Portal:American Football
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Portal:American Football

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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George Abramson made the first successful fair catch kick in NFL history, for the Green Bay Packers in 1925.

The fair catch kick is a rule at the professional and high school levels of American football that allows a team that has just made a fair catch to attempt a free kick from the spot of the catch. The kick must be either a place kick or a drop kick, and if it passes over the crossbar and between the goalposts of the opposing team's goal, a field goal, worth three points, is awarded to the kicking team.

The fair catch kick has its origins in rugby football's goal from mark, which has since been abolished in both major rugby codes; a similar rule, the mark, is a major part of Australian rules football. The fair catch kick is considered to be obscure and unusual, and it is only rarely used. Because most fair catches are made well out of field goal range, and in most cases a team that has a fair catch within theoretical range will attempt a normal drive to score a touchdown, the fair catch kick is most viable to use when a team has fair caught within field goal range and there is insufficient time to score a touchdown. At the professional level, the last successful fair catch kick was made by the San Diego Chargers in 1976. 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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Anthony Royell Akins (born May 10, 1977) is a former Canadian football wide receiver and slotback who played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League (CFL) from 1999 to 2003. He played in 61 regular season games, catching 121 receptions for 2,138 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also returned punts and kickoffs. Akins is a Grey Cup champion.

Akins played high school football at Starkville High School before playing at East Mississippi Community College. He later transferred to Eastern Louisiana University and played for the Warhawks. After going unselected in the 1999 NFL Draft, Akins was signed by the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League but was cut before the beginning of the regular season. He was signed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats shortly after and spent his first two seasons moving between the practice squad and the active roster, playing in 9 games each season and contributing heavily on special teams. Akins transitioned to a more offensive role in 2001, but his career was interrupted in later seasons by repeated injuries. 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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Vince Young

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