Leland Stanford Junior University is a private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford is known for its academic strength, proximity to Silicon Valley, ranking as one of the world's top universities; the university was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr. who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year. Stanford was a U. S. Senator and former Governor of California who made his fortune as a railroad tycoon; the school admitted its first students on October 1, 1891, as a coeducational and non-denominational institution. Stanford University struggled financially after the death of Leland Stanford in 1893 and again after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Following World War II, Provost Frederick Terman supported faculty and graduates' entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry in what would be known as Silicon Valley; the university is one of the top fundraising institutions in the country, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.
The university is organized around three traditional schools consisting of 40 academic departments at the undergraduate and graduate level and four professional schools that focus on graduate programs in Law, Medicine and Business. Stanford's undergraduate program is the most selective in the United States by acceptance rate. Students compete in 36 varsity sports, the university is one of two private institutions in the Division I FBS Pac-12 Conference, it has gained the most for a university. Stanford athletes have won 512 individual championships, Stanford has won the NACDA Directors' Cup for 24 consecutive years, beginning in 1994–1995. In addition, Stanford students and alumni have won 270 Olympic medals including 139 gold medals; as of October 2018, 83 Nobel laureates, 27 Turing Award laureates, 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with Stanford as students, faculty or staff. In addition, Stanford University is noted for its entrepreneurship and is one of the most successful universities in attracting funding for start-ups.
Stanford alumni have founded a large number of companies, which combined produce more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue and have created 5.4 million jobs as of 2011 equivalent to the 10th largest economy in the world. Stanford is the alma mater of 30 living billionaires and 17 astronauts, is one of the leading producers of members of the United States Congress. Stanford University was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford, dedicated to Leland Stanford Jr, their only child; the institution opened in 1891 on Stanford's previous Palo Alto farm. Despite being impacted by earthquakes in both 1906 and 1989, the campus was rebuilt each time. In 1919, The Hoover Institution on War and Peace was started by Herbert Hoover to preserve artifacts related to World War I; the Stanford Medical Center, completed in 1959, is a teaching hospital with over 800 beds. The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, established in 1962, performs research in particle physics. Jane and Leland Stanford modeled their university after the great eastern universities, most Cornell University and Harvard University.
Stanford opened being called the "Cornell of the West" in 1891 due to faculty being former Cornell affiliates including its first president, David Starr Jordan. Both Cornell and Stanford were among the first to have higher education be accessible and open to women as well as to men. Cornell is credited as one of the first American universities to adopt this radical departure from traditional education, Stanford became an early adopter as well. Most of Stanford University is on one of the largest in the United States, it is located on the San Francisco Peninsula, in the northwest part of the Santa Clara Valley 37 miles southeast of San Francisco and 20 miles northwest of San Jose. In 2008, 60% of this land remained undeveloped. Stanford's main campus includes a census-designated place within unincorporated Santa Clara County, although some of the university land is within the city limits of Palo Alto; the campus includes much land in unincorporated San Mateo County, as well as in the city limits of Menlo Park and Portola Valley.
The academic central campus is adjacent to Palo Alto, bounded by El Camino Real, Stanford Avenue, Junipero Serra Boulevard, Sand Hill Road. The United States Postal Service has assigned it two ZIP Codes: 94305 for campus mail and 94309 for P. O. box mail. It lies within area code 650. Stanford operates or intends to operate in various locations outside of its central campus. On the founding grant: Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is a 1,200-acre natural reserve south of the central campus owned by the university and used by wildlife biologists for research. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is a facility west of the central campus operated by the university for the Department of Energy, it contains the longest linear particle accelerator in the world, 2 miles on 426 acres of land. Golf course and a seasonal lake: The university has its own golf course and a seasonal lake, both home to the vulnerable California tiger salamander; as of 2012 Lake Laguni
Arena Football League
The Arena Football League is a professional indoor American football league in the United States. It was founded in 1987 by Jim Foster, making it the third longest-running professional football league in North America, after the Canadian Football League and the National Football League; the AFL plays a proprietary code known as arena football, a form of indoor American football played on a 66-by-28 yard field, with rules encouraging offensive performance, resulting in a faster-paced and higher-scoring game. The sport was invented in the early 1980s and patented by Foster, a former executive of the United States Football League and the NFL. From 2000 to 2009, the AFL had its own developmental league, the af2; the AFL played 22 seasons from 1987 to 2008. That year both the AFL and af2 were dissolved and reorganized as a new corporation comprising teams from both leagues, the AFL returned in 2010; the league's average game attendance since returning in 2010 has been 9,500. The league has had a nationwide footprint, has been recognized as the most prominent professional indoor football league in North America, offering higher payment, more widespread media exposure, a longer history than competing leagues.
From a high of 19 teams in 2007, the league contracted to a low of four teams in 2018, all in the northeastern United States. Six teams are announced for the 2019 season. Jim Foster, a promotions manager with the National Football League, conceived of indoor football while watching an indoor soccer match at Madison Square Garden in 1981. While at the game, he wrote his idea on a 9 x 12 envelope, with sketches of the field and notes on gameplay, he presented the idea to a few friends at the NFL offices, where he received praise and encouragement for his concept. After solidifying the rules and a business plan, supplemented with sketches by a professional artist, Foster presented his idea to various television networks, he reached an agreement with NBC for a "test game". Plans for arena football were put on hold in 1982. Foster left the NFL to accept a position in the USFL, he became executive vice-president with the Chicago Blitz, where he returned to his concept of arena football. In 1983, he began organizing the test game in his spare time from his job with the Blitz.
By 1985, the USFL had ceased football operations and he began devoting all his time to arena football, on April 27, 1986, his concept was realized when the test game was played. The test game was played in Illinois on April 27, 1986 at the Rockford MetroCentre. Sponsors were secured, players and coaches from local colleges were recruited to volunteer to play for the teams, the Chicago Politicians and Rockford Metros, with the guarantee of a tryout should the league take off. Interest was high enough following the initial test game that Foster decided to put on a second, "showcase" game; the second game was held on February 27, 1987 at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago with a budget of $20,000, quadruple the $4,000 in the test game. Foster invited ESPN to send a film crew to the game. Following the successes of his trial-run games, Foster moved ahead with his idea for arena football, he founded the Arena Football League with four teams: the Pittsburgh Gladiators, Denver Dynamite, Washington Commandos, Chicago Bruisers.
Foster appointed legendary Darrel "Mouse" Davis, godfather of the "run and shoot" and modern pro offenses, as executive director of football operations. Davis hired the original coaches and was the architect of the league's original wide-open offensive playbooks; the first game in Arena Football League history was played on June 19, 1987, between the Gladiators and Commandos at Pittsburgh Civic Arena in front of 12,117 fans. The game was deliberately not televised so that it could be analyzed and any follies and failures would not be subject to national public scrutiny. Following the inaugural game and adjustments were made, the first season continued; the Dynamite and Bruisers played in the first-ever televised AFL game the next night, on June 20, 1987, at the Rosemont Horizon in suburban Chicago on ESPN with Bob Rathbun and Lee Corso calling the play-by-play. The broadcast showed a short clip of the Commandos-Gladiators game; each team played two against each other team. The top two teams and Pittsburgh competed in the first-ever AFL championship game, ArenaBowl I.
On September 30, 1987, Foster filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to patent his invented sport. The patent application covered the rules of the game detailing the goalposts and rebound netting and their impact on gameplay. Foster's application was granted on March 27, 1990; the patent expired in 2007. From its inception, the AFL operated in a state of semi-obscurity. From the 1987 season until the late 1990s, the most exposure the league would receive was on ESPN, which aired tape-delayed games well after midnight, edited to match the allotted time slot; the league received its first taste of wide exposure in 1998, when Arena Bowl XII was televised nationally as part of ABC's old Wide World of Sports. On Saturday, July 23, 1989, much of America learned of the AFL for an unintended reason, when the Pittsburgh Gladiators' head coach, Joe Haering, made football history by punching commissioner Jim Foster during a game with the Chicago Bruisers; the national media ran with the story, including a photo in USA To
High school football
High school football is gridiron football played by high school teams in the United States and Canada. It ranks among the most popular interscholastic sports in both countries, it is popular amongst American High school teams in Europe. High school football began in the late 19th century, concurrent with the start of many college football programs. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many college and high school teams played against one another. Today, the oldest high school football rivalry dates back to 1875 in Connecticut, between the Norwich Free Academy Wildcats and the New London High School Whalers. High school football traditions such as pep rallies, marching bands and homecomings are mirrored from college football. No true minor league farm organizations exist in American football. Therefore, high school football is considered to be the third tier of American football in the United States, behind professional and college competition, it is the first level of play in which a player will accumulate statistics, which will determine his chances of competing at the college level, the professional level if he is talented enough.
In the 2000s and beyond, there has been growing concern about safety and long-term brain health, both regarding the occasional concussion as well as the steady diet of lesser hits to the head. The National Federation of State High School Associations establishes the rules of high school football in the United States; as of the next high school season of 2019, Texas is the only state that does not base its football rules on the NFHS rule set, instead using NCAA rules with certain exceptions shown below. Through the 2018 season, Massachusetts based its rules on those of the NCAA, but it adopted NFHS rules for 2019 and beyond. With their common ancestry, the NFHS rules of high school football are similar to the college game, though with some important differences: The four quarters are each 12 minutes in length, as opposed to 15 minutes in college and professional football. Kickoffs take place at the kicking team's 40-yard line, as opposed to the 35 in college and the NFL. If an attempted field goal is missed it is treated as a punt it would be a touchback and the opposing team will start at the 20-yard line.
However, if it does not enter the end zone, it can be returned as a normal punt. Any kick crossing the goal line is automatically a touchback; the spot of placement after all touchbacks—including those resulting from kickoffs and free kicks following a safety—is the 20-yard line of the team receiving possession. Contrast with NCAA and NFL rules, which call for the ball to be placed on the receiving team's 25-yard line if a kickoff or free kick after a safety results in a touchback. All fair catches result in the placement of the ball at the spot of the fair catch. Under NCAA rules, a kickoff or free kick after a safety that ends in a fair catch inside the receiving team's 25-yard line is treated as a touchback, with the ball spotted on the 25. Pass interference by the defense results in a 15-yard penalty, but no automatic first down. Pass interference by the offense results in a 15-yard penalty, from the previous spot, no loss of down; the defense cannot return an extra-point attempt for a score.
Any defensive player that encroaches the neutral zone, regardless of whether the ball was snapped or not, commits a "dead ball" foul for encroachment. 5-yard penalty from the previous spot. Prior to 2013, offensive pass interference resulted in a loss of down; the loss of down provision was deleted from the rules starting in 2013. In college and the NFL, offensive pass interference is only 10 yards; the use of overtime, the type of overtime used, is up to the individual state association. The NFHS offers a suggested overtime procedure based on the Kansas Playoff, but does not make its provisions mandatory. Intentional grounding may be called if the quarterback is outside the tackle box; the home team must wear dark-colored jerseys, the visiting team must wear white jerseys. In the NFL, as well as conference games in the Southeastern Conference, the home team has choice of jersey color. Under general NCAA rules, the home team may wear white with approval of the visiting team. NFHS rules prohibit the use of replay review if the venue has the facilities to support it.
In Texas, the public-school sanctioning body, the University Interscholastic League, only allows replay review in state championship games, while the main body governing non-public schools, the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, follows the NFHS in banning replay review. At least one unique high school rule has been adopted by college football. In 1996, the overtime rules utilized by Kansas high school teams were adopted by the NCAA, although the NCAA has made two major modifications: starting each possession from the 25-yard line, starting with the third overtime period, requiring teams to attempt a two-point conversion following a touchdown. Thirty-four states have a mercy rule that comes into play during one-sided games after a prescribed scoring margin is surpassed at halftime or any point thereafter; the type of mercy rule varies from state to state, with many using a "continuous clock" after the scoring margin is reached, while other states end the game once the margin is reached or passed.
For example, Texas uses a 45-point mercy rule only in six-man football.
A punter in American or Canadian football is a special teams player who receives the snapped ball directly from the line of scrimmage and punts the football to the opposing team so as to limit any field position advantage. This happens on a fourth down in American football and a third down in Canadian football. Punters may occasionally take part in fake punts in those same situations, when they throw or run the football instead of punting. A punter must be skilled in angling the football and/or kicking it as high as possible to maximize his teammates' ability to eliminate a punt returner's forward progress. A "standard" is that for a 42-yard fair-caught or out-of-bounds punt, the ideal hang time should be at least a tenth of it in seconds, but the linear relationship drops off once it hits over 50 yards. A skilled punter attempts to impart a spin to the ball that makes it harder to catch, increasing the odds of a muff that may lead to the punter's team regaining possession; the most common punting strategy involves receiving the snap in an deep shotgun formation punting as soon as the snap is received.
A less seen strategy is the "rugby-style" kick, in which the punter moves to the left or right, outside the offensive tackle, kicks the ball. Punters play a major role in winning the field position battle; because the backup quarterback is busy with the rest of the offense and has little time to devote to holding, the punter doubles as the holder on field goal attempts. The punter may receive some pass training to facilitate faked field goals and two-point conversion attempts; the punter has developed chemistry with the long snapper and is thus accustomed to catching a long-snapped ball. Punters are kickers and understand kicking mechanics better, such as knowing how far back to lean the ball as the kicker makes an attempt, better at judging when a field goal attempt should be aborted. Punters are on their own during team practices, allowing them the time to work with the kicker, so the punter and placekicker tend to develop a close rapport. Many punters double duty as kickoff specialists as most punters have been at one point field goal kickers as well, some, such as Craig Hentrich, have filled in as worthy backup field goal kickers.
Along with kicking, punters can throw the ball as well. This strategy is known as "the fake punt." Another common term is called "the trick play." Teams will use this key strategy when it is 4th down with maybe 8 or less yards to the first down marker. The punter has the ability to run or pass the ball to another teammate; when scrambling the punter is live to tackle. This strategy is used in a close game. Punters receive much attention or fan support, in part because their role is greatest when a team's offense is a failure and cannot get within field goal range. Thus, punters tend to receive the most attention when teams are bad, as they are one of the few players on the team performing up to par. However, punter can serve to give defenses pressure to pin the opponents deep within their territory, so giving defenses a short field, or to eliminate the threat of a punt return touchdown by return specialists. A coffin corner refers to the corner of the playing field just in front of the end zone from the 5-yard line to the goal line.
A perfect coffin corner kick is one that goes out of bounds just before either orange pylon located in the front of the end zone. The punter tries to place the ball so that it lands out of bounds or is downed on the field by another member of the kicking team anywhere inside the 5-yard line without touching the goal line, thus forcing a difficult field position for the receiving team on their next scrimmage; this type of kick can be attempted in Canadian football. The difference is that if the ball becomes dead in the endzone in Canadian football, a single point is awarded to the kicking team and the conceding team scrimmages from their 35-yard line. In most cases however, the kicking team prefers the advantageous field position, rather than the point. Certain punters can have exceptionally long careers, compared to other NFL position players. One reason for this is that their limited time on the field and heavy protection by penalties against defensive players for late hits makes them far less to be injured than other positions.
Sean Landeta, for instance, played three USFL seasons for eight different teams. Jeff Feagles played 22 seasons on five different teams. Conversely and punters can have short careers because of a lack of opportunity; because the risk of injury is remote, NFL teams only carry one punter on their roster at any given time. Thus, the only opportunity a punter has of breaking into the league is if the incumbent punter leaves the team or is injured; some NFL teams will carry two punters during the preseason, but the second punter is "camp fodder" and never makes the opening day roster. Unlike backups at other positions, backup placekickers and punters are not employed by any given team until they are needed. Bob Cameron of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, in a 23-year career, has the most career punting yards, with 134,301 yards. Jeff Feagles
The Pac-12 Conference is a collegiate athletic conference that operates in the Western United States, participating in 24 sports at the NCAA Division I level. Its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the higher of two tiers of NCAA Division I football competition; the conference's 12 members are located in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. They include each state's flagship public university, four additional public universities, two private research universities; the modern Pac-12 conference formed after the disbanding of the Pacific Coast Conference, whose principal members founded the Athletic Association of Western Universities in 1959. The conference went by the names Big Five, Big Six, Pacific-8, Pacific-10; the Pac-12 moniker was adopted in 2011 with the addition of Utah. Self-billed as the "Conference of Champions", the Pac-12 has won more NCAA national championships in team sports than any other conference in history; the top three schools with the most NCAA team championships are members of the Pac-12: Stanford, UCLA, USC, in that order.
Washington's national title in women's rowing in 2017 was the 500th NCAA championship won by a Pac-12 school. The current commissioner of the conference is Larry Scott. Scott replaced Thomas C. Hansen, who retired in July 2009 after 26 years in that position. Prior to joining the Pac-10, Scott was CEO of the Women's Tennis Association; the Pac-12 has twelve full member institutions. Football is the only sport where the conference is split into two divisions, the North Division and the South Division; the Pac-12's members are spread evenly between 3 regions, with 4 schools each in California, the Pacific Northwest, the Four Corners region. Endowment figures from the University of California Endowment Report. † Total University of Colorado System Endowment The Pac-12 has three affiliate member institutions in California. Note Cal State Bakersfield announced it would become a men's soccer affiliate starting in 2013, but never went through with those plans, accepting an invitation to become an all-sports member of the Western Athletic Conference, which sponsors men's soccer in 2013.
The school will maintain its Pac-12 affiliation in wrestling. No school has left the Pac-12 since its founding as the AAWU in 1959. Two members of the PCC were not invited to join its successors. Eight of the twelve member schools are members of the Association of American Universities, including all four California-based schools; the only FBS conference with more AAU members is the Big Ten with 13 out of 14 member institutions having AAU membership. University of Arizona University of California, Berkeley University of California, Los Angeles University of Colorado Boulder University of Oregon University of Southern California Stanford University University of WashingtonAdditionally, these member schools are highly ranked nationally and globally by various groups, including the Academic Ranking of World Universities and Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Total revenue includes ticket sales and donations, rights and licensing, student fees, school funds and all other sources including TV income, camp income and novelties.
Total expenses includes coach and staff salaries, scholarships and grounds, maintenance and rental fees, team travel and uniforms, conference dues, insurance. The following table is updated to show institutional reporting to the Department of Education as shown on the DOE Equity in Athletics website for the 2013–14 academic year; the national ranking of revenue is based on 2075 institutions reporting to the Department of Education that year. Source: http://ope.ed.gov/athletics. The roots of the Pac-12 Conference go back to December 2, 1915, when the Pacific Coast Conference was founded at a meeting at the Imperial Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Charter members were the University of California, University of Washington, University of Oregon, Oregon Agricultural College; the PCC began play in 1916. One year Washington State College joined the league, followed by Stanford University in 1918. In 1922, the PCC expanded to eight teams with the admission of Idaho. Montana joined the Conference in 1924, in 1928, the PCC grew to 10 members with the addition of UCLA.
For many years, the conference split into two divisions for basketball and baseball – a Southern Division comprising the four California schools and a Northern Division comprising the six schools in the Pacific Northwest. In 1950, Montana departed to join the Mountain States Conference; the PCC continued as a nine-team league through June 1959. Following "pay-for-play" scandals at California, USC, UCLA, Washington, the PCC disbanded in June 1959. Ten months earlier in August 1958, these four schools agreed to form a new conference that would take effect the following summer; when the four schools and Stanford began discussions for a new conference in 1959, retired Admiral Thomas J. Hamilton interceded and suggested the schools consider creating a national "power conference". Nicknamed the "Airplane Conference," the five former PCC schools would have played with other major academically-oriented schools, including Army, Air Force, Notre Dame, Penn State, Syracuse; the effort fell through when a Pentagon official vetoed the idea and the service academies backed out.
Las Vegas the City of Las Vegas and known as Vegas, is the 28th-most populated city in the United States, the most populated city in the state of Nevada, the county seat of Clark County. The city anchors the Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known for its gambling, fine dining and nightlife; the Las Vegas Valley as a whole serves as the leading financial and cultural center for Nevada. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, is famous for its mega casino–hotels and associated activities, it is a top three destination in the United States for business conventions and a global leader in the hospitality industry, claiming more AAA Five Diamond hotels than any other city in the world. Today, Las Vegas annually ranks as one of the world's most visited tourist destinations; the city's tolerance for numerous forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, has made Las Vegas a popular setting for literature, television programs, music videos.
Las Vegas was settled in 1905 and incorporated in 1911. At the close of the 20th century, it was the most populated American city founded within that century. Population growth has accelerated since the 1960s, between 1990 and 2000 the population nearly doubled, increasing by 85.2%. Rapid growth has continued into the 21st century, according to a 2018 estimate, the population is 648,224 with a regional population of 2,227,053; as with most major metropolitan areas, the name of the primary city is used to describe areas beyond official city limits. In the case of Las Vegas, this applies to the areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip, located within the unincorporated communities of Paradise and Winchester; the earliest visitors to the Las Vegas area were nomadic Paleo-Indians, who traveled there 10,000 years ago, leaving behind petroglyphs. Anasazi and Paiute tribes followed at least 2,000 years ago. A young Mexican scout named Rafael Rivera is credited as the first non-Native American to encounter the valley, in 1829.
Trader Antonio Armijo led a 60-man party along the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles, California in 1829. The area was named Las Vegas, Spanish for "the meadows," as it featured abundant wild grasses, as well as the desert spring waters needed by westward travelers; the year 1844 marked the arrival of John C. Frémont, whose writings helped lure pioneers to the area. Downtown Las Vegas's Fremont Street is named after him. Eleven years members of the LDS Church chose Las Vegas as the site to build a fort halfway between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, where they would travel to gather supplies; the fort was abandoned several years afterward. The remainder of this Old Mormon Fort can still be seen at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington Avenue. Las Vegas was founded as a city in 1905, when 110 acres of land adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks were auctioned in what would become the downtown area. In 1911, Las Vegas was incorporated as a city. 1931 was a pivotal year for Las Vegas.
At that time, Nevada legalized casino gambling and reduced residency requirements for divorce to six weeks. This year witnessed the beginning of construction on nearby Hoover Dam; the influx of construction workers and their families helped Las Vegas avoid economic calamity during the Great Depression. The construction work was completed in 1935. In 1941, the Las Vegas Army Air Corps Gunnery School was established. Known as Nellis Air Force Base, it is home to the aerobatic team called the Thunderbirds. Following World War II, lavishly decorated hotels, gambling casinos, big-name entertainment became synonymous with Las Vegas. In the 1950s the Moulin Rouge opened and became the first racially integrated casino-hotel in Las Vegas. In 1951, nuclear weapons testing began at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. During this time the city was nicknamed the "Atomic City". Residents and visitors were able to witness the mushroom clouds until 1963, when the limited Test Ban Treaty required that nuclear tests be moved underground.
The iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, never located within municipal limits, was created in 1959 by Betty Willis. During the 1960s, corporations and business powerhouses such as Howard Hughes were building and buying hotel-casino properties. Gambling was referred to as "gaming"; the year 1995 marked the opening of the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas's downtown area. This canopied five-block area features 12.5 million LED lights and 550,000 watts of sound from dusk until midnight during shows held on the top of each hour. Due to the realization of many revitalization efforts, 2012 was dubbed "The Year of Downtown." Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of projects made their debut at this time. They included The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and DISCOVERY Children's Museum, Mob Museum, Neon Museum, a new City Hall complex and renovations for a new Zappos.com corporate headquarters in the old City Hall building. Las Vegas is situated within Clark County in a basin on the floor of the Mojave Desert and is surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides.
Much of the landscape is arid with desert vegetation and wildlife. It can be subjected to torrential flash floods, although much has been done to mitigate the effects of flash floods through improved drainage systems; the peaks surrounding Las Vegas reach elevations of o
Placekicker, or kicker, is the player in American and Canadian football, responsible for the kicking duties of field goals and extra points. In many cases, the placekicker serves as the team's kickoff specialist or punter as well; the kicker was not a specialized role. Prior to the 1934 standardization of the prolate spheroid shape of the ball, drop kicking was the prevalent method of kicking field goals and conversions, but after its replacement by place kicking, until the 1960s the kicker always doubled at another position on the roster. George Blanda, Frank Gifford and Paul Hornung are prominent examples of players who were stars at other positions as well as being known for their kicking abilities; when the one-platoon system was abolished in the 1940s, the era of "two-way" players gave way to increased specialization, teams would employ a specialist at the punter or kicker position. Ben Agajanian, who started his professional career in 1945, was the first confirmed place-kicking specialist in the NFL, kicking for ten teams.
Because of the difference in techniques needed, to avoid leg fatigue, to reduce the risk of injury, on the professional level most teams employ separate players to handle the jobs. The placekicker will only punt when the punter is injured, vice versa. A professional team will even have a kickoff specialist who handles only the kickoffs and serves as a backup to the kicker who handles field goals and extra points; this is done to further protect a premier point-scoring kicker from injury or if he, while accurate, does not have sufficient distance on kickoffs. Amateur teams do not differentiate between placekickers and punters, have different players assume different placekicking duties, or have regular position players handle kicking duties; the last option is quite common on high school teams, when the best athletes are the best kickers. Before the modern era of pro football, this was the case for professional teams when most placekicks were still made in the "straight on" style outlined below.
Although kickers are protected from direct physical contact on field goal attempts, this is not true on kickoffs, a kicker can see significant contact during a kick return. Kicker Björn Nittmo notably suffered severe brain damage from a hit he sustained on a kickoff in 1997. Placekickers and punters are the lowest paid starters on professional teams, although proven placekickers sometimes earn over $1 million per year in salary, it is not uncommon for placekickers to be some of the smallest members of their team. However, The New York Times in 2011 wrote that NFL kickers had adopted year-round weight training and strict diets. Sebastian Janikowski that year was a 250-pound kicker. Kicker Rob Bironas, 6 feet and 205 pounds, noted, "I might be bigger than some wide receivers and cornerbacks."The presence of foreign born-and-raised players in the highest levels of gridiron football has been limited to placekickers, more to punters from Australia as well. These players come from outside the traditional American high school or college football systems—and all but one of the women to have played men's American football at the college level were placekickers while the lone exception was a placekick holder.
Notably Tom Landry recruited several soccer players from Latin America, such as Efren Herrera and Raphael Septien, to compete for the job of placekicker for the Dallas Cowboys. Cypriot Garo Yepremian was renowned as much for his kicking proficiency as he was for his complete lack of awareness of the sport early in his career; these anecdotes increase the perception of the placekicker as an outsider. As of 2017, only four kickers have been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame: George Blanda, Lou Groza, Jan Stenerud and Morten Andersen, among them and Andersen are the only ones who did not play another position. There is only one special teams player to win the NFL's MVP – Mark Moseley in 1982. Due to their duties in kicking both field goals and extra points placekickers are responsible for scoring more points than any other player on a team, often entire football games may come down to a single kick; the top 25 players in NFL history in career scoring are all placekickers. Justin Tucker is the highest paid kicker in the NFL.
In the NFL, along with punters and quarterbacks, are among the only players allowed to wear single-digit uniform numbers. In college and high school football, kickers can wear any number and wear one of an eligible receiver; because kickers are less prominent on team rosters, low uniform numbers are much more used among other positions at those levels, kickers are given high jersey numbers that go unused by other players. The two players in documented football history to have worn the uniform number 100, Chuck Kinder and Bill Bell, were both placekickers. Placekickers today are predominantly "soccer-style" kickers, approaching the ball from several steps to the left of it [for a right-footed ki