The National Football League (NFL) is the largest professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing its name to the National Football League in 1922. The league currently consists of thirty-two teams from the United States. The league is divided evenly into two conferences — the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC), and each conference has four divisions that have four teams each.
The regular season is a seventeen-week schedule during which each team has one bye week and plays sixteen games. Teams play all three other teams in their division twice. They also play each team from one other division in their conference, and each team from the same division in the opposite conference. The final two games come against the teams who finished in the same place the previous season in the two divisions of their conference not previously played. The season currently starts on the Thursday night in the first full week of September (the Thursday after Labor Day) and runs weekly to late December or early January.
At the end of each regular season, six teams from each conference play in the NFL playoffs, a twelve-team single-elimination tournament that culminates with the championship game, known as the Super Bowl. This game is held at a pre-selected site which is usually a city that hosts an NFL team. Commercials during the Super Bowl tend to be quite popular among the general public. Selected all-star players from both the AFC and NFC meet in the Pro Bowl, held in Honolulu, Hawaii; up to and including 2009, this game took place the weekend after the Super Bowl. In 2010, it will take place the week prior to the Super Bowl, in Miami Gardens, Florida.