The Game – National Football League has evolved since the inception of the sport in 1920. The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). That’s 16 teams in each conference which are further divided into four divisions: east, west, north, and south.
Each conference has a post-season and playoff rounds. Once the playoffs are completed the last team standing in that conference from the NFC and the AFC meet in the Super Bowl.
National Football Conference (NFC)
The NFC Divisions Teams:
NFC North – Chico Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings.
NFC South – Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
NFC East – Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Redskins.
NFC West – Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, and Seattle Seahawks.
American Football Conference (AFC)
The AFC Divisions Teams:
AFC North – Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburg Steelers.
AFC South – Huston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans.
AFC East – Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, New England Patriots, and Miami Dolphins,
AFC West – Denver Broncos, Kansas City Cheifs, Oakland Raider, and San Diego Chargers.
The truth is the Super Bowl long ago became more than just a football game. It’s part of our culture, like turkey at Thanksgiving and lights at Christmas, and like those holidays — beyond their meaning — a factor in our economy. Even people who don’t like football tune in to watch the commercials. You can’t say that about many things.
– Bob Schieffer, “More Than Just a Game,” 2010 February 7th (Super Bowl XLIV)
The Super Bowl and The Trophy
The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), the highest level of professional American football. The game culminates a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. Normally, Roman numerals are used to identify each game, rather than the year in which it is held. Why? Because the season actually starts the year prior to the Super Bowl game. It could be very confusing to Super Bowl 2017 when the season was actually held in 2016.
The current trophy of the NFL is the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Super Bowl trophy was officially renamed in 1970 after Vince Lombardi, who as head coach led the Green Bay Packers to victories in the first two Super Bowls. Unlike the previous trophies, a new Vince Lombardi Trophy is issued to each year’s champion, who maintains permanent control of it. Lombardi Trophies are made by Tiffany & Co. out of sterling silver and are worth anywhere from US $25,000 to US $300,000. Additionally, each player on the winning team as well as coaches and personnel are awarded Super Bowl rings to commemorate their victory.
The winning team chooses the company that makes the rings; each ring design varies, with the NFL mandating certain ring specifications (which have a degree of room for deviation), in addition to requiring the Super Bowl logo be on at least one side of the ring. The losing team are also awarded rings, which must be no more than half as valuable as the winners’ rings, but those are almost never worn.