Portal:National Football League

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Introduction

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference (four division winners and two wild card teams) advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

The NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL agreed to merge with the American Football League (AFL) in 1966, and the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that season; the merger was completed in 1970. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance (67,591) of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States. The Super Bowl is among the biggest club sporting events in the world and individual Super Bowl games account for many of the most watched television programs in American history, all occupying the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most watched U.S. television broadcasts by 2015. The NFL's executive officer is the commissioner, who has broad authority in governing the league.

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Heinz Field

Heinz Field is a stadium located at Exit 2B of Interstate 279 and the terminus of "Expressway" 65 on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It primarily serves as the home to the Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers American football teams, members of the National Football League (NFL) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) respectively. It hosted the 2011 NHL Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals on January 1st 2011. The stadium opened in 2001, after the controlled implosion of the teams' previous stadium, Three Rivers Stadium. The stadium is named for locally based H. J. Heinz Company, which purchased the naming rights in 2001. Funded in conjunction with PNC Park and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the US$281 million stadium stands along the Ohio River, on the Northside of Pittsburgh in the North Shore neighborhood. The stadium was designed with the city of Pittsburgh's history of steel production in mind, which led to the inclusion of 12,000 tons of steel into the design. Ground for the stadium was broken in June 1999 and the first football game was hosted in September 2001. The stadium's natural grass surface has been criticized throughout its history, but Steelers ownership has kept the grass after lobbying from players and coaches. Attendance for the 65,050 seat stadium has sold out for every Steelers home game, a streak which dates back to 1972 (a year before local telecasts of home games were permitted in the NFL). A collection of memorabilia from the Steelers and Panthers of the past can be found in the Coca-Cola Great Hall.

Selected biography

George William Hoey (born November 14, 1946) is a former American football defensive back, punt returner and kickoff returner. He played college football for the University of Michigan Wolverines (1966–1968) and professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the Arizona Cardinals (1971), New England Patriots (1972–1973), San Diego Chargers (1974), Denver Broncos (1975), and New York Jets (1975). In high school, Hoey was an All-State halfback. At the University of Michigan, College Football Hall of Fame halfback Ron Johnson was in Hoey's class, and Hoey was therefore used principally as a defensive back. Hoey is most remembered for his work as a punt returner at Michigan. He led the Big Ten Conference in punt return yards in 1967 and 1968, and still holds Michigan's modern era (post-1949) records for most punt return yards in a game (140), most return yards per punt in a season (24.3) and most return yards per punt in a career (17.1). Hoey was also a record-setting sprinter on Michigan's track and field team. In five seasons in the NFL, Hoey was principally a kickoff returner. In 1971, he set a St. Louis Cardinals club record with six kickoff returns for 206 yards, including one for 103 yards and a touchdown. He had 534 kickoff return yards in his career. Since 1993, Hoey has worked in administration at the University of Colorado. He worked first in academic services for the athletic department. After controversies in the late 1990s concerning eligibility of University of Colorado athletes, Hoey accepted a position in the school's career services department providing career counseling to student athletes.

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  • ... that Green Bay Packers cornerback Kevin King played most of his first season with an injury to his shoulder which dislocated several times and left him unable to lift his arm over his head?

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