Portal:American football

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The 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, 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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The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) South division. The team is headquartered in Bank of America Stadium in uptown Charlotte; the stadium also serves as the team's home field. They are one of the few NFL teams to own the stadium they play in, which is legally registered as Panthers Stadium, LLC. The Panthers are supported throughout the Carolinas; although the team has played its home games in Charlotte since 1996, they played their home games at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina during its first season. The team hosts its annual training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The Panthers were announced as the league's 29th franchise in 1993, and began play in 1995 under original owner and founder Jerry Richardson. The Panthers played well in their first two years, finishing 7–9 in 1995 (an all-time best for an NFL expansion team's first season) and 12–4 the following year, winning the NFC West before ultimately losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. They did not have another winning season until 2003, when they won the NFC Championship Game and reached Super Bowl XXXVIII, losing 32–29 to the New England Patriots. After recording playoff appearances in 2005 and 2008, the team failed to record another playoff appearance until 2013, the first of three consecutive NFC South titles. After losing in the divisional round to the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 and the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, the Panthers returned to the Super Bowl in 2015, but lost to the Denver Broncos. The Panthers have reached the playoffs eight times, advancing to four NFC Championship Games and two Super Bowls. They have won six division titles, one in the NFC West and five in the NFC South. Read more...
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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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Black-and-white photo of the upper half of a young man wearing a sweater with a large "P" on the front

Hobart Amory Hare "Hobey" Baker (January 15, 1892 – December 21, 1918) was an American amateur athlete of the early twentieth century. Considered the first American star in ice hockey by the Hockey Hall of Fame, he was also an accomplished American football player. Born into a prominent family from Philadelphia, he enrolled at Princeton University in 1910. Baker excelled on the university's hockey and football teams, and became a noted amateur hockey player for the St. Nicholas Hockey Club in New York City. He was a member of three national championship teams, for football in 1911 and hockey in 1912 and 1914, and helped the St. Nicholas Club win a national amateur championship in 1915. Baker graduated from Princeton in 1914 and worked for J.P. Morgan Bank until he enlisted in the United States Army Air Service. During World War I he served with the 103rd and the 13th Aero Squadrons before being promoted to captain and named commander of the 141st Aero Squadron. Baker died in December 1918 after a plane he was test-piloting crashed, hours before he was due to leave France and return to America.

Baker was widely regarded by his contemporaries as one of the best athletes of his time and is considered one of the best early American hockey players. When the Hockey Hall of Fame was founded in 1945, Baker was named one of the first nine inductees, the only American among them. In 1973, he became one of the initial inductees in the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975, and is the only person to be in both the hockey and college football halls of fame. 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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