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$10 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 2009 FedEx Orange Bowl was the 75th edition of the annual American college football bowl game known as the Orange Bowl. It pitted the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) champion Virginia Tech Hokies against the Big East Conference champion Cincinnati Bearcats on January 1, 2009, at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Virginia Tech defeated Cincinnati, 20–7. The game was the second contest in the 2008–2009 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) of the 2008 NCAA Division I FBS football season and was the concluding game of the season for both teams. The game was televised in the United States on FOX, and an estimated 9.3 million viewers watched the broadcast live.

Virginia Tech was selected to participate in the Orange Bowl after a 9–4 season that culminated in a 30–12 victory in the 2008 ACC Championship Game. Cincinnati was selected as the other half of the matchup after an 11–2 season that ended with a 29–24 win against Hawaii. In the weeks between the teams' selection and the playing of the game, media attention focused on the nature of Cincinnati's first BCS game appearance and Virginia Tech's attempt to win its first BCS game since 1995. Attention also focused on Cincinnati's proficient offense and Virginia Tech's highly rated defense. Read more...
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Commander in Chief's Trophy
Credit: Naval Academy Athletic Association

The Commander in Chief's Trophy is a college football rivalry traveling trophy presented annually since 1972 to the side from the United States Military Academy Black Knights, United States Naval Academy Midshipmen, and Air Force Academy Falcons to win the round-robin series played amongst the three.

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Michael Joseph Scarry (February 1, 1920 – September 9, 2012) was an American football player and coach. He grew up in Pennsylvania, and played football in college at Waynesburg College in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania and went on to join the Cleveland Rams in the National Football League (NFL) as a center following a stint in the U.S. Army during World War II. The Rams moved to Los Angeles after winning the 1945 NFL championship, and Scarry elected to stay in Cleveland and play for the Cleveland Browns under coach Paul Brown in the new All-America Football Conference (AAFC). The Browns won the AAFC championship in 1946 and 1947 while Scarry was on the team.

Scarry, who coached the basketball team at Western Reserve University in Cleveland during his playing career, retired from professional football after the 1947 season to take up a post as head coach of the school's football team. He stayed there for two seasons before moving to Santa Clara University in California as an assistant coach. Scarry then moved in 1952 to Loras College in Iowa as an assistant. After a stint at Washington State University, he spent six years as the line coach for the University of Cincinnati. Scarry served as head football coach at Waynesburg, his alma mater, for three seasons between 1963 and 1965. The following year he started his first professional coaching job with the NFL's Washington Redskins, and became the defensive line coach of the Miami Dolphins three years later. He stayed with the Dolphins for 15 seasons, during which the team won two Super Bowls, until his retirement. Scarry was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. Read more...


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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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