Professional

A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with the particular knowledge and skills necessary to perform their specific role within that profession. In addition, most professionals are subject to strict codes of conduct, enshrining rigorous ethical and moral obligations.[1] Professional standards of practice and ethics for a particular field are typically agreed upon and maintained through widely recognized professional associations, such as the IEEE.[2] Some definitions of "professional" limit this term to those professions that serve some important aspect of public interest [3] and the general good of society.[4][5]

In some cultures, the term is used as shorthand to describe a particular social stratum of well-educated workers who enjoy considerable work autonomy and who are commonly engaged in creative and intellectually challenging work.[6][7][8][9]

Young girl sits on doctor's lap
The profession of being a physician entails promoting, maintaining, or restoring health.

Trades

In narrow usage, not all expertise is considered a profession. Although sometimes incorrectly referred to as professions, occupations such as skilled construction and maintenance work are more generally thought of as trades or crafts. The completion of an apprenticeship is generally associated with skilled labour, or trades such as carpenter, electrician, mason, painter, plumber and other similar occupations. A related distinction would be that a professional does mainly mental work, as opposed to engaging in physical work.[10]

Theory

Although professional training appears to be ideologically neutral, it may be biased towards those with higher class backgrounds and a formal education. In his 2000 book, Disciplined Minds: A Critical Look at Salaried Professionals and the Soul-Battering System that Shapes Their Lives, Jeff Schmidt observes that qualified professionals are less creative and diverse in their opinions and habits than non-professionals, which he attributes to the subtle indoctrination and filtering which accompanies the process of professional training. His evidence is both qualitative and quantitative, including professional examinations, industry statistics and personal accounts of trainees and professionals.[11]

A key theoretical dispute arises from the observation that established professions (e.g. lawyers, medical doctors, architects, civil engineers) are subject to strict codes of conduct. Some have thus argued that these codes of conduct, agreed upon and maintained through widely recognized professional associations, are a key element of what constitutes any profession.[12] Others have argued that strict codes of conduct and the professional associations that maintain them are merely a consequence of 'successful' professionalization, rather than an intrinsic element of the definition of professional(ism); this implies that a profession arises from the alignment between a shared purpose (connected to a 'greater good'), a body of knowledge, actual behavior in terms of actions and decisions, and expectations held by societal stakeholders.[13]

Etymology

The etymology and historical meaning of the term professional is from Middle English, from profes, adjective, having professed one's vows, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin professus, from Latin, past participle of profitēri to profess, confess, from pro- before + fatēri to acknowledge; in other senses, from Latin professus, past participle. Thus, as people became more and more specialized in their trade, they began to 'profess' their skill to others, and 'vow' to perform their trade to the highest known standard. With a reputation to uphold, trusted workers of a society who have a specific trade are considered professionals. Ironically, the usage of the word 'profess' declined from the late 1800s to the 1950s, just as the term 'professional' was gaining popularity from 1900–2010.[14][15] Notably, in American English the rise in popularity of the term 'professional' started at the beginning of the 20th century [16] whereas in British English it started in the 1930s and grew fastest in the 1960s and 70s[17].

See also

References

  1. ^ Postema, Gerald J. (1980). "Moral responsibility in professional ethics" (PDF). NYUL Rev. 55. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  2. ^ "IEEE.org Index Page". IEEE.ORG. IEEE.ORG. Archived from the original on 2015-05-15. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  3. ^ Harvey, L.; Mason, S.; Ward, R. (1995). Role of Professional Bodies in Higher Education Quality Monitoring. Birmingham: Quality in Higher Education Project. ISBN 1-85920-108-3.
  4. ^ Sullivan, William M. (2nd ed. 2005). Work and Integrity: The Crisis and Promise of Professionalism in America. Jossey Bass.
  5. ^ Gardner, Howard and Shulman, Lee S., The Professions in America Today: Crucial but Fragile. Daedalus, Summer 2005. (pgs. 13–14)
  6. ^ Gilbert, D. (1998). The American class structure: In an age of growing inequality. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Press.
  7. ^ Beeghley, L. (2004). The structure of social stratification in the United States. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
  8. ^ Eichar, D. (1989). Occupation and Class Consciousness in America. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-26111-4
  9. ^ Ehrenreich, B. (1989). Fear of falling: The inner life of the middle class. New York: Harper Perennial.
  10. ^ Merriam-Webster www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/professional
  11. ^ Schmidt, J. (2000). Disciplined Minds – A Critical Look at Salaried Professionals and the Soul-Battering System that Shapes their Lives. Rowman & Littlefield, pp.293.
  12. ^ Barker, R. (2010), The big idea: No, management is not a profession. Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2010/07/the-big-idea-no-management-is-not-a-profession.
  13. ^ Romme, G. (2016). The Quest for Professionalism: The Case of Management and Entrepreneurship. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-quest-for-professionalism-97n80198737735
  14. ^ "Simple Definition of profess". merriam-webster.com. Merriam Webster. 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Google Books NGram Viewer". books.google.com/ngrams. Google. 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Google Books NGram Viewer (American English)". books.google.com/ngrams. Google. 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Google Books NGram Viewer (British English)". books.google.com/ngrams. Google. 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
Alliance of American Football

The Alliance of American Football (AAF) is a professional American football league, founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian. It began play on February 9, 2019, six days after the National Football League's (NFL) Super Bowl LIII championship game. The AAF consists of eight centrally owned and operated teams. All teams except Salt Lake and Memphis are located in cities on or south of the 35th parallel and all teams except Birmingham are located in metropolitan areas that have at least one major professional sports franchise. Of the eight teams in the league, all but Arizona and Atlanta are located in markets lacking an NFL team.

Brock Lesnar

Brock Edward Lesnar (; born July 12, 1977) is an American professional wrestler, mixed martial artist, and former professional football player. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the Raw brand and is the current Universal Champion in his second reign.After his successful amateur wrestling career at Bismarck State College and the University of Minnesota, Lesnar signed with WWE (then the World Wrestling Federation) in 2000. He was assigned to its developmental promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he was a three-time OVW Southern Tag Team Champion with Shelton Benjamin. After debuting on WWE's main roster in 2002, Lesnar won the WWE Championship five months after his debut at the age of 25, becoming the youngest champion in the title's history. He was also the 2002 King of the Ring and the 2003 Royal Rumble winner. Following his match with Goldberg at WrestleMania XX, Lesnar left WWE and pursued a career in the National Football League (NFL). He was named a defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings, but was cut prior to the start of the 2004 season. In 2005, Lesnar returned to professional wrestling and signed with New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), where he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in his first match. After a contractual dispute with NJPW, he also wrestled as IWGP Heavyweight Champion in the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF).

In 2006, Lesnar pursued a career in mixed martial arts (MMA), as he signed with Hero's and won his first fight, against Min-Soo Kim, in June 2007. He then signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) the following October. Lesnar lost in his UFC debut against Frank Mir and then won his second fight against Heath Herring. In November 2008, Lesnar defeated Randy Couture to become the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Shortly after a successful title defense in a rematch with Mir, Lesnar was sidelined due to diverticulitis. He would return at UFC 116 to defeat Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Shane Carwin and unify the heavyweight championships, becoming the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion in the process. Lesnar then lost the championship to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121. In 2011, he was once again sidelined due to diverticulitis and underwent surgery. Lesnar returned at UFC 141 in December, losing to Alistair Overeem and promptly retiring from MMA. Lesnar was a box office sensation in UFC, as he took part in some of the best-selling pay-per-view events in UFC history, including UFC 100 and UFC 116.In April 2012, Lesnar returned to professional wrestling, rejoining WWE after an eight-year hiatus. Two years later, at WrestleMania XXX, Lesnar defeated The Undertaker to end his undefeated streak at WrestleMania. He achieved world champion status three times after this, having won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in 2014 and the WWE Universal Championship in 2017 and 2018. His first reign as Universal Champion was the longest world title reign in WWE since 1988 at 504 days. In June 2016, at UFC 199, the UFC announced that Lesnar would return to fight at UFC 200 even though he was still contracted with WWE. Lesnar defeated his opponent Mark Hunt via unanimous decision. However, after Lesnar tested positive for clomiphene, a banned substance on the UFC's anti-doping policy, he was suspended from the UFC by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for one year and fined $250,000, and his victory over Hunt was overturned to a no-contest. Lesnar then retired from MMA for a second time in 2017.

Lesnar is a six-time world champion in WWE, a one-time world champion in NJPW and IGF, a one-time heavyweight champion in the UFC, and a one-time heavyweight wrestling champion in the NCAA, the only person in history to win a championship in each of those organizations. He has headlined numerous pay-per-view events for both WWE and the UFC, including WrestleMania XIX, WrestleMania 31, WrestleMania 34, UFC 100 and UFC 116. Lesnar has been managed by Paul Heyman throughout the majority of his professional wrestling career. A 2015 ESPN.com article referred to Lesnar as "the most accomplished athlete in professional wrestling history".

Chris Benoit

Christopher Michael Benoit (; May 21, 1967 – June 24, 2007) was a Canadian professional wrestler. During his 22-year career, Benoit worked for numerous promotions including the World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment (WWF/WWE), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), and New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). Industry journalist Dave Meltzer considered him "one of the top 10, maybe even the top 5, all-time greats".Benoit held 22 championships between WWF/WWE, WCW, NJPW, and ECW. He was a two-time world champion, having been a one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and a one-time World Heavyweight Champion in WWE; he was booked to win a third world championship at a WWE event on the night of his death. Benoit was the twelfth WWE Triple Crown Champion and seventh WCW Triple Crown Champion, and the second of four men in history to achieve both the WWE and WCW Triple Crown Championships. He was also the 2004 Royal Rumble winner, joining Shawn Michaels as the only two men to win a Royal Rumble as the number one entrant. Benoit headlined multiple pay-per-views for WWE, including a victory in the World Heavyweight Championship main event match of WrestleMania XX in 2004.Benoit murdered his wife on June 22, 2007, his son on June 23, 2007, and hanged himself on June 24, 2007. Research suggests depression and brain damage from numerous concussions are likely contributing factors leading to the crime.

Colorado

Colorado ( (listen), other variants) is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U.S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census.The state was named for the Colorado River, which early Spanish explorers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy silt the river carried from the mountains. The Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, and on August 1, 1876, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it became a state one century after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence.

Colorado is bordered by Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the northeast, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma to the southeast, New Mexico to the south, Utah to the west, and touches Arizona to the southwest at the Four Corners. Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, forests, high plains, mesas, canyons, plateaus, rivers and desert lands. Colorado is part of the western and southwestern United States, and is one of the Mountain States.

Denver is the capital and most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are known as Coloradans, although the antiquated term "Coloradoan" is occasionally used.

Dave Bautista

David Michael Bautista Jr. (born January 18, 1969) is an American actor, professional wrestler, and former mixed martial artist and bodybuilder.

Bautista began his wrestling career in 1999, and signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) in 2000. From 2002 to 2010, he gained fame under the ring name Batista and became a six-time world champion by winning the World Heavyweight Championship four times and the WWE Championship twice. He holds the record for the longest reign as World Heavyweight Champion at 282 days and has also won the World Tag Team Championship three times (twice with Ric Flair and once with John Cena) and the WWE Tag Team Championship once (with Rey Mysterio). He was the winner of the 2005 Royal Rumble match and went on to headline WrestleMania 21, one of the top five highest-grossing pay-per-view events in professional wrestling history. Bautista re-signed with WWE in 2013, going on to win the 2014 Royal Rumble match and headline WrestleMania XXX.

Bautista began acting in 2006 and has starred in The Man with the Iron Fists (2012), Riddick (2013), the James Bond film Spectre (2015), and Blade Runner 2049 (2017). He is perhaps best known for his role as Drax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portraying the character in the films Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). He has also appeared in several direct-to-video films since 2009.

In August 2012, Bautista signed a contract with Classic Entertainment & Sports to fight in mixed martial arts (MMA). He won his lone MMA fight on October 6, 2012, defeating Vince Lucero via TKO in the first round.

Esports

Esports (also known as electronic sports, e-sports, or eSports) is a form of competition using video games. Most commonly, esports takes the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players, individually or as teams. Although organized online and offline competitions have long been a part of video game culture, these were largely between amateurs until the late 2000s, when participation by professional gamers and spectatorship in these events through live streaming saw a large surge in popularity. By the 2010s, esports was a significant factor in the video game industry, with many game developers actively designing toward a professional esports subculture.

The most common video game genres associated with esports are real-time strategy (RTS), first-person shooter (FPS), fighting, multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) and battle royale games. Popular games for esports include MOBA titles League of Legends and Dota 2, FPS titles Counter-Strike and Call of Duty, tactical shooters CrossFire and Rainbow Six Siege, hero shooter Overwatch, fighting games like Street Fighter and the Super Smash Bros series, beat 'em up Dungeon Fighter Online, digital collectible card game Hearthstone, battle royale games PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite Battle Royale, and RTS title StarCraft. Tournaments such as the League of Legends World Championship, Dota 2's The International, the fighting games-specific Evolution Championship Series (EVO), and the Intel Extreme Masters provide live broadcasts of the competition and prize money to competitors. Many competitions use a series of promotion and relegation play with sponsored teams, such as the League of Legends World Championship, but more recently, competitions structured similar to American professional sports, with salaried players and regular season and play-off series, have emerged, such as the Overwatch League. The legitimacy of esports as a sports competition remains in question; however, esports has been featured alongside traditional sports in multinational events, and the International Olympic Committee has explored incorporating them into future Olympic events.

By 2019, it is estimated that 427 million people worldwide will be watching some form of esports. The increasing availability of online streaming media platforms, particularly Panda.tv, YouTube and Twitch, has become central to the growth and promotion of esports competitions. Demographically, Major League Gaming has reported viewership that is approximately 85% male and 15% female, with a majority of viewers between the ages of 18 and 34. Despite this, several female personalities within esports are hopeful about the increasing presence of female gamers. South Korea has several established esports organizations, which have licensed pro gamers since the year 2000. Recognition of esports competitions outside of South Korea has come somewhat slower. Along with South Korea, most competitions take place in Europe, North America and China. Despite its large video game market, esports in Japan is relatively underdeveloped, and this has been attributed largely to its broad anti-gambling laws which prohibit paid professional gaming tournaments.The global esports market generated US$325 million of revenue in 2015 and was expected to make $493 million in 2016. The global esports audience in 2015 was 226 million people. According to a Newzoo report in April 2017, 42% of the gaming market belongs to the mobile industry, and mobile is projected to claim more than 50% the market by 2020. The esports industry is expanding beyond PC and console, as developer Super Evil Megacorp created Vainglory, the first mobile multiplayer online battle arena game, and companies like Skillz bring esports tournaments to mobile games.

Glossary of professional wrestling terms

Professional wrestling has accrued a considerable nomenclature throughout its existence. Much of it stems from the industry's origins in the days of carnivals and circuses. In the past, professional wrestlers used such terms in the presence of fans so as not to reveal the worked nature of the business. In recent years, widespread discussion on the Internet has popularized these terms. Many of the terms refer to the financial aspects of professional wrestling in addition to in-ring terms.

Impact Wrestling

Impact Wrestling (stylized as IMPACT) is a Canadian-based American professional wrestling promotion founded in Nashville, Tennessee and currently based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The promotion is operated by Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, LLC, a subsidiary of Anthem Sports & Entertainment.Founded by Jeff and Jerry Jarrett in 2002, in Nashville, Tennessee the promotion was initially known as NWA: Total Nonstop Action (NWA-TNA) and was associated with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). It withdrew from the NWA in 2004 and became known as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), but it continued to use the NWA World Heavyweight and the NWA World Tag Team championships as part of an agreement. After the agreement ended in 2007, the company created its own TNA World Heavyweight and TNA World Tag Team championships. The promotion was purchased by Anthem at the beginning of 2017, and it was renamed Impact Wrestling after its main television series.

Impact Wrestling (under its former name, TNA) had been considered the second largest professional wrestling promotion in the United States behind WWE up to at least 2015. However, from mid-2017, Impact has become increasingly viewed to have fallen behind longtime rival Ring of Honor. The loss of their former television contract and personnel issues have been noted as contributing factors to their decline.

Information technology

Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data, or information, often in the context of a business or other enterprise. IT is considered to be a subset of information and communications technology (ICT). An information technology system (IT system) is generally an information system, a communications system or, more specifically speaking, a computer system – including all hardware, software and peripheral equipment – operated by a limited group of users.

Humans have been storing, retrieving, manipulating, and communicating information since the Sumerians in Mesopotamia developed writing in about 3000 BC, but the term information technology in its modern sense first appeared in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review; authors Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler commented that "the new technology does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology (IT)." Their definition consists of three categories: techniques for processing, the application of statistical and mathematical methods to decision-making, and the simulation of higher-order thinking through computer programs.The term is commonly used as a synonym for computers and computer networks, but it also encompasses other information distribution technologies such as television and telephones. Several products or services within an economy are associated with information technology, including computer hardware, software, electronics, semiconductors, internet, telecom equipment, and e-commerce.Based on the storage and processing technologies employed, it is possible to distinguish four distinct phases of IT development: pre-mechanical (3000 BC – 1450 AD), mechanical (1450–1840), electromechanical (1840–1940), and electronic (1940–present). This article focuses on the most recent period (electronic), which began in about 1940.

Juris Doctor

The Juris Doctor degree (J.D. or JD), also known as the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree (J.D., JD, D.Jur. or DJur), is a graduate-entry professional degree in law and one of several Doctor of Law degrees. The Juris Doctor is earned by completing law school in Australia, Canada, the United States, and some other common law countries. It has the academic standing of a professional doctorate in the United States, a master's degree in Australia, and a second-entry, baccalaureate degree in Canada (in all three jurisdictions the same as other professional degrees such as M.D. or D.D.S., the degrees required to be a practicing physician or dentist, respectively).The degree was first awarded in the United States in the early 20th century and was created as a modern version of the old European doctor of law degree (such as the Dottore in Giurisprudenza in Italy and the Juris Utriusque Doctor in Germany and central Europe). Originating from the 19th-century Harvard movement for the scientific study of law, it is a degree that in most common law jurisdictions is the primary professional preparation for lawyers. It involves a three-year program in most jurisdictions.To be authorized to practice law in the courts of a given state in the United States, the majority of individuals holding a J.D. degree must pass a bar examination. The state of Wisconsin, however, permits the graduates of its two law schools to practice law in that state, and in its state courts, without having to take its bar exam—a practice called "diploma privilege"—provided they complete the courses needed to satisfy the diploma privilege requirements. In the United States, passing an additional bar exam is not required of lawyers authorized to practice in at least one state to practice in the national courts of the United States, courts commonly known as "federal courts". Lawyers must, however, be admitted to the bar of the federal court before they are authorized to practice in that court. Admission to the bar of a federal district court includes admission to the bar of the related bankruptcy court.

King Kong Bundy

Christopher Alan Pallies (November 7, 1957 – March 4, 2019) was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, King Kong Bundy. He is best known for his appearances in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. He wrestled in the main event of WrestleMania 2 in 1986, facing Hulk Hogan in a steel cage match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.

Limited liability company

A limited liability company (LLC) is the US-specific form of a private limited company. It is a business structure that can combine the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. An LLC is not a corporation under state law; it is a legal form of a company that provides limited liability to its owners in many jurisdictions. LLCs are well known for the flexibility that they provide to business owners; depending on the situation, an LLC may elect to use corporate tax rules instead of being treated as a partnership, and, under certain circumstances, LLCs may be organized as not-for-profit. In certain U.S. states (for example, Texas), businesses that provide professional services requiring a state professional license, such as legal or medical services, may not be allowed to form an LLC but may be required to form a similar entity called a professional limited liability company (PLLC).A limited liability company (LLC) is a hybrid legal entity having certain characteristics of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship (depending on how many owners there are). An LLC is a type of unincorporated association distinct from a corporation. The primary characteristic an LLC shares with a corporation is limited liability, and the primary characteristic it shares with a partnership is the availability of pass-through income taxation. It is often more flexible than a corporation, and it is well-suited for companies with a single owner.Although LLCs and corporations both possess some analogous features, the basic terminology commonly associated with each type of legal entity, at least within the United States, is sometimes different. When an LLC is formed, it is said to be "organized,” not "incorporated" or "chartered,” and its founding document is likewise known as its "articles of organization," instead of its "articles of incorporation" or its "corporate charter.” Internal operations of an LLC are further governed by its "operating agreement," rather than its "bylaws." The owner of beneficial rights in an LLC is known as a "member," rather than a "shareholder.” Additionally, ownership in an LLC is represented by a "membership interest" or an "LLC interest" (sometimes measured in "membership units" or just "units" and at other times simply stated only as percentages), rather than represented by "shares of stock" or just "shares" (with ownership measured by the number of shares held by each shareholder). Similarly, when issued in physical rather than electronic form, a document evidencing ownership rights in an LLC is called a "membership certificate" rather than a "stock certificate".In the absence of express statutory guidance, most American courts have held that LLC members are subject to the same common law alter ego piercing theories as corporate shareholders. However, it is more difficult to pierce the LLC veil because LLCs do not have many formalities to maintain. As long as the LLC and the members do not commingle funds, it is difficult to pierce the LLC veil. Membership interests in LLCs and partnership interests are also afforded a significant level of protection through the charging order mechanism. The charging order limits the creditor of a debtor-partner or a debtor-member to the debtor's share of distributions, without conferring on the creditor any voting or management rights.Limited liability company members may, in certain circumstances, also incur a personal liability in cases where distributions to members render the LLC insolvent.

Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

Baseball's first openly all-professional team was founded in Cincinnati in 1869. (There had been teams in the past that paid some players, and some that had paid all players but under the table.) The first few decades of professional baseball were characterized by rivalries between leagues and by players who often jumped from one team or league to another.

The period before 1920 in baseball was known as the dead-ball era; players rarely hit home runs during this time. Baseball survived a conspiracy to fix the 1919 World Series, which came to be known as the Black Sox Scandal. The sport rose in popularity in the 1920s, and survived potential downturns during the Great Depression and World War II. Shortly after the war, Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier.

The 1950s and 1960s were a time of expansion for the AL and NL, then new stadiums and artificial turf surfaces began to change the game in the 1970s and 1980s. Home runs dominated the game during the 1990s, and media reports began to discuss the use of anabolic steroids among Major League players in the mid-2000s. In 2006, an investigation produced the Mitchell Report, which implicated many players in the use of performance-enhancing substances, including at least one player from each team.

Today, MLB is composed of 30 teams: 29 in the United States and 1 in Canada. Teams play 162 games each season and five teams in each league advance to a four-round postseason tournament that culminates in the World Series, a best-of-seven championship series between the two league champions that dates to 1903. Baseball broadcasts are aired on television, radio, and the Internet throughout North America and in several other countries throughout the world. MLB has the highest season attendance of any sports league in the world with more than 73 million spectators in 2015.

National Football League

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). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and 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 (four division winners and two wild card teams) advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

The NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL agreed to merge with the American Football League (AFL) in 1966, and the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that season; the merger was completed in 1970. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance (67,591) 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, who has broad authority in governing the league. 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 (nine NFL titles before the Super Bowl era, and four Super Bowl championships afterwards); the teams with the most Super Bowl championships are the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers, each with six. 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.

Professional Darts Corporation

The Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) is a professional darts organisation in the United Kingdom, established in 1992 when a group of leading players split from the British Darts Organisation to form what was initially called the World Darts Council (WDC). Sports promoter Barry Hearn is the PDC chairman.

The PDC developed and holds several championship competitions, including the annual PDC World Darts Championship, the World Matchplay, World Grand Prix, UK Open, Premier League, and Grand Slam. It also runs its own world rankings based on players' performances.

Professional wrestling

Professional wrestling (often shortened to pro wrestling or simply wrestling) is a form of performance art and entertainment which combines athletics with theatrical performance. It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, which mimic a title-match combat sport. The unique form of sport portrayed is fundamentally based on classical and "catch" wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, strength-based holds and throws and acrobatic maneuvers. Much of these derive from the influence of various international martial arts. An additional aspect of combat with improvised weaponry is sometimes included to varying degrees.The matches have predetermined outcomes

to heighten entertainment value

and all combative maneuvers are executed with the full cooperation of those involved and carefully performed in specific manners intended to lessen the chance of actual injury.

These facts were once kept highly secret, but are now a widely accepted open secret. By and large, the true nature of the performance is not discussed by the performing company in official media in order to sustain and promote the willing suspension of disbelief for the audience by maintaining an aura of verisimilitude. Fan communications by individual wrestlers and promotions through outside media (i.e. interviews) will often directly acknowledge the dramatic and "fixed" nature of the spectacle.

Ric Flair

Richard Morgan Fliehr (born February 25, 1949), better known as Ric Flair, is an American professional wrestling manager and retired professional wrestler signed to WWE under its Legends program.

Ranked by multiple peers and journalists as the greatest professional wrestler of all time, Flair had a career that spanned 40 years. He is noted for his tenures with Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later WWE) and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Since the mid-1970s, he has used the moniker "The Nature Boy". A major pay-per-view attraction throughout his career, Flair headlined at the premier annual NWA/WCW event, Starrcade, on ten occasions, while also co-headlining its WWF counterpart, WrestleMania, in 1992, after winning that year's Royal Rumble. PWI awarded him their Wrestler of the Year award a record six times, while Wrestling Observer Newsletter named him the Wrestler of the Year (an award named after him and Lou Thesz) a record eight times. The first two-time WWE Hall of Fame inductee, first inducted with the class of 2008 for his individual career and again with the class of 2012 as a member of The Four Horsemen, he is also a member of the NWA Hall of Fame, Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, and Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.

Flair is officially recognized by WWE as a 16-time world champion (eight-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, six-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and two-time WWF Champion), although the number of his world championship reigns varies by source, ranging from 16 to 25. He has claimed to be a 21-time champion. He was the first holder of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship (which he also held last). As the inaugural WCW World Heavyweight Champion, he became the first person to complete WCW's Triple Crown, having already held the United States Heavyweight and World Tag Team Championships. He then completed WWE's version of the Triple Crown when he won the Intercontinental Championship, after already holding the WWF Championship and the World Tag Team Championship.

Roman Reigns

Leati Joseph Anoaʻi (born May 25, 1985) is an American professional wrestler, actor, and a former professional gridiron football player. He is part of the Anoaʻi family and is currently signed to WWE as a member of the Raw brand under the ring name Roman Reigns.

After playing collegiate football for Georgia Tech, Anoaʻi started his professional football career with brief off-season stints with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL) in 2007. He then played a full season for the Canadian Football League's (CFL) Edmonton Eskimos in 2008 before his release and retirement from football. He then pursued a career in professional wrestling and was signed by WWE in 2010, reporting to their developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). As Roman Reigns, he made his main roster debut in November 2012 alongside Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins as The Shield. The trio teamed together until June 2014, after which Reigns entered singles competition.

Reigns is a four-time world champion in WWE, having held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship three times and the Universal Championship once. He is also a one-time United States Champion, a one-time Intercontinental Champion, a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion (with Rollins), the 2015 Royal Rumble winner, and the 2014 Superstar of the Year. He tied the WWE record for most eliminations in a Survivor Series elimination match with four in the 2013 event and set the then-record for most eliminations in a Royal Rumble match with 12 in the 2014 event. Upon winning the Intercontinental Championship, he became the twenty-eighth Triple Crown Champion and the seventeenth Grand Slam Champion.

Since 2014, WWE has attempted to establish Reigns as their next "face of the company", which has been met with audience disapproval. Reigns has headlined numerous WWE pay-per-view events, including the last four WrestleManias (31, 32, 33 and 34).

Stone Cold Steve Austin

Steve Austin (born Steven James Anderson on December 18, 1964, later Steven James Williams), better known by the ring name "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, is an American retired professional wrestler, actor, producer, and television host. Austin is currently signed under a Legends contract to WWE.Austin enjoyed a successful mid-card career as "Stunning" Steve Austin in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) from 1991 to 1995. After a brief stint in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) in late 1995, he signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) as The Ringmaster. Rebranded as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin the following year, he gained significant mainstream popularity as a brazen, beer-drinking antihero who routinely defied the establishment and his boss, company chairman Vince McMahon. This persona of Austin's became the "poster boy" of the Attitude Era, a boom period in WWF business in the latter 1990s and early 2000s. He also introduced the long-standing "What?" chant in professional wrestling. A number of prominent industry figures, including McMahon, have declared Austin to be the biggest star in WWF/WWE history and stressed that he surpassed the popularity of Hulk Hogan. Veteran professional wrestling journalist Wade Keller remarked that Austin is "in every conversation for the greatest wrestling act of all time", as well as for "the most profitable and the most influential".Austin held 19 championships throughout his wrestling career, as he is a six-time WWF Champion, a two-time Intercontinental Champion and a four-time WWF Tag Team Champion—thus making him the fifth Triple Crown Champion in WWE history—while also being a two-time WCW United States Heavyweight Champion, a two-time WCW World Television Champion, a one-time WCW World Tag Team Champion and a one-time NWA World Tag Team Champion in WCW. He was also the winner of the 1996 King of the Ring tournament as well as the 1997, 1998 and 2001 Royal Rumbles, making him the only three-time winner of the event. Furthermore, he was awarded the unsanctioned Million Dollar Championship by Ted DiBiase.

Austin has main evented multiple pay-per-view events for the WWE, including three WrestleManias (XIV, XV and X-Seven). He was forced to retire from in-ring competition in 2003 due to a series of knee injuries and a serious neck injury. Throughout the rest of 2003 and 2004, he was featured as the Co-General Manager and Sheriff of Raw. Since 2005, he has continued to make occasional appearances and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009 by Vince McMahon. In 2011, Austin returned to WWE to host the reboot of the reality series Tough Enough!.

Torrie Wilson

Torrie Anne Wilson (born July 24, 1975) is an American model, fitness competitor, actress, and professional wrestler. She is best known for her time in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

As a fitness competitor, Wilson won the Miss Galaxy competition in 1999. Shortly after, she was signed by World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where she stayed from 1999 until 2000. In 2001, she began appearing on World Wrestling Federation (WWF) television as part of The Invasion (by WCW, of the [then-] WWF) storyline. Her most high-profile storyline took place in 2003 when she feuded with Dawn Marie. Wilson has also been a part of the all-female stable (i.e., a group of storyline-associated characters), known as Vince's Devils, which ended its run in 2006.

Aside from pro wrestling, Wilson has been on the cover of several magazines, including FHM and Playboy (which Wilson posed for twice, one featuring both Wilson and Sable).

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.