Bears at the United States Coast Guard Academy. After seven years there, he was hired as head coach of the Washington Redskins in 1966. Following three unsuccessful years with them, he resigned and returned to the Coast Guard Academy, where he served as athletic director until his retirement in 1984. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. Read more...

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" You can call it a miracle or a legend or whatever you want to. I just know that on that day, Brett Favre was larger than life. "
-- Gene Stallings

former University of Alabama coach on Favre after he led the University of Southern Mississippi to a victory over Stalling's Alabama team. Less than six weeks earlier Favre underwent surgery to remove 30 inches of his small intestine.

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Vince Young

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