One of the most popular sports in the United States and Canada is American football. This contact team sport is a combination of physical play along with strategic motion with the ultimate aim of scoring points by furthering the ball into the opponents’ goal line or reaching their end zone by either carrying the ball and running with it or passing it to a team member. The team which scores the maximum points within the stipulated time is declared the winner.
American football has its origins in rugby football but has adapted itself with some changes into the American and Canadian system. Though Canadian football and American football are predominantly quite similar there are a few differences in the forms such as in the team size, playing area, number of downs, time rules etc. The differences are not major and each can be adapted into another with some amount of tuning.
There are two major forms of American football played in the United States, namely, collegiate football and professional football. With the growth and the increasing popularity a number of football leagues were born in the country. The two most powerful and prestigious leagues that are in existence in the country presently are the National Football League and the United Football League.
American football games that see the participation of student athletes from the various colleges, military academies and universities across the country is called collegiate or college football. It was through college football the American football came into the news and became as big a sport as it is today. Though football or rugby was played mostly in schools in England, the game was exported to America. The first American football game to be played in the United States was in 1874 between Harvard University and McGill University, Montreal. The first collegiate football competition was held the next year in 1875 in a match played between Tufts University and Harvard.
Present day college football is in the sports news from the first kick off during the football season on the first Labor Day weekend a week prior to the NFL games and continues until the beginning of December. The penultimate weekend of the college football season sees most of the rivalry matches and conference games being played.
The professional football players are those teams that play American football at a professional level. These professional teams are a part of the two leagues in the Unites States called the NFL and the UFL. The NFL enjoys the status of being the largest professional football league in the world. Formed with eleven teams this league has now grown in strength and now consists of thirty two teams. The league is further divided into the American Football Conference and the National Football conference and these conferences contain four divisions consisting of four teams each respectively.
The NFL season especially the Super Bowl, which is the final championship game is followed by sports enthusiasts and news providers equally as it is one of the biggest games amongst the Americans.