Portal:American Football
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Portal:American Football

American football portal

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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, which is the team with possession of the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is 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 primarily scored 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 match of American football was played on November 6, 1869 between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, under 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 parallel and contemporary to the American game, and 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 as a whole 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, and the league has an annual revenue of around US$10 billion. Other leagues exist worldwide, but the sport does not have the international popularity of other American sports like baseball or basketball.

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Paul Harvey, the deliverer of the "So God Made a Farmer" speech
"So God Made a Farmer" was the name given to a speech given by the radio broadcaster Paul Harvey at a 1978 Future Farmers of America convention. The speech was a derivative of a 1975 article written by Harvey in the Gadsden Times, which was itself similar to a 1940 definition of a dirt farmer published in The Farmer-Stockman. The 1940 article was copied verbatim in a letter to the editor in the Ellensburg Daily Record. The speech was given as an extension of the Genesis creation narrative referring to God's actions on the 8th day of creation. Harvey described the characteristics of a farmer in each phrase, ending them with the recurring "So God Made a Farmer".

In a collaboration with the FFA, Dodge agreed to donate $100,000 for every 1,000,000 views that the YouTube video of the ad received up to $1,000,000. This goal was reached in less than five days. The ad was mostly well-received, but attracted criticism for its similarity to the earlier video and for poorly representing Hispanic farmers. A nonprofit group, Cuéntame, later did a remake featuring Latino farmers.

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Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Credit: J. Glover

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome (originally Louisiana Superdome and commonly The Superdome) is a multi-purpose dome-covered stadium and arena comprising, as regards American football, a FieldTurf playing field, situated in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.

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Scott Zolak
Scott Zolak (born 1967) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for nine seasons. Over the course of his career, he played in 55 games for the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins, completed 124 of 248 passes for 1,314 yards, threw eight touchdowns and seven interceptions, and finished his career with a passer rating of 64.8.

A graduate of Ringgold High School and the University of Maryland, Zolak was selected 84th in the 1991 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He did not play in 1991, but started a few games in 1992 and had his most productive season statistically. When Drew Bledsoe was drafted in 1993, Zolak became his backup for the next six seasons. He appeared as a replacement for Bledsoe when he was hurt, but only started three games during this time.

He was released at the end of the 1998 season, and signed with the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins in 1999, playing in one game for Miami before retiring. After his retirement, he became a sportscaster and football analyst in the New England area.

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" College football: I do not see the relationship of those highly industrialized affairs on Saturday afternoons to higher learning in America. "
-- Robert Maynard Hutchins

University of Chicago president, on the putative extra-academic character and corporate, professional nature of the collegiate game in the United States

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