National Football League
The National Football League is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided between the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, the highest professional level of American football in the world; the NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, held in the first Sunday in February, is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC; the NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL agreed to merge with the American Football League in 1966, the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that season. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States.
The Super Bowl is among the biggest club sporting events in the world and individual Super Bowl games account for many of the most watched television programs in American history, all occupying the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most watched U. S. television broadcasts by 2015. The NFL's executive officer is the commissioner; the players in the league belong to the National Football League Players Association. The team with the most NFL championships is the Green Bay Packers with thirteen; the current NFL champions are the New England Patriots, who defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII for their sixth Super Bowl championship. On August 20, 1920, a meeting was held by representatives of the Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, Dayton Triangles at the Jordan and Hupmobile auto showroom in Canton, Ohio; this meeting resulted in the formation of the American Professional Football Conference, a group who, according to the Canton Evening Repository, intended to "raise the standard of professional football in every way possible, to eliminate bidding for players between rival clubs and to secure cooperation in the formation of schedules".
Another meeting was held on September 17, 1920 with representatives from teams from four states-Akron, Canton and Dayton from Ohio. The league was renamed to the American Professional Football Association; the league elected Jim Thorpe as its first president, consisted of 14 teams. The Massillon Tigers from Massillon, Ohio was at the September 17 meeting, but did not field a team in 1920. Only two of these teams, the Decatur Staleys and the Chicago Cardinals, remain. Although the league did not maintain official standings for its 1920 inaugural season and teams played schedules that included non-league opponents, the APFA awarded the Akron Pros the championship by virtue of their 8–0–3 record; the first event occurred on September 26, 1920 when the Rock Island Independents defeated the non-league St. Paul Ideals 48–0 at Douglas Park. On October 3, 1920, the first full week of league play occurred; the following season resulted in the Chicago Staleys controversially winning the title over the Buffalo All-Americans.
On June 24, 1922, the APFA changed its name to the National Football League. In 1932, the season ended with the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans tied for first in the league standings. At the time, teams were ranked on a single table and the team with the highest winning percentage at the end of the season was declared the champion; this method had been used since the league's creation in 1920, but no situation had been encountered where two teams were tied for first. The league determined that a playoff game between Chicago and Portsmouth was needed to decide the league's champion; the teams were scheduled to play the playoff game a regular season game that would count towards the regular season standings, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, but a combination of heavy snow and extreme cold forced the game to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium, which did not have a regulation-size football field. Playing with altered rules to accommodate the smaller playing field, the Bears won the game 9–0 and thus won the championship.
Fan interest in the de facto championship game led the NFL, beginning in 1933, to split into two divisions with a championship game to be played between the division champions. The 1934 season marked the first of 12 seasons in which African Americans were absent from the league; the de facto ban was rescinded in 1946, following public pressure and coinciding with the removal of a similar ban in Major League Baseball. The NFL was always the foremost pro
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won more than any other newspaper; the Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U. S; the paper is owned by The New York Times Company, publicly traded and is controlled by the Sulzberger family through a dual-class share structure. It has been owned by the family since 1896. G. Sulzberger, the paper's publisher, his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. the company's chairman, are the fourth and fifth generation of the family to helm the paper. Nicknamed "The Gray Lady", the Times has long been regarded within the industry as a national "newspaper of record"; the paper's motto, "All the News That's Fit to Print", appears in the upper left-hand corner of the front page. Since the mid-1970s, The New York Times has expanded its layout and organization, adding special weekly sections on various topics supplementing the regular news, editorials and features.
Since 2008, the Times has been organized into the following sections: News, Editorials/Opinions-Columns/Op-Ed, New York, Sports of The Times, Science, Home and other features. On Sunday, the Times is supplemented by the Sunday Review, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine and T: The New York Times Style Magazine; the Times stayed with the broadsheet full-page set-up and an eight-column format for several years after most papers switched to six, was one of the last newspapers to adopt color photography on the front page. The New York Times was founded as the New-York Daily Times on September 18, 1851. Founded by journalist and politician Henry Jarvis Raymond and former banker George Jones, the Times was published by Raymond, Jones & Company. Early investors in the company included Edwin B. Morgan, Christopher Morgan, Edward B. Wesley. Sold for a penny, the inaugural edition attempted to address various speculations on its purpose and positions that preceded its release: We shall be Conservative, in all cases where we think Conservatism essential to the public good.
We do not believe that everything in Society is either right or wrong. In 1852, the newspaper started a western division, The Times of California, which arrived whenever a mail boat from New York docked in California. However, the effort failed. On September 14, 1857, the newspaper shortened its name to The New-York Times. On April 21, 1861, The New York Times began publishing a Sunday edition to offer daily coverage of the Civil War. One of the earliest public controversies it was involved with was the Mortara Affair, the subject of twenty editorials in the Times alone; the main office of The New York Times was attacked during the New York City Draft Riots. The riots, sparked by the beginning of drafting for the Union Army, began on July 13, 1863. On "Newspaper Row", across from City Hall, Henry Raymond stopped the rioters with Gatling guns, early machine guns, one of which he manned himself; the mob diverted, instead attacking the headquarters of abolitionist publisher Horace Greeley's New York Tribune until being forced to flee by the Brooklyn City Police, who had crossed the East River to help the Manhattan authorities.
In 1869, Henry Raymond died, George Jones took over as publisher. The newspaper's influence grew in 1870 and 1871, when it published a series of exposés on William Tweed, leader of the city's Democratic Party—popularly known as "Tammany Hall" —that led to the end of the Tweed Ring's domination of New York's City Hall. Tweed had offered The New York Times five million dollars to not publish the story. In the 1880s, The New York Times transitioned from supporting Republican Party candidates in its editorials to becoming more politically independent and analytical. In 1884, the paper supported Democrat Grover Cleveland in his first presidential campaign. While this move cost The New York Times a portion of its readership among its more progressive and Republican readers, the paper regained most of its lost ground within a few years. After George Jones died in 1891, Charles Ransom Miller and other New York Times editors raised $1 million dollars to buy the Times, printing it under the New York Times Publishing Company.
However, the newspaper was financially crippled by the Panic of 1893, by 1896, the newspaper had a circulation of less than 9,000, was losing $1,000 a day. That year, Adolph Ochs, the publisher of the Chattanooga Times, gained a controlling interest in the company for $75,000. Shortly after assuming control of the paper, Ochs coined the paper's slogan, "All The News That's Fit To Print"; the slogan has appeared in the paper since September 1896, has been printed in a box in the upper left hand corner of the front page since early 1897. The slogan was a jab at competing papers, such as Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal, which were known for a lurid and inaccurate reporting of facts and opinions, described by the end of the century as "yellow journalism". Under Ochs' guidance, aided by Carr
The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football team based in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens compete in the National Football League as a member club of the American Football Conference North division; the team is headquartered in Owings Mills. The Ravens were established in 1996, after Art Modell, the owner of the Cleveland Browns, announced plans to relocate the franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1995; as part of a settlement between the league and the city of Cleveland, Modell was required to leave the Browns' history and records in Cleveland for a replacement team and replacement personnel that would take control in 1999. In return, he was allowed to take his own personnel and team to Baltimore, where such personnel would form an expansion team; the Ravens have qualified for the NFL playoffs eleven times since 2000, with two Super Bowl victories, two AFC Championship titles, 15 playoff victories, four AFC Championship game appearances, five AFC North division titles, are the only team in the NFL to hold a perfect record in multiple Super Bowl appearances.
The Ravens organization was led by general manager Ozzie Newsome from 1996 until his retirement following the 2018 season, has had three head coaches: Ted Marchibroda, Brian Billick, John Harbaugh. With a record-breaking defensive unit in their 2000 season, the team established a reputation for relying on strong defensive play, led by players like middle linebacker Ray Lewis, until his retirement, was considered the "face of the franchise." The team is owned by Steve Bisciotti and valued at $2.5 billion, making the Ravens the 27th-most valuable sports franchise in the world. The name "Ravens" was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Raven. Chosen in a fan contest that drew 33,288 voters, the allusion honors Poe, who spent the early part of his career in Baltimore and is buried there; as the Baltimore Sun reported at the time, fans "liked the tie-in with the other birds in town, the Orioles, found it easy to visualize a tough, menacing black bird." After the controversial relocation of the Colts to Indianapolis, several attempts were made to bring an NFL team back to Baltimore.
In 1993, ahead of the 1995 league expansion, the city was considered a favorite, behind only St. Louis, to be granted one of two new franchises. League officials and team owners feared litigation due to conflicts between rival bidding groups if St. Louis was awarded a franchise, in October Charlotte, North Carolina was the first city chosen. Several weeks Baltimore's bid for a franchise—dubbed the Baltimore Bombers, in honor of the locally produced Martin B-26 Marauder bomber—had three ownership groups in place and a state financial package which included a proposed $200 million, rent-free stadium and permission to charge up to $80 million in personal seat license fees. Baltimore, was unexpectedly passed over in favor of Jacksonville, despite Jacksonville's minor TV market status and that the city had withdrawn from contention in the summer, only to return with then-Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's urging. Although league officials denied that any city had been favored, it was reported that Taglibue and his longtime friend Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke had lobbied against Baltimore due to its proximity to Washington, D.
C. and that Taglibue had used the initial committee voting system to prevent the entire league ownership from voting on Baltimore's bid. This led to public outrage and the Baltimore Sun describing Taglibue as having an "Anybody But Baltimore" policy. Maryland governor William Donald Schaefer said afterward that Taglibue had led him on, praising Baltimore and the proposed owners while working behind-the-scenes to oppose Baltimore's bid. By May 1994, Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos had gathered a new group of investors, including author Tom Clancy, to bid on teams whose owners had expressed interest in relocating. Angelos found a potential partner in Georgia Frontiere, open to moving the Los Angeles Rams to Baltimore. Jack Kent Cooke opposed the move, intending to build the Redskins' new stadium in Laurel, close enough to Baltimore to cool outside interest in bringing in a new franchise; this led to heated arguments between Cooke and Angelos, who accused Cooke of being a "carpetbagger." The league persuaded Rams team president John Shaw to relocate to St. Louis instead, leading to a league-wide rumor that Tagliabue was again steering interest away from Baltimore, a claim which Tagliabue denied.
In response to anger in Baltimore, including Governor Schaefer's threat to announce over the loudspeakers Tagliabue's exact location in Camden Yards any time he attended a Baltimore Orioles game, Tagliabue remarked of Baltimore's financial package: "Maybe can open another museum with that money." Following this, Angelos made an unsuccessful $200 million bid to bring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Baltimore. Having failed to obtain a franchise via the expansion, the city, despite having "misgivings," turned to the possibility of obtaining the Cleveland Browns, whose owner Art Modell was financially struggling and at odds with the city of Cleveland over needed improvements to the team's stadium. Enticed by Baltimore's available funds for a first-class stadium and a promised yearly operating subsidy of $25 million, Modell announced on November 6, 1995 his intention to relocate the team from Cleveland to Baltimore the following year; the resulting controversy ended when representatives of Cleveland and the NFL reached a settlement on February 8, 1996.
Tagliabue promised the city of Cleveland that an NFL team would be located
2004 NFL season
The 2004 NFL season was the 85th regular season of the National Football League. With the New England Patriots as the defending league champions, regular season play was held from September 9, 2004 to January 2, 2005. Hurricanes forced the rescheduling of two Miami Dolphins home games: the game against the Tennessee Titans was moved up one day to Saturday, September 11 to avoid oncoming Hurricane Ivan, while the game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, September 26 was moved back 7½ hours to miss the eye of Hurricane Jeanne; the playoffs began on January 8, New England repeated as NFL champions when they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24–21 in Super Bowl XXXIX, the Super Bowl championship game, at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6. Due to several incidents during the 2003 NFL season, officials are authorized to penalize excessive celebration; the 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty will be marked off from the spot at the end of the previous play or, after a score, on the ensuing kickoff.
If the infraction is ruled flagrant by the officials, the player are ejected. Due to several instances in one game during the 2003–04 playoffs, officials are instructed to enforce illegal contact, pass interference, defensive holding. Timeouts can be called by head coaches. In addition to the numbers 80–89, wide receivers will now be allowed to use numbers 10–19. A punt or missed field goal, untouched by the receiving team is dead once it touches either the end zone or any member of the kicking team in the end zone. A punt or missed field goal that lands in the end zone before being controlled by the kicking team could be picked up by a member of the receiving team and run the other way. Teams will be awarded a third instant replay challenge. Teams were only limited to two regardless of what occurred during the game; the one-bar facemask was outlawed. The few remaining players who still used the one-bar facemask at the time were allowed to continue to use the style until they left the league under a grandfather clause.
Ron Blum returned to line judge, Bill Vinovich was promoted to take his place as referee. Midway through the season, Johnny Grier suffered a leg injury, he was permanently replaced by the back judge on his crew, Scott Green, who had previous experience as a referee in NFL Europe. Baltimore Ravens – Added third alternative uniforms. Black. Cincinnati Bengals – New Uniforms. Indianapolis Colts – Grey facemask. Black shoes. Jacksonville Jaguars – New road uniforms. White uniforms, black numbers with gold and teal trim. New black pants with Jaguars logo on hip. New York Giants – Added third alternative uniforms. Red. Chicago Bears – Added third alternative uniforms. Orange. Metrodome, Minnesota Vikings – AstroTurf was replaced with a new FieldTurf field Arizona Cardinals – Dennis Green replaced Dave McGinnis Atlanta Falcons – Jim Mora, Jr. replaced Wade Phillips who replaced Dan Reeves, fired during the 2003 season Buffalo Bills – Mike Mularkey replaced Gregg Williams Chicago Bears – Lovie Smith replaced Dick Jauron Oakland Raiders – Norv Turner replaced Bill Callahan New York Giants – Tom Coughlin replaced Jim Fassel Washington Redskins – Joe Gibbs replaced Steve Spurrier Indianapolis clinched the AFC #3 seed instead of San Diego based on better head-to-head record.
N. Y. Jets clinched the AFC #5 seed instead of Denver based on better record in common games. St. Louis clinched the NFC #5 seed instead of Minnesota or New Orleans based on better conference record. Minnesota clinched the NFC #6 seed instead of New Orleans based on better head-to-head record. N. Y. Giants finished ahead of Washington in the NFC East based on better head-to-head record. Dallas finished ahead of Washington in the NFC East based on better head-to-head record. Within each conference, the four division winners and the two wild card teams qualified for the playoffs; the four division winners are seeded 1 through 4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record, the wild card teams are seeded 5 and 6. The NFL does not use a fixed bracket playoff system, there are no restrictions regarding teams from the same division matching up in any round. In the first round, dubbed the wild-card playoffs or wild-card weekend, the third-seeded division winner hosts the sixth seed wild card, the fourth seed hosts the fifth.
The 1 and 2 seeds from each conference receive a bye in the first round. In the second round, the divisional playoffs, the number 1 seed hosts the worst surviving seed from the first round, while the number 2 seed will play the other team; the two surviving teams from each conference's divisional playoff games meet in the respective AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, hosted by the higher seed. Although the Super Bowl, the fourth and final round of the playoffs, is played at a neutral site, the designated home team is based on an annual rotation by conference; the Miami Dolphins were the first team to be eliminated from the playoff race, having reached a 1–9 record by week 11. * Indicates overtime victory The following teams and players set all-time NFL records during the season: The Colts led the NFL with 522 points scored. The Colts tallied more points in the first half of each of their games of the 2004 NFL season than seven other NFL teams managed in the entire season. Despite throwing for 49 touchdown passes, Peyton Manning attempted fewer than 500 passes for the first time in his NFL career.
The San Francisco 49ers record 42
ESPN is a U. S.-based sports television channel owned by ESPN Inc. a joint venture owned by The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Communications. The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Ed Egan. ESPN broadcasts from studio facilities located in Bristol, Connecticut; the network operates offices in Miami, New York City, Seattle and Los Angeles. James Pitaro serves as chairman of ESPN, a position he has held since March 5, 2018 due to the resignation of John Skipper on December 18, 2017. While ESPN is one of the most successful sports networks, there has been much criticism of ESPN, which includes accusations of biased coverage, conflict of interest, controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts; as of January 2016, ESPN is available to 91,405,000 paid television households in the United States. Nielsen has reported a much lower number in 2017, below 90,000,000 subscribers, losing more than 10,000 a day. In addition to the flagship channel and its seven related channels in the United States, ESPN broadcasts in more than 200 countries, operating regional channels in Australia, Latin America and the United Kingdom, owning a 20% interest in The Sports Network as well as its five sister networks in Canada.
In 2011, ESPN's history and rise was chronicled in Those Guys Have All the Fun, a nonfiction book written by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales and published by Little and Company. Bill Rasmussen conceived the concept of ESPN in late May 1978, after he was fired from his job with the World Hockey Association's New England Whalers. One of the first steps in Bill and his son Scott's process was finding land to build the channel's broadcasting facilities; the Rasmussens first rented office space in Plainville, Connecticut. However, the plan to base ESPN there was put on hold because a local ordinance prohibiting buildings from bearing rooftop satellite dishes. Available land area was found in Bristol, with funding to buy the property provided by Getty Oil, which purchased 85% of the company from Bill Rasmussen on February 22, 1979, in an attempt to diversify the company's holdings; this helped the credibility of the fledgling company, however there were still many doubters to the viability of their sports channel concept.
Another event that helped build ESPN's credibility was securing an advertising agreement with Anheuser-Busch in the spring of 1979. Taped in front of a small live audience inside the Bristol studios, it was broadcast to 1.4 million cable subscribers throughout the United States. ESPN's next big break came when the channel acquired the rights to broadcast coverage of the early rounds of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, it first aired the NCAA tournament in March 1980, creating the modern day television event known as "March Madness." The channel's tournament coverage launched the broadcasting career of Dick Vitale, who at the time he joined ESPN, had just been fired as head coach of the Detroit Pistons. In April of that year, ESPN created another made-for-TV spectacle, when it began televising the NFL Draft, it provided complete coverage of the event that allowed rookie players from the college ranks to begin their professional careers in front of a national television audience in ways they were not able to previously.
The next major stepping stone for ESPN came over the course of a couple of months in 1984. During this time period, the American Broadcasting Company purchased 100% of ESPN from the Rasmussens and Getty Oil. Under Getty ownership, the channel was unable to compete for the television rights to major sports events contracts as its majority corporate parent would not provide the funding, leading ESPN to lose out for broadcast deals with the National Hockey League and NCAA Division I college football. For years, the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball refused to consider cable as a means of broadcasting some of their games. However, with the backing of ABC, ESPN's ability to compete for major sports contracts increased, gave it credibility within the sports broadcasting industry. In 1984, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA could no longer monopolize the rights to negotiate the contracts for college football games, allowing each individual school to negotiate broadcast deals of their choice.
ESPN took full advantage and began to broadcast a large number of NCAA football games, creating an opportunity for fans to be able to view multiple games each weekend, the same deal that the NCAA had negotiated with TBS. ESPN's breakthrough moment occurred in 1987, when it secured a contract with the NFL to broadcast eight games during that year's regular season – all of which aired on Sunday nights, marking the first broadcasts of Sunday NFL primetime games. ESPN's Sunday Night Football games would become the highest-rated NFL telecasts for the next 17 years; the channel's decision to broadcast NFL games on Sunday evenings resulted in a decline in viewership for the daytime games shown on the major broadcast networks, marking the first time that ESPN had been a legitimate competitor to NBC and CBS, which had long dominated the sports television market. In 19
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston area. The Patriots compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's American Football Conference East division; the team plays its home games at Gillette Stadium in the town of Foxborough, located 21 miles southwest of downtown Boston, Massachusetts and 20 miles northeast of downtown Providence, Rhode Island. The Patriots are headquartered at Gillette Stadium. An original member of the American Football League, the Patriots joined the NFL in the 1970 merger of the two leagues; the team changed its name from the original Boston Patriots after relocating to Foxborough in 1971. The Patriots played their home games at Foxboro Stadium from 1971 to 2001 moved to Gillette Stadium at the start of the 2002 season; the Patriots' rivalry with the New York Jets is considered one of the most bitter rivalries in the NFL. Since the arrival of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady in 2000, the Patriots have since become one of the most successful teams in NFL history, winning 16 AFC East titles in 18 seasons since 2001, without a losing season in that period.
The franchise has since set numerous notable records, including most wins in a ten-year period, an undefeated 16-game regular season in 2007, the longest winning streak consisting of regular season and playoff games in NFL history, the most consecutive division titles won by a team in NFL history. The team owns the record for most Super Bowls reached and won by a head coach–quarterback tandem, most Super Bowl appearances overall, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins, tied with the Denver Broncos for the most Super Bowl losses. On November 16, 1959, Boston business executive Billy Sullivan was awarded the eighth and final franchise of the developing American Football League; the following winter, locals were allowed to submit ideas for the Boston football team's official name. The most popular choice – and the one that Sullivan selected – was the "Boston Patriots," with "Patriots" referring to those colonists of the Thirteen Colonies who rebelled against British control during the American Revolution and in July 1776 declared the United States of America an independent nation.
Thereafter, artist Phil Bissell of The Boston Globe developed the "Pat Patriot" logo. The Patriots struggled for most of their years in the AFL, they never had a regular home stadium. Nickerson Field, Harvard Stadium, Fenway Park, Alumni Stadium all served as home fields during their time in the American Football League, they played in only one AFL championship game, following the 1963 season, in which they lost to the San Diego Chargers 51–10. They did not appear again in an NFL post-season game for another 13 years; when the NFL and AFL merged in 1970, the Patriots were placed in the American Football Conference East division, where they still play today. The following year, the Patriots moved to a new stadium in Foxborough, which would serve as their home for the next 30 years; as a result of the move, they announced they would change their name from the Boston Patriots to the Bay State Patriots. The name was rejected by the NFL and on March 22, 1971, the team announced they would change its geographic name to New England.
During the 1970s, the Patriots had some success, earning a berth to the playoffs in 1976—as a wild card team—and in 1978—as AFC East champions. They lost in the first round both times. In 1985, they returned to the playoffs, made it all the way to Super Bowl XX, which they lost to the Chicago Bears 46–10. Following their Super Bowl loss, they lost in the first round; the team would not make the playoffs again for eight more years. During the 1990 season, the Patriots went 1–15, they changed ownership three times in the ensuing 14 years, being purchased from the Sullivan family first by Victor Kiam in 1988, who sold the team to James Orthwein in 1992. Though Orthwein's period as owner was short and controversial, he did oversee major changes to the team, first with the hiring of former New York Giants coach Bill Parcells in 1993. Orthwein and his marketing team commissioned the NFL to develop a new visual identity and logo, changed their primary colors from the traditional red and blue to blue and silver for the team uniforms.
Orthwein intended to move the team to his native St. Louis, but instead sold the team in 1994 for $175 million to its current owner, Robert Kraft. Since the Patriots have sold out every home game in both Foxboro Stadium and Gillette Stadium. By 2009, the value of the franchise had increased by over $1 billion, to a Forbes magazine estimated value of $1.361 billion, third highest in the NFL only behind the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. As of July 2018, the Patriots are the sixth most valuable sports franchise in the world according to Forbes magazine with a value of $3.7 billion. Continuing on as head coach under Kraft's ownership, Parcells would bring the Patriots to two playoff appearances, including Super Bowl XXXI, which they lost to the Green Bay Packers by a score of 35–21. Pete Carroll, Parcells's successor, would take the team to the playoffs twice in 1997 and 1998 before being dismissed as head coach after the 1999 season; the Patriots hired current head coach Bill Belichick, who had served as defensive coordinator under Parcells including during Super Bowl XXXI, in 2000.
Their new home field, Gillette Stadium, opened in 2002 to
Havana is the capital city, largest city, major port, leading commercial center of Cuba. The city has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, it spans a total of 781.58 km2 – making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region. The city of Havana was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century and due to its strategic location it served as a springboard for the Spanish conquest of the Americas, becoming a stopping point for treasure-laden Spanish galleons returning to Spain; the King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City in 1592. Walls as well as forts were built to protect the old city; the sinking of the U. S. battleship Maine in Havana's harbor in 1898 was the immediate cause of the Spanish–American War. The city is the center of the Cuban government, home to various ministries, headquarters of businesses and over 90 diplomatic offices; the current mayor is Marta Hernández of the Communist Party of Cuba. In 2009, the city/province had the third highest income in the country.
Contemporary Havana can be described as three cities in one: Old Havana and the newer suburban districts. The city extends westward and southward from the bay, entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbors: Mari melena and Antares; the sluggish Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay. The city attracts over a million tourists annually. Old Havana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982; the city is noted for its history, culture and monuments. As typical of Cuba, Havana experiences a tropical climate. Most native settlements became the site of Spanish colonial cities retaining their original Taíno names. Conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar founded Havana on August 25, 1515, on the southern coast of the island, near the present town of Surgidero de Batabanó, or more on the banks of the Mayabeque River close to Playa Mayabeque. All attempts to found. However, an early map of Cuba drawn in 1514 places the town at the mouth of this river.
Between 1514 and 1519 the Spanish established at least two different settlements on the north coast, one of them in La Chorrera, today in the neighborhoods of Vedado and Miramar, next to the Almendares River. The town that became Havana originated adjacent to what was called Puerto de Carenas, in 1519; the quality of this natural bay, which now hosts Havana's harbor, warranted this change of location. Pánfilo de Narváez gave Havana – the sixth town founded by the Spanish on Cuba – its name: San Cristóbal de la Habana; the name combines patron saint of Havana. Shortly after the founding of Cuba's first cities, the island served as little more than a base for the Conquista of other lands. Havana began as a trading port, suffered regular attacks by buccaneers and French corsairs; the first attack and resultant burning of the city was by the French corsair Jacques de Sores in 1555. Such attacks convinced the Spanish Crown to fund the construction of the first fortresses in the main cities – not only to counteract the pirates and corsairs, but to exert more control over commerce with the West Indies, to limit the extensive contrabando that had arisen due to the trade restrictions imposed by the Casa de Contratación of Seville.
Ships from all over the New World carried products first to Havana, in order to be taken by the fleet to Spain. The thousands of ships gathered in the city's bay fueled Havana's agriculture and manufacture, since they had to be supplied with food and other products needed to traverse the ocean. On December 20, 1592, King Philip II of Spain granted Havana the title of City. On, the city would be designated as "Key to the New World and Rampart of the West Indies" by the Spanish Crown. In the meantime, efforts to build or improve the defensive infrastructures of the city continued. Havana expanded in the 17th century. New buildings were constructed from the most abundant materials of the island wood, combining various Iberian architectural styles, as well as borrowing profusely from Canarian characteristics. In 1649, an epidemic of the fatal Yellow fever brought from Cartagena in Colombia affected a third of the European population of Havana. By the middle of the 18th century Havana had more than seventy thousand inhabitants, was the third-largest city in the Americas, ranking behind Lima and Mexico City but ahead of Boston and New York.
During the 18th century Havana was the most important of the Spanish ports because it had facilities where ships could be refitted and, by 1740, it had become Spain's largest and most active shipyard and only drydock in the New World. The city was captured by the British during the Seven Years' War; the episode began on June 6, 1762, when at dawn, a British fleet, comprising more than 50 ships and a combined force of over 11,000 men of the Royal Navy and Army, sailed into Cuban waters and made an amphibious landing east of Havana. The British opened up trade with their North American and Caribbean colonies, causing a rapid transformation of Cuban society. Less than a year after Havana was seized, the Peace of Paris was signed by the three warring powers thus ending the Seven Years' War; the treaty gave