Hut, hut, hut … hike! If you’re a fan of American football, you know that September 4 is the official start of the gridiron season.
If you’re a devotee of this brash and bigger-than-life game, or if you just want to learn more about it, check out these National Football League-related apps available for Windows Phone. They make it easy to follow your favorite team and give you all the news, games and sports talk your pigskin-loving heart could ever want.
But first …
Football: A pocket history
American football evolved from rugby, and the first football game was played on November 6, 1869, between the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) and Rutgers University on the Rutgers field. Back then, there were 25 players on each team, more than double the 11-man teams we have now. Rutgers won, 6-4.
Since then, football has grown to become the U.S.’s most popular professional sport. The NFL has the highest average attendance — 68,397 fans per game — of any sports league in the world.
OK, sports fans, on to the American football apps:
Follow your favorite teams and get customized alerts: NFL Mobile offers single-click access to stats, live game scores, game highlights, team standings, and social-media posts about your favorite team.
This is a great app, especially if you’re a Verizon subscriber. If you are, you can upgrade to the NFL Mobile’s premium features. That means access to NFL RedZone on Sunday afternoons and local Sunday NFL games as they happen. You can also follow your fantasy football team in the app and watch a live video stream of NFL.com’s “Fantasy Live.”
Note that this app does require a lot of data, so it’s best to use it while connected to Wi-Fi.
Billed as the “ultimate football app,” this free app gives you comprehensive coverage of the NFL season, from scores and team standings to up-to-the-minute stats and player news.
With the app’s NFL Player Comparison, you can see how two players from opposing teams (or the same team, if you wish) stack up on number of touchdowns, yards, and rushes per season. With Live Tile access, you can pin your favorite team to your Start Screen for instant access.
Football Pro ‘14 also features Live Radio so you can listen to games if you’re nowhere near a sports bar, as well as podcasts from ESPN Radio, the NFL, and other sources. In addition, the app’s Fantasy Playoff Prediction allows you to pick who you believe will win the Superbowl this year.
Redesigned and updated for the 2014 season, this free app is your ultimate fantasy-football companion on the go. What’s fantasy football, you say? It’s a competition in which you pit your imaginary football team — made up of real players from the NFL — with the imaginary teams of other NFL fans.
Via this free app, you can create or join a league, add or drop players, set your starting lineup, get expert analysis, and even manage multiple teams if you’re in several leagues. In addition, NFL Fantasy Football is the only fantasy app with in-game video highlights of your key players.
So go ahead — do you think you can put together a winning football franchise?