"American Football" was an indie rock band from Urbana, Illinois from 1997 to 2000. The band was formed by Guitarist/bassist and singer Mike Kinsella (formerly of Cap'n Jazz and Joan of Arc and currently of Owen) and drummer Steve Lamos (formerly of The One Up Downstairs and currently of The Geese), and also included guitar player Steve Holmes. Their name is derives from the popular American spectator sport of the same name.
The band completed a total of two releases—an EP in 1998 and a full-length album in 1999, both through Polyvinyl Records. Though the band did not record bass on the EP, Kinsella handled bass duties on the LP.
The band had few live performances and disbanded less than a year after releasing their self-titled album; still, they gained critical acclaim for that album, which merged the plain-spoken, confessional lyrics of emo and the varying time signatures of math rock with a softer musical sensibility.
Mike Kinsella explained the band's name thus: