American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves; the offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, otherwise they turn over the football to the defense. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal; the team with the most points at the end of a game wins. American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sports of association football and rugby football; the first match of American football was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams and Princeton, under rules based on the association football rules of the time.
During the latter half of the 1870s, colleges playing association football switched to the Rugby Union code, which allowed carrying the ball. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, the line of scrimmage, eleven-player teams, the concept of downs; the sport is related to Canadian football, which evolved parallel and contemporary to the American game, most of the features that distinguish American football from rugby and soccer are present in Canadian football. American football as a whole is the most popular sport in the United States; the most popular forms of the game are professional and college football, with the other major levels being high school and youth football. As of 2012, nearly 1.1 million high school athletes and 70,000 college athletes play the sport in the United States annually all of them men, with a few exceptions. The National Football League, the most popular American football league, has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world.
In the United States, American Football is called "football". The terms "gridiron" or "American football" are favored in English-speaking countries where other codes of football are popular, such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia. American football evolved from the sports of rugby football. Rugby football, like American football, is a sport where two competing teams vie for control of a ball, which can be kicked through a set of goalposts or run into the opponent's goal area to score points. What is considered to be the first American football game was played on November 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton, two college teams; the game was played between two teams of 25 players each and used a round ball that could not be picked up or carried. It could, however, be kicked or batted with the feet, head or sides, with the ultimate goal being to advance it into the opponent's goal. Rutgers won the game 6 goals to 4. Collegiate play continued for several years in which matches were played using the rules of the host school.
Representatives of Yale, Columbia and Rutgers met on October 19, 1873 to create a standard set of rules for all schools to adhere to. Teams were set at 20 players each, fields of 400 by 250 feet were specified. Harvard abstained from the conference, as they favored a rugby-style game that allowed running with the ball. After playing McGill University using both Canadian and American rules, the Harvard players preferred the Canadian style having only 11 men on the field, running the ball without having to be chased by an opponent, the forward pass and using an oblong instead of a round ball. An 1875 Harvard–Yale game played under rugby-style rules was observed by two impressed Princeton athletes; these players introduced the sport to Princeton, a feat the Professional Football Researchers Association compared to "selling refrigerators to Eskimos." Princeton, Harvard and Columbia agreed to intercollegiate play using a form of rugby union rules with a modified scoring system. These schools formed the Intercollegiate Football Association, although Yale did not join until 1879.
Yale player Walter Camp, now regarded as the "Father of American Football", secured rule changes in 1880 that reduced the size of each team from 15 to 11 players and instituted the snap to replace the chaotic and inconsistent scrum. The introduction of the snap resulted in unexpected consequences. Prior to the snap, the strategy had been to punt. However, a group of Princeton players realized that, as the snap was uncontested, they now could hold the ball indefinitely to prevent their opponent from scoring. In 1881, both teams in a game between Yale-Princeton used this strategy to maintain their undefeated records; each team held the ball. This "block game" proved unpopular with the spectators and fans of both teams. A rule change was necessary to prevent this strategy from taking hold, a reversion to the scrum was considered. However, Camp proposed a rule in 1882 that limited each team to three downs, or tackles, to adva
The Times-Picayune is an American newspaper published in New Orleans, since January 25, 1837. The current publication is the result of the 1914 merger of The Picayune with the Times-Democrat. However, under competitive pressure from a new New Orleans edition of The Advocate, the Times-Picayune resumed daily publication in 2014; the paper and the NOLA.com website form the NOLA Media Group division of Advance Publications. The paper was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2006 for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Four of The Times-Picayune’s staff reporters received Pulitzers for breaking-news reporting for their coverage of the storm; the paper funds the Edgar A. Poe Award for journalistic excellence, presented annually by the White House Correspondents' Association. Established as The Picayune in 1837 by Francis Lumsden and George Wilkins Kendall, the paper's initial price was one picayune, a Spanish coin equivalent to 6¼¢. Under Eliza Jane Nicholson, who inherited the struggling paper when her husband died in 1876, the Picayune introduced innovations such as society reporting, children's pages, the first women's advice column, written by Dorothy Dix.
Between 1880 and 1890, the paper more than tripled its circulation. The paper became The Times-Picayune after merging in 1914 with its rival, the New Orleans Times-Democrat. In 1962, Samuel Irving Newhouse, Sr. bought the morning daily The Times-Picayune and the other remaining New Orleans daily, the afternoon States-Item. The papers were merged on June 2, 1980 and were known as The Times-Picayune/States-Item until September 30, 1986. In addition to the flagship paper, specific community editions of the newspaper are circulated and retain the Picayune name, such as the Gretna Picayune for nearby Gretna, Louisiana; the paper is a part of Advance Publications, owned by the Newhouse family, is operated through Advance's NOLA Media Group unit along with its sister website, NOLA.com. In the vernacular of its circulation area, the newspaper is called the T-P. Hurricane Katrina became a significant part of the newspaper's history, not only during the storm and its immediate aftermath, but for years afterward in repercussions and editorials.
As Hurricane Katrina approached on Sunday, August 28, 2005, dozens of the newspaper's staffers who opted not to evacuate rode out the storm in their office building, sleeping in sleeping bags and on air mattresses. Holed up in a small, sweltering interior office space—the photography department—outfitted as a "hurricane bunker," the newspaper staffers and staffers from the paper's affiliated website, NOLA.com, posted continual updates on the internet until the building was evacuated on August 30. With electrical outages leaving the presses out of commission after the storm and web staffers produced a "newspaper" in electronic PDF format. On NOLA.com, tens of thousands of evacuated New Orleans and Gulf Coast residents began using the site's forums and blogs, posting pleas for help, offering aid, directing rescuers. NOLA's nurturing of so-called citizen journalism on a massive scale was hailed by many journalism experts as a watershed, while a number of agencies credited the site with leading to life-saving rescues and reunions of scattered victims after the storm.
After deciding to evacuate on Tuesday, August 30, because of rising floodwaters and possible security threats, the newspaper and web staff set up operations at The Houma Courier and in Baton Rouge, on the Louisiana State University campus. A small team of reporters and photographers volunteered to stay behind in New Orleans to report from the inside on the city's struggle and desperation, they worked out of a private residence. The August 30, August 31, September 1 editions were not printed, but were available online, as was the paper's breaking news blog: Hurricane Katrina struck metropolitan New Orleans on Monday with a staggering blow, far surpassing Hurricane Betsy, the landmark disaster of an earlier generation; the storm flooded huge swaths of the city, as well as Slidell on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, in a process that appeared to be spreading as night fell. After three days of online-only publication, the paper began printing again, first in Houma, La. and beginning September 15, 2005, in Mobile, Ala..
The paper was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2006 for its coverage of the storm, four of its staff reporters received the award for breaking news reporting for their coverage of Hurricane Katrina, marking the first time a Pulitzer had been awarded for online journalism. In a January 14, 2006 address to the American Bar Association Communications Lawyers Forum, Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss commented on the greatest challenge that the staff faced and continued to face as the future of New Orleans is contemplated: For us, Katrina is and will be a defining moment of our lives, a story we'll be telling till the day we die. Being a part of the plot is both riveting and unsettling. We don't yet know the end of this story... It's the story of our lives, we must both live and chronicle it. On May 24, 2012, the paper's owner, Advance Publications, announced that the print edition of the Times-Picayune would be published three days a week beginning at the end of September. News of the change was first revealed the night before in a blog post by New York Times media writer Dav
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints compete in the National Football League as a member of the league's National Football Conference South division; the team was founded by John W. Mecom Jr. David Dixon, the city of New Orleans on November 1, 1966; the Saints began play in Tulane Stadium in 1967. The name "Saints" is an allusion to November 1 being All Saints Day in the Catholic faith. New Orleans has a large Catholic population, the spiritual "When the Saints Go Marching In" is associated with New Orleans and is sung by fans at games; the franchise was founded on November 1, 1966. The team's primary colors are old gold and black, they played their home games in Tulane Stadium through the 1974 NFL season. The following year, they moved to the new Louisiana Superdome. For most of their first 20 years, the Saints were competitive, only getting to.500 twice. In 1987, they finished 12–3—their first-ever winning season—and qualified for the NFL playoffs for the first time in franchise history, but lost to the Minnesota Vikings 44–10.
The next season in 1988 ended with a 10 -- 6 record. Following the 2000 regular season, the Saints defeated the defending Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams 31–28 to notch their first-ever playoff win. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the Gulf Coast region; the Superdome was used as temporary shelter for displaced residents. The stadium suffered damage from the hurricane; the Saints were forced to play their first scheduled home game against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. During the season, it was rumored that Saints' owner Tom Benson might deem the Superdome unusable and seek to void his contract and relocate the team to San Antonio, where he had business interests. However, the Superdome was repaired and renovated in time for the 2006 season at an estimated cost of US$185 million; the New Orleans Saints' first post-Katrina home game was an charged Monday Night Football game versus their division rival, the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints, under rookie head coach Sean Payton and new quarterback Drew Brees, defeated the Falcons 23–3, went on to notch the second playoff win in franchise history.
The 2009 season was a historic one for the Saints. Winning a franchise-record 13 games, they qualified for Super Bowl XLIV and defeated the AFC champion Indianapolis Colts 31–17. To date, it is the only Super Bowl championship that they have won, as it is the only Super Bowl the Saints have appeared in, they join the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the only three NFL teams to win their lone Super Bowl appearance. In 52 seasons, the Saints' record was 371–446–5 overall, 362–435–5 in the regular season and 9–11 in the playoffs. First the brainchild of local sports entrepreneur Dave Dixon, who built the Louisiana Superdome and founded the USFL, the Saints were secretly born in a backroom deal brought about by U. S. Congressman Hale Boggs, U. S. Senator Russell Long, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle; the NFL needed congressional approval of the proposed AFL–NFL merger. Dixon and a local civic group had been seeking an NFL franchise for over five years and had hosted record crowds for NFL exhibition games.
To seal the merger, Rozelle arrived in New Orleans within a week, announced on November 1, 1966, that the NFL had awarded the city of New Orleans an NFL franchise. The team was named for the great jazz song most identified with New Orleans – "When the Saints Go Marching In", it was no coincidence that the franchise's official birth was announced on November 1, the Catholic All Saints' Day; when the deal was reached a week earlier, Dixon suggested to Rozelle that the announcement be delayed until then. Dixon told an interviewer that he cleared the name with New Orleans' Archbishop Philip M. Hannan: "He thought it would be a good idea, he had an idea the team was going to need all the help it could get."Boggs' Congressional committee in turn approved the NFL merger. John W. Mecom Jr. a young oilman from Houston, became the team's first majority stockholder. The team's colors and gold, symbolized both Mecom's and New Orleans' strong ties to the oil industry. Trumpeter Al Hirt was part owner of the team, his rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching In" was made the official fight song.
The inaugural game in 1967 on September 17 started with a 94-yard opening kickoff return for a touchdown by John Gilliam, but the Saints lost that game 27–13 to the Los Angeles Rams at Tulane Stadium, with over 80,000 in attendance. It was one of the few highlights of a 3–11 season, which set an NFL record for most wins by an expansion team. For most of their first 20 years, the Saints were the definition of NFL futility, they did not finish as high as second in their division until 1979. The 1979 and 1983 teams were the only ones to finish at.500 until 1987. One of the franchise's early bright moments came on November 8, 1970, when Tom Dempsey kicked an NFL record-breaking 63-yard field goal at Tulane Stadium to defeat the Detroit Lions 19–17 in the final seconds of the game. Dempsey's record was not broken until 2013 by Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos, who kicked one yard far
The Denver Broncos are a professional American football franchise based in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos compete as a member club of the National Football League's American Football Conference West division, they began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League and joined the NFL as part of the merger in 1970. The Broncos are owned by the Pat Bowlen trust and play home games at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Prior to that, they played at Mile High Stadium from 1960 to 2000; the Broncos were competitive during their 10-year run in the AFL and their first seven years in the NFL. They did not complete a winning season until 1973. In 1977, four years they qualified for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and advanced to Super Bowl XII. Since 1975, the Broncos have become one of the NFL's most successful teams, having suffered only seven losing seasons, they have won eight AFC Championships, three Super Bowl championships, share the NFL record for most Super Bowl losses.
They have ten players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: John Elway, Floyd Little, Shannon Sharpe, Gary Zimmerman, Willie Brown, Tony Dorsett, Terrell Davis, Brian Dawkins, Ty Law and Champ Bailey. The Denver Broncos were founded on August 14, 1959, when Minor League Baseball owner Bob Howsam was awarded an American Football League charter franchise; the Broncos won the first-ever AFL game over the Boston Patriots 13–10, on September 9, 1960. On August 5, 1967, they became the first-ever AFL team to defeat an NFL team, with a 13–7 win over the Detroit Lions in a preseason game. However, the Broncos were not successful in the 1960s. Denver came close to losing its franchise in 1965, until a local ownership group took control and rebuilt the team; the team's first superstar, "Franchise" Floyd Little, was instrumental in keeping the team in Denver, due to his signing in 1967 as well as his Pro Bowl efforts on and off the field. The Broncos were the only original AFL team that never played in the title game, as well as the only original AFL team never to have a winning season while a member of the AFL during the upstart league's 10-year history.
In 1972, the Broncos hired former Stanford University coach John Ralston as their head coach. In 1973, he was the UPI's AFC Coach of the Year, after Denver achieved its first winning season at 7–5–2. In five seasons with the Broncos, Ralston guided the team to winning seasons three times. Though Ralston finished the 1976 season with a 9–5 record, the team, as was the case in Ralston's previous winning seasons, still missed the playoffs. Following the season, several prominent players publicly voiced their discontent with Ralston, which soon led to his resignation. Red Miller, a long-time assistant coach was hired and along with the Orange Crush Defense and aging quarterback Craig Morton, took the Broncos to what was a record-setting 12–2 regular season record and their first playoff appearance in 1977, first Super Bowl, in which they were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys, 27–10. In 1981, Broncos' owner Gerald Phipps, who had purchased the team in May 1961 from the original owner Bob Howsam, sold the team to Canadian financier Edgar Kaiser Jr. grandson of shipbuilding industrialist Henry J. Kaiser.
In 1984, the team was purchased by Pat Bowlen, who placed team ownership into a family trust sometime before 2004 and remained in day-to-day control until his battle with Alzheimer's disease forced him to cede the team to Joe Ellis in 2014. Dan Reeves became the youngest head coach in the NFL when he joined the Broncos in 1981 as vice president and head coach. Quarterback John Elway, who played college football at Stanford, arrived in 1983 via a trade. Drafted by the Baltimore Colts as the first pick of the draft, Elway proclaimed that he would shun football in favor of baseball, unless he was traded to a selected list of other teams, which included the Broncos. Prior to Elway, the Broncos had over 24 different starting quarterbacks in its 23 seasons to that point. Reeves and Elway guided the Broncos to six post-season appearances, five AFC West divisional titles, three AFC championships and three Super Bowl appearances during their 12-year span together; the Broncos lost Super Bowl XXI to the New York Giants, 39–20.
The last year of the Reeves-Elway era were marked by feuding, due to Reeves taking on play-calling duties after ousting Elway's favorite offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan after the 1991 season, as well as Reeves drafting quarterback Tommy Maddox out of UCLA instead of going with a wide receiver to help Elway. Reeves was fired after the 1992 season and replaced by his protégé and friend Wade Phillips, serving as the Broncos' defensive coordinator. Phillips was fired after a mediocre 1994 season, in which management felt he lost control of the team. In 1995, Mike Shanahan, who had served under Reeves as the Broncos' offensive coordinator, returned as head coach. Shanahan drafted rookie running back Terrell Davis. In 1996, the Broncos were the top seed in the AFC with a 13–3 record, dominating most of the teams that year; the fift
Johnnie Troutman is an American football guard, a free agent. Troutman was drafted with the 149th pick in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Troutman attended Pemberton Township High School in Pemberton, New Jersey where he played on both offensive and defensive lines. Redshirted in 2007, Troutman played at Penn State from 2008 to 2011, he started his last three seasons at left guard for the Nittany Lions without allowing a sack and as a senior in 2011, Troutman did not commit a single penalty. Troutman graduated in May 2011 with a degree in African-American studies, he is a charter member of the Eta Alpha chapter of Iota Phi Theta fraternity. The San Diego Chargers drafted Troutman with a fifth-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, he had surgery for a pectoral injury prior to the draft and spent the entire 2012 season on the “Reserve-Non-Football Injury” list. On May 10, signed a four-year, $2.3 million contract. In the 2013 season, Troutman competed for the starting left guard spot. For the 2014 season Troutman was promoted to the starting position at right guard due to Jeromey Clary's hip surgery.
He was placed on injured reserve due to a forearm injury on September 29. Penn State Nittany Lions bio
Brandon Taylor (American football)
Brandon Alex Taylor is a former American football safety. He played college football at Louisiana State University; the Chargers selected him with the 73rd overall pick in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft, in which he was considered one of the top safety prospects. Taylor attended Louisiana State University from 2008 to 2011. During his career he recorded 160 tackles, four interceptions and a sack. Taylor was selected in the third round with the 73rd overall pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 2012 NFL Draft. On December 26, 2012, he was placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury. On June 19, 2014, Taylor was waived from the Chargers, his older brother is safety Curtis Taylor, selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL draft after playing for LSU. LSU Tigers bio San Diego Chargers bio
The Houston Texans are a professional American football team based in Houston, Texas. The Texans compete in the National Football League as a member club of the American Football Conference South division; the team plays its home games at NRG Stadium. The club first played in 2002 as an expansion team, making them the youngest franchise competing in the NFL; the Texans replaced the city's previous NFL franchise, the Houston Oilers, which moved to Nashville and are now known as the Tennessee Titans. The team was founded and owned by Bob McNair from 1999 to his death in 2018. Following McNair’s death, the majority ownership of the team went to his wife, Janice McNair, his son, D. Cal McNair. While the team struggled in the 2000s, they found success in the 2011 season, after clinching their first playoff berth and went on to win their first division championship; the Texans have gone on to win four more AFC South championships since in 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018. As of the 2018 season, they are the only franchise to have never appeared in a conference championship game.
In 1997, Houston entrepreneur Bob McNair had a failed bid to bring a National Hockey League expansion team to the city, Bud Adams relocated the city's NFL team, the Houston Oilers, to Nashville where they were renamed the Tennessee Titans. In 1996, a year earlier, the Cleveland Browns had controversially relocated to become the Baltimore Ravens; as part of the settlement between the NFL, the city of Cleveland and the team owned by Art Modell, the league promised to return football to Cleveland within the following three years. In order to out the franchises at 32, the league contemplated adding another expansion franchise; as Houston was one of the favorites for the extra franchise along with Toronto and Los Angeles, McNair decided to join the football project and founded Houston NFL Holdings with partner Steve Patterson. In association with Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, they would push for a domed stadium as part of the bid to lure the NFL back to Houston. On October 6, 1999 the NFL awarded the 32nd team at the cost of $700 million.
The Houston Texans joined the league at the 2002 NFL season, playing at the newly founded Reliant Stadium. With their opening game victory over the Dallas Cowboys that season, the team became the first expansion team to win its opening game since the Minnesota Vikings beat the Chicago Bears in 1961. While the team struggled in early seasons, results began to improve once native Houstonian Gary Kubiak became the head coach in 2006; the Texans finished with a.500 season in both 2007 and 2008, nearly qualified for the 2009–10 NFL playoffs with a 9–7 result in 2009. In 2010, the team started the season on a 4–2 record going into a Week 7 bye week, but promptly collapsed 2–8 in the second part of the season, finishing 6–10. In the 2011 NFL Draft, the Texans acquired Wisconsin star defensive end J. J. Watt eleventh overall; the following season, former Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips was hired as the defensive coordinator of the Texans, the improved defense led to the Texans finishing 10–6, winning their first AFC South title.
The Texans beat wild card Cincinnati Bengals 31–10 in the first round of the 2011–12 NFL playoffs, before a 20–13 defeat by the Ravens in the Divisional Round. The Texans surged as the team to beat in the AFC South in 2012, starting 5–0 and holding an 11–1 record by week 14. However, they lost three of their last four games to finish 12–4; the Texans beat the Bengals again in the wild-card round, but they lost in the Divisional Round to the New England Patriots. In the 2013 NFL Draft, the Texans acquired Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins twenty seventh overall. In 2013, the Texans started 2 -- 0 but lost every game afterwards. Kubiak was fired as head coach after being swept by the rival Jacksonville Jaguars, who themselves started 0–8. Wade Phillips filled in as head coach, but the Texans' poor form did not change, they finished 2–14, with 2005, their worst record in franchise history; the 14-game losing streak is the worst in franchise history. The Texans entered the 2014 season with a 14-game losing streak.
Former Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien became the Texans' new head coach, the third in franchise history, during the offseason. In 2014, the Texans won three of their first four games, defeating the Redskins in the season opener, the Raiders, the Bills, losing to the New York Giants, they lost three of their next four games, losing to the Dallas Cowboys, the Indianapolis Colts, the Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively. The Texans went on to finish 9–7 in the 2014 season and missed the playoffs. In the 2015 season, they were featured on HBO, on the show "Hard Knocks"; that year, the Texans started with a 2–5 record. Quarterback Ryan Mallett was released amidst controversy regarding his benching in favor of Brian Hoyer during a loss against the Indianapolis Colts. After a poor start, the Texans won their third AFC South title. However, they were shut out by the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round 30–0, ending their championship hopes for the year. On March 9, 2016, the Texans signed former Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler to a 4-year, $72 million deal.
Despite Osweiler's lucrative deal, he struggled during the entire season. After throwing two interceptions in Week 15 against the Jaguars, coach Bill O'Brien benched the offseason acquisition in favor of backup quarterback Tom Savage. Savage led a comeback effort against the Jaguars, was named the starter for the remainder of the