Portal:American Football
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Portal:American Football

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, which is the team with possession of the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is 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 primarily scored 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 match of American football was played on November 6, 1869 between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, under 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 parallel and contemporary to the American game, and 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 as a whole 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, and the league has an annual revenue of around US$10 billion. Other leagues exist worldwide, but the sport does not have the international popularity of other American sports like baseball or basketball.

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CenturyLink Field with Seattle in the background
CenturyLink Field is a multi-purpose stadium in Seattle, Washington, United States. The stadium was designed for both American football and soccer. It serves as the home field for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL) and Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). CenturyLink Field hosted the U.S. Open Cup championship matches in 2010 and 2011, with both occasions setting an attendance record for the tournament final and seeing a Sounders FC victory. The venue also hosts concerts, trade shows, and consumer shows along with sporting events. Located within a mile (1.6 km) of Seattle's central business district, it is accessible by multiple freeways and forms of mass transit. It was built between 2000 and 2002 after voters approved funding for the construction in a statewide election. This vote created the Washington State Public Stadium Authority to oversee public ownership of the venue. CenturyLink Field is a modern facility with views of the skyline of Downtown Seattle and can seat 67,000 people.

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Cleveland Browns Stadium
Credit: Chris Brown

Cleveland Browns Stadium is a football stadium located in Cleveland, Ohio. Home of the Cleveland Browns National Football League franchise, it sits on 31 acres (13 ha) of land on the shores of Lake Erie and has a capacity of at least 73,200.

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Jim Thorpe
James Francis "Jim" Thorpe
B. May 28, 1888 – d. March 28, 1953

Jim Thorpe was an American athlete of both Native American and European ancestry. Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, played American football (collegiate and professional), and also played professional baseball and basketball. He lost his Olympic titles after it was found he was paid for playing two seasons of semi-professional baseball before competing in the Olympics, thus violating the amateurism rules. In 1983, 30 years after his death, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) restored his Olympic medals. Of Native American and European American ancestry, Thorpe grew up in the Sac and Fox nation in Oklahoma. He played as part of several All-American Indian teams throughout his career, and "barnstormed" as a professional basketball player with a team composed entirely of American Indians. He played professional sports until age 41, the end of his sports career coinciding with the start of the Great Depression. Thorpe struggled to earn a living after that, working several odd jobs. Thorpe suffered from alcoholism, and lived his last years in failing health and poverty.

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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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