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American Football for Beginners:

American Football is a game played where two teams, both consisting of 11 players at any one time try to outscore the other team to try and win the game. The players can fit into any of 3 categories: offence, defence and special teams. The players attributes will count towards which category they fall into, for example if the player is very quick and good at handling the ball then they would most probably fit into the role of wide receiver on the offensive side of the team. Players who specialise in kicking the ball would fit into the special teams unit. The team with the ball (the offense) has 4 downs (attempts) to try and get the ball a total of at least 10 yards forward. If the team succeeds in these four downs, then the downs are reset and you have to travel another 10 yards with the ball, until the team reaches the defending teams end zone scoring 6 points. If the offence fails to travel a total of 10 yards in 4 attempts then the team without the ball (defence) regains possession of the ball. After the touch down the attacking team can choose to either attempt a field goal, worth 1 point, or may attempt to re-advance the ball into the opponents end zone scoring 2 points. Other ways to score include a field goal, where a player will try to kick the ball through the opposing team’s goal to score 3 points. Also a team can score 2 points from a safety; this is when the offensive ball carrier is tackled behind his own goal line. The field is a total of 100 yards long and 53 wide. White markings called yard markers help everyone from the players to the fans keep track of the ball. Perhaps the most famous league involving American football is the National Football League (NFL) which involves a total of 32 different teams, often named after the location the team are situated followed by some sort of animal/being, (New York Giants, Chicago Bears.). The NFL teams are divided up into 8 separate divisions. Which they end up in is decided by their geographical location (North, East, South and West) and whether they play in the AFC (American Football Conference) or the NFC (National football Conference). Four teams are in each League.

At the end of the season 6 teams from each of the two conferences qualify for the playoffs for the grand prize the ‘Super Bowl’, based on their season record. It ends with the two conference’s champions battling it out in the championship game. The winners claim the Super Bowl for that year. In terms of money that gets generated from the NFL it is understood that during the 2010 super bowl it cost around £2.6m for a 30 second advertisement to be shown. References:

American Football Blog  

A blog on the basics of American Football

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