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. The 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. The players in the league belong to the National Football League Players Association.
Peyton Williams Manning (born March 24, 1976) is an American footballquarterback for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). He played for the Indianapolis Colts for fourteen seasons from 1998 to 2011. He is the son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and an elder brother of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Manning played college football at the University of Tennessee, leading the Volunteers to the 1997 SEC Championship in his senior season. He was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts with the first overall pick in the 1998NFL Draft. From 1998 to 2010, he led the Colts to seven AFC South division championships, two AFC championships, and to a Super Bowl championship (Super Bowl XLI). He has won a record four league most valuable player awards, was the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLI, has been named to eleven Pro Bowls, has eleven 4,000-yard passing seasons (including a record six straight), and is the Indianapolis Colts' all-time leader in passing yards (54,828) and touchdown passes (399). In 2009, he was named the best player in the NFL and Fox Sports along with Sports Illustrated named him the NFL player of the decade of the 2000s. In May 2011, he underwent neck surgery to alleviate neck pain and arm weakness he dealt with during the previous few seasons before signing a five-year, $90 million contract extension with the Colts in July 2011. Manning had hoped to play in the 2011 season, but in September 2011, he underwent a much more serious second surgery: a level one cervicalfusion procedure. Manning had never missed an NFL game in his career, but was forced to miss the entire 2011 season. He was released by the Colts on March 7, 2012, and after an almost two-week period where he visited with and worked out for several NFL teams, he signed with the Denver Broncos on March 20, 2012. Manning's pre-snap routine is one of the most recognizable and parodied routines in sports. The Indianapolis Colts' almost exclusive use of the hurry-up offense led to Manning using an array of gestures and verbal commands to call the play at the line of scrimmage rather than in the huddle.