National Football League (NFL)

Acronyms Education

According to abbreviationfinder, the National Football League (National Football LeagueNFL, NFL) is an organization that unites professional football (meaning American football) teams in the United States of America. The NFL, along with the MLB (baseball), NBA (basketball) and NHL (ice hockey), is one of the “big four” most popular professional sports leagues in the United States.

The National Football League was formed in 1920 in Ohio under the name of the American Professional Football Conference (APFC). Then the league included only four teams, two of which (Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals) still exist today (changing, however, names and cities). Less than a month later, the league was renamed the “Professional Football Association” (APFA) before taking on its current name in 1922. In 1950, the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) teams entered the NFL, and in 1970 the NFL merged with “American Football League, AFL).

Thirty-two teams play in the modern National Football League, split between the National and American Football Conferences (National Football Conference, NFC and American Football Conference, AFC). In turn, each of the conferences is divided into four divisions: East, North, South and West.

The NFL season consists of “preseason” games, the regular season, and a series of “playoff” games. The final game of the National Football League season is called the “Super Bowl” (Super Bowl, “Super Bowl”) and is actually the most popular sporting event in the United States.

NFL preseason games are essentially friendly games with no impact on regular season results. They kick off on the first weekend of August with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio. The teams that meet in the “Hall of Fame Game” are chosen by the league’s leadership, usually one representing the National Conference and the other representing the American Conference. Over the next four weeks, each NFL team participates in two home and two away games, which are usually used by coaches to assess the condition and potential of the players before the start of the championship.

The regular season of the National Football League begins on the Thursday after Labor Day, with the first game always being the “home” game for the reigning league champion (National Football League Kickoff game). Over the next seventeen weeks, each of the teams in the league plays sixteen matches, with opponents determined by special rules designed for a four-year rotation cycle. Since the football championship gathers a lot of fans not only in the stands of the stadiums, but also in front of the TV screens, most games are played on Sunday afternoons. In addition, traditionally every week one of the matches takes place on Monday evening and another one on Thursday evening. Another NFL tradition is the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day (NFL Thanksgiving Day game). The NFL championship ends the week after Christmas.

After the end of the “regular season” begins a series of “knockout” games – “playoffs” (playoffs). Twelve teams play in the playoffs: the winners of each of the eight divisions and two teams from each conference that did not win the divisions, but have the best ratio of wins and losses among the remaining teams (the so-called “wild card”, wild card).

Playoff games are held over four rounds: in the first three among the six teams in each conference, the titles of AFC and NFC champions are played, and then the conference champions meet each other in the Super Bowl match.

At the end of the football season, after the conference championship games and before the Super Bowl, there is also a Pro Bowl game, football’s “all-star game”. Since 2011, the Pro Bowl has been played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. Unlike the baseball, basketball, and hockey All-Star Games, the Pro Bowl is not very popular with fans.

But the Super Bowl is without a doubt the premier sporting event in the United States. Traditionally, each of the final matches of the NFL season is designated by a serial number, denoted by Roman numerals (for example, Super Bowl LII was played at the end of the 2017 regular season in February 2018). Every year football finals gather more and more fans, in 2018 in the USA more than 103,000,000 viewers watched the match. It is not surprising that before the game (and at halftime) concerts are held in stadiums with the participation of stars, and many large companies shoot commercials specifically for the Super Bowl TV broadcast.

The Super Bowl winning team is awarded the National Football League’s most honored trophy, the silver Vince Lombardi Trophie. The prize was named after legendary coach Vincent Lombardi, under whom the Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls in 1967-68. In addition, all team members, including coaches and staff, receive custom-made “champion rings”.

In the NFL, several more prizes are awarded each year, both team and individual. The American and National Football Conference champion teams will receive the Lamar Hunt Trophy and the George Halas Trophy respectively. Among the most honored individual awards are “Most Valuable Player” (NFL Most Valuable Player Award, MVP), “Forward of the Year” (NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award), “Defender of the Year” (NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award), ” Rookie of the Year “(NFL Rookie of the Year award) and others. Every year, NFL players who have proven themselves not only on the field, but also in social activities,Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award) and Byron White (Byron White NFL Man of the Year Award).

Speaking of professional American football, one cannot fail to mention cheerleaders (cheerleaders) – girls from “cheerleading groups”, without whose performances it is now almost impossible to imagine NFL games.

NFL (National Football League) roster
Division Team logo Team Year of joining the league City (nearest major city), state
American Football Conference (AFC)
East Buffalo Bills
(Buffalo Bills)
1960 (AFL),
1970 (NFL)
Orchard Park (Buffalo), New York
Miami Dolphins
(Miami Dolphins)
1966 (AFL),
1970 (NFL)
Miami Gardens (Miami), Florida
New England Patriots
(New England Patriots)
1960 (AFL),
1970 (NFL)
Foxborough (Boston), Massachusetts
New York Jets
(New York Jets)
1960 (AFL),
1970 (NFL)
East Rutherford (New York), New Jersey
North Baltimore Ravens
(Baltimore Ravens)
1996 Baltimore, Maryland
Cincinnati Bengals
(Cincinnati Bengals)
1968 (AFL),
1970 (NFL)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland Browns
(Cleveland Browns)
1946 (AAFC),
1950 (NFL)
Cleveland, Ohio
Pittsburgh Steelers
(Pittsburgh Steelers)
1933 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
South Houston Texans
(Houston Texans)
2002 Houston, Texas
Indianapolis Colts
(Indianapolis Colts)
1953 Indianapolis, Indiana
Jacksonville Jaguars
(Jacksonville Jaguars)
1995 Jacksonville, Florida
Tennessee Titans
(Tennessee Titans)
1960 (AFL),
1970 (NFL)
Nashville, Tennessee
West Denver Broncos
(Denver Broncos)
1960 (AFL),
1970 (NFL)
Denver, Colorado
Kansas City Chiefs
(Kansas City Chiefs)
1960 (AFL),
1970 (NFL)
Kansas City, Missouri
Oakland Raiders
(Oakland Raiders)
1960 (AFL),
1970 (NFL)
Oakland, California
San Diego Chargers
(San Diego Chargers)
1960 (AFL),
1970 (NFL)
San Diego, California
National Football Conference (NFC)
East Dallas Cowboys
(Dallas Cowboys)
1960 Arlington (Dallas), Texas
New York Giants
(New York Giants)
1925 East Rutherford (New York), New Jersey
Philadelphia Eagles
(Philadelphia Eagles)
1933 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Washington Redskins
(Washington Redskins)
1932 Landover (Washington), Maryland
North Chicago Bears
(Chicago Bears)
1920 Chicago, Illinois
Detroit Lions
(Detroit Lions)
1930 Detroit, Michigan
Green Bay Packers
(Green Bay Packers)
1921 Green Bay, Wisconsin
Minnesota Vikings
(Minnesota Vikings)
1961 Minneapolis, Minnesota
South Atlanta Falcons
(Atlanta Falcons)
1966 Atlanta, Georgia
Carolina Panthers
(Carolina Panthers)
1995 Charlotte, North Carolina
New Orleans Saints
(New Orleans Saints)
1967 New Orleans, Louisiana
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
1976 Tampa, Florida
West Arizona Cardinals
(Arizona Cardinals)
1920 Glendale (Phoenix), Arizona
St. Louis Rams
(St. Louis Rams)
1937 St. Louis, Missouri
San Francisco 49ers
(San Francisco 49ers)
1946 (AAFC),
1950 (NFL)
San Francisco, California
1976 Seattle, Washington