American Football Buying Guide
American football in the United States is a huge part of a sports buff's life. National League games are played Monday , Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. With fantasy football leagues, good food and team rivalries, it is hard not to be sucked into the action.
The National Football League (NFL) was started in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association. 32 teams play under the NFL title, including the New England Patriots and the New York Giants, who made it to the Super Bowl in 2008.
American football has also made its way overseas. The British American Football League (BAFL), founded in the 1980s, has 46 teams that play in three divisions: BAFL Premier, BAFL 1 and BAFL 2. The BAFL season runs in the summer and ends with a large bowl named the BritBowl.
American football has borrowed many elements from football and rugby. Many positions on the field share the same names.
- Offensive Line: Consists of five players who protect the passer and the runners by blocking the other team's defence. The player in the middle is the Centre. Next to the Centre on either side are Guards. Next to the Guards are the Tackles. Members of the Offensive Line (except for the Centre) rarely handle the ball.
- Quarterback: Perhaps the most prestigious position of all, the Quarterback receives the ball from the Centre at the start of the play. He tosses the ball to a Running back, throws it to a Receiver, or runs with it himself.
- Running Backs: Stand beside the Quarterback. Their speciality is running with the ball, but they also block and catch passes.
- Wide Receivers: Line up near the sidelines. They specialize in catching passes.
- Tight Ends: Line up outside the Offensive Line. They can either play like Wide Receivers or Offensive Linemen.
- Defensive Line: 3 to 6 who line up immediately opposite the Offensive Line. They try to occupy the Offensive Linemen and tackle the Running Backs.
- LInebackers: Line up between the Defensive Line and the Defensive Backs. Try to cover Quarterbacks or potential Receivers. They mainly cover the run up the middle.
- Defensive Backs: Either Cornerbacks or Safeties. They cover Receivers and attempt to stop pass completion. They are the last line of defence.
While most people just enjoy watching the game, there is a population of almost 30 million who participate in fantasy football leagues. This sometimes profitable game can be played with large groups of people and allows each individual to feel as though he or she is a part of the NFL.
There are several ways to play fantasy football. The variations in games involve the draft.
- Redraft league: A redraft league does not allow an individual to keep any of his or her team members for the next year's draft. The players are all put back into the pool for all individuals to have a chance of purchasing.
- Keeper league: A keeper league allows an individual to keep some but not all of his or her players for the next year's draft. The pool of players to draft is much smaller compared to the redraft league.
- Dynasty league: A dynasty league allows an individual to keep all of his or her players through the next draft, if they wish. This means the pool is usually made of rookies and throwaway players from the previous year.
Scoring in fantasy football involves tracking the stats of each team player.
This is a standard scoring list:
- 1 point for 25 passing yards
- 1 point for 10 rushing yards
- 1 point for 10 receiving yards
- 6 points for a touchdown
- 4 points for a passing touchdown
- -2 points for every interception thrown or fumble lost
- 1 point for each extra point made
- 3 points for each 0-39 yard field goal, 4 points for each 40-49 yard field goal, and 5 points for each 50+ yard field goal
- 2 points per turnover gained by defence
- 1 points per sack by the defence
- 2 points for a safety by defence
- 6 points for each touchdown scored by defence
- 2 points for each blocked kick
The NFL Super Bowl is played every year usually in the first week of February. The NFL's teams are broken into two subdivisions: the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The Super Bowl is the final showdown between the best of the AFC versus the best of the NFC.
The BritBowl has just recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and has begun to number the bowls in the same fashion as the Super Bowl. The BritBowl is usually played in October, at the end of the summer BAFL season. Only BAFL Premier league teams are eligible to play.
Essential to the game, these "pig skins" now come in all different colours and materials including the very popular "nerf" ball variety.
Without pads, players would be in much more pain than they are already in. If your child is playing, you'll want to get quality equipment.
Team pride is the heart and soul of the American football tradition. From face and body painting to sporting a team jersey, every little bit helps.
NCAA Football Merchandise
College football has a following almost as large as that of the national league in the US.
The NFL Madden games have become some of the most popular games for all systems. Almost every year, a new addition is made to the Madden series.