National Football League
Professional American football league National Football League Current season, competition or edition:
No. of teams 32
Country United States [A] Park Avenue New York City NY Tampa Bay Buccaneers Green Bay Packers [B] TELEVISION partner(s) United States:
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including 32 teams, divided similarly between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is among the four major North American professional sports leagues, the greatest professional level of American football on the planet.
eighteen-week routine season runs from early September to early January, with each team playing seventeen games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, seven teams from each conference (4 division winners and 3 wild card groups) advance to the playoffs single-elimination competition culminating in the Super Bowl, which is typically held on the first Sunday in February and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC. The league is headquartered in New York City The NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Specialist Football Association (APFA) prior to renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. After at first identifying champs through end-of-season standings, a playoff system was carried out in 1933 that culminated with the NFL National Championship until 1966. Following an arrangement to merge the NFL with the rival Football League (AFL), the Super Bowl was first held in 1967 to figure out a champion between the best groups from the 2 leagues and has actually stayed as the final video game of each NFL season given that the merger was completed in 1970.
Today, the NFL has the greatest average presence (67,591) of any expert sports league on the planet and is the most popular sports league in the United States.
The Super Bowl is also amongst the biggest club sporting occasions worldwide, with the private games representing many of the most watched tv programs in American history and all inhabiting the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most watched U.S. television broadcasts by 2015.
The NFL is the wealthiest expert sports league by income and the sports league with the most important groups.
Green Bay Packers hold the most combined NFL champions with thirteen, winning 9 titles before the Super Bowl era and four Super Bowls later on. Given that the development of the Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Steelers New England Patriots both have the most championship titles at 6.
Founding and history
On August 20, 1920, a meeting was held by agents of the Akron Pros Canton Bulldogs Cleveland Indians Dayton Triangles Jordan Hupmobile vehicle showroom in Canton, Ohio This meeting led to the development of the American Expert Football Conference (APFC), a group who, according to the Canton Night Repository, meant to raise the standard of expert football in every method possible, to get rid of bidding for players in between rival clubs and to protect cooperation in the formation of schedules.
Another meeting was held on September 17, 1920 with agents from groups from four states: Akron, Canton, Cleveland, and Dayton from Ohio; the Hammond Pros Muncie Flyers from Indiana; the Rochester Jeffersons from New York; and the Rock Island Independents Decatur Staleys Racine (Chicago) Cardinals The league was relabelled to the American Expert Football Association (APFA).
The league chosen Jim Thorpe as its first president, and consisted of fourteen groups (the Buffalo All-Americans Chicago Tigers Columbus Panhandles Detroit Declares signed up with the league during the year). The Massillon Tigers Massillon, Ohio was likewise at the September 17 conference, but did not field a group in 1920. Just two of these groups, the Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears) and the Chicago Cardinals (now the Arizona Cardinals), stay in the NFL.
Akron Pros won the very first APFA (NFL) Championship in 1920.
Although the league did not keep official standings for its 1920 inaugural season and groups played schedules that consisted of non-league challengers, the APFA granted the Akron Pros the champion by virtue of their The first occasion occurred on September 26, 1920 when the Rock Island Independents beat the non-league St. Paul Ideals 48–-- 0 at Douglas Park On October 3, 1920, the very first complete week of league play occurred.
The following season resulted in the Chicago Staleys controversially winning the title over the Buffalo All-Americans.
On June 24, 1922, the APFA changed its name to the National Football League (NFL).
, the season ended with the Chicago Bears () and the Portsmouth Spartans) connected for very first in the league standings.
At the time, groups were ranked on a single table and the group with the greatest winning percentage (not consisting of ties, which were not counted towards the standings) at the end of the season was declared the champ; the only tiebreaker was that in case of a tie if two groups played twice in a season, the outcome of the second game determined the title (the source of the 1921 controversy). This approach had actually been utilized considering that the league's production in 1920, but no circumstance had actually been come across where two teams were tied for initially. The league quickly identified that a playoff game between Chicago and Portsmouth was required to decide the league's champion. The groups were originally scheduled to play the playoff game, officially a regular-season game that would count towards the routine season standings, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, but a mix of heavy snow and extreme cold required the video game to be moved indoors to Chicago Arena, which did not have a regulation-size football field. Having fun with transformed guidelines to accommodate the smaller playing field, the Bears won the game 9–-- 0 and thus won the championship. Fan interest in the de facto championship game led the NFL, starting in, to divide into 2 departments with a national championship to be played between the division champions.
1934 season likewise marked the first of twelve seasons in which African Americans were absent from the league. The de facto ban was rescinded in, following public pressure and accompanying the removal of a comparable restriction Major League Baseball The NFL was always the largest professional football league in the United States; it however dealt with numerous competing professional leagues through the 1930s and 1940s. Competing leagues consisted of at least 3 separate American Football Leagues All-America Football Conference (AAFC), on top of numerous local leagues of differing caliber. 3 NFL teams trace their histories to these rival leagues, including the Los Angeles Rams (who originated from a 1936 iteration of the American Football League), the Cleveland Browns San Francisco 49ers (the last 2 of which came from the AAFC). By the 1950s, the NFL had a reliable monopoly on expert football in the United States; its only competition in North America was the professional Canadian football circuit, which officially became the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 1958. With Canadian football being a different football code than the American game, the CFL established a niche market in Canada and still survives as an independent league.
A brand-new expert league, the fourth Football League (AFL), began to play in 1960. The upstart AFL started to challenge the recognized NFL in appeal, getting financially rewarding television contracts and engaging in a bidding war with the NFL for free representatives and draft choices. The 2 leagues revealed a merger on June 8, 1966, to take complete result in 1970. In the meantime, the leagues would hold a common draft and championship game. The game, the Super Bowl, was held 4 times prior to the merger, with the NFL winning Super Bowl I Super Bowl II, and the AFL winning Super Bowl III Super Bowl IV After the league combined, it was restructured into 2 conferences: the National Football Conference (NFC), including the majority of the pre-merger NFL groups, and the American Football Conference (AFC), including all of the AFL groups along with 3 pre-merger NFL teams.
Today, the NFL is the most popular sports league in North America; much of its development is credited to former Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who led the league from 1960 to 1989. Total yearly attendance increased from 3 million at the start of his period to 17 million by the end of his period, and 400 million worldwide audiences enjoyed 1989's Super Bowl XXIII The NFL developed NFL Residences in 1963. The league's licensing wing, NFL Properties earns the league billions of dollars each year; Rozelle's period also marked the creation of NFL Charities and a national partnership with United Way Paul Tagliabue was chosen as commissioner to be successful Rozelle; his seventeen-year tenure, which ended in 2006, was marked by big boosts in tv agreements and the addition of 4 growth groups, in addition to the introduction of league efforts to increase the variety of minorities in league and team management roles.
The league's present Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has actually focused on minimizing the number of unlawful hits and making the sport much safer, primarily through fining or suspending gamers who break rules.
These actions are amongst many the NFL is requiring to lower concussions and enhance player safety.
Season and playoff development
From 1920 to 1934, the NFL did not have a set variety of games for groups to play, instead setting a minimum. The league mandated a twelve-game regular season for each team beginning in, later on shortening this to eleven video games in and 10 video games in, mainly due to The second world war. After the war ended, the number of video games gone back to eleven video games in, and later on back to twelve in 1947. The NFL went to a fourteen-game schedule in, which it kept until changing to the present sixteen-game schedule in In March 2021, the NFL formally adopted a seventeen-game schedule after acquiring the contract of the National Football League Players Association Having an odd number of games in the schedule will provide half the teams nine games as the home group while half the groups have just 8 house video games. To decrease the viewed benefit on competition of having more house video games, the additional house game will be rotated between the two conferences each year. This is since playoff berths are allocated at the conference level, so all groups within the conference will have played the exact same number of home video games.
The NFL ran in a two-conference system from 1933 to, where the champions of each conference would meet in the NFL National Championship. If 2 groups connected for the conference lead, they would meet in a one-game playoff to determine the conference champ. In, the NFL expanded from fifteen groups to sixteen teams. Instead of simply evening out the conferences by adding the expansion New Orleans Saints to the seven-member Western Conference, the NFL realigned the conferences and split each into 2 four-team departments. The 4 department champs would meet in the NFL playoffs, a two-round playoff.
The NFL also ran the Playoff Bowl (formally the Bert Bell Benefit Bowl) from 1960 to 1969. Efficiently a third-place game, pitting the 2 conference runners-up against each other, the league thinks about Playoff Bowls to have actually been exhibitions rather than playoff games. The league terminated the Playoff Bowl in 1970 due to its perception as a game for losers.
Following the addition of the previous AFL teams into the NFL in, the NFL divided into 2 conferences with three departments each. The expanded league, now with twenty-six teams, would likewise include an expanded eight-team playoff, the participants being the three department champs from each conference in addition to one 'wild card' team (the team with the best win percentage) from each conference. In 1978, the league included a 2nd wild card team from each conference, bringing the overall number of playoff teams to 10, and a more 2 wild card teams were added in to bring the overall to twelve. When the NFL expanded to 32 teams in, the league realigned, altering the department structure from 3 divisions in each conference to four divisions in each conference. As each division champion gets a playoff quote, the number of wild card groups from each conference dropped from three to 2.
The playoffs expanded again in 2020, adding 2 more wild card groups to bring the overall to fourteen playoff teams.
Roger Goodell At the business level, the National Football League considers itself a trade association made up of and funded by its 32 member groups.
Up up until 2015, the league was an unincorporated nonprofit 501(c)( 6) Area 501(c)( 6) of the Internal Income Code provides an exemption from federal earnings tax for Business leagues, chambers of commerce, real-estate boards, boards of trade, or expert football leagues (whether administering a pension fund for football gamers), not organized for earnings and no part of the net revenues of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or person..
On the other hand, each individual team (other than the non-profit Green Bay Packers) is subject to tax since they make a profit.
The NFL gave up the tax-exempt status in 2015 following public criticism; in a letter to the club owners, Commissioner Roger Goodell labeled it a diversion, stating the results of the tax-exempt status of the league workplace have been mischaracterized repeatedly over the last few years ... Every dollar of income generated through television rights fees, licensing agreements, sponsorships, ticket sales, and other ways is earned by the 32 clubs and is taxable there. This will stay the case even when the league workplace and Management Council file returns as taxable entities and the modification in filing status will make no product difference to our company. As an outcome, the league workplace may owe around US$ 10 million in income taxes, however it is no longer needed to reveal the wages of its executive officers.
The league has actually three specified officers: the commissioner, secretary, and treasurer. Each conference has actually one defined officer, the president, which is essentially an honorary position with few powers and primarily ritualistic tasks, consisting of granting the conference championship prize.
The commissioner is elected by the affirmative vote of two-thirds or eighteen (whichever is greater) of the members of the league, while the president of each conference is elected by an affirmative vote of three-fourths or 10 of the conference members.
The commissioner appoints the secretary and treasurer and has broad authority in disagreements in between clubs, players, coaches, and workers. He is the principal executive officer of the NFL and also has authority in employing league workers, negotiating television agreements, disciplining people that own part or all of an NFL group, clubs, or used people of an NFL club if they have actually breached league laws or committed conduct detrimental to the well-being of the League or expert football.
The commissioner can, in case of misbehavior by a celebration related to the league, suspend individuals, by far a fine of as much as US$ 500,000, cancel contracts with the league, and award or strip teams of draft picks.
In severe cases, the commissioner can offer suggestions to the NFL's Executive Committee up to and consisting of the cancellation or forfeit of a club's franchise or any other action, he deems required. The commissioner can also issue sanctions up to and including a life time restriction from the league if a specific linked to the NFL has actually banked on games or stopped working to alert the league of conspiracies or strategies to bet on or repair games.
The existing Commissioner of the National Football League is Roger Goodell, who was elected in 2006 after Paul Tagliabue, the previous commissioner, retired.
NFL profits is from three primary sources: NFL Ventures (merchandising), NFL Enterprises (NFL Network NFL Sunday Ticket, which the league controls), and the tv agreement. The league disperses such earnings similarly among groups, no matter performance. As of February 2019 [upgrade], each group receives $255 million each year from the league's tv agreement, up 150% from $99.9 million in 2010.
The majority of NFL teams' financial statements are secret.
The Kansas City Star acquired the Kansas City Chiefs' tax returns for 2008–-- 2010. According to the Star, the group's revenue increased from $231 million in 2008 to $302 million in 2010. In 2010, 2 thirds of profits came from the league: $99.8 million from NFL Ventures ($55.3 million) and NFL Enterprises ($44.6 million), and the $99.9 million share of the television contract. The remaining one third was from tickets ($42.4 million), business sponsorships ($6.6 million), food sales ($5 million), parking passes ($4.7 million), in-stadium advertising ($3.7 million), radio contract ($2.7 million), and miscellaneous sources.
The largest Chiefs expense in 2010 was $148 million for gamers, coaches, and other workers. Of the $38 million in running earnings, Clark Lamar Jr.
, 2 other kids, and widow of former group owner Lamar Hunt divided $17.6 million, and reinvested the staying $20 million into the group.
According to financial expert Richard D. Wolff, the NFL's profits design remains in breach of the typical business structure. By rearranging revenues to all teams the NFL is making sure that a person group will not dominate the league through extreme incomes.
Roger Noll explained the earnings sharing as the league's essential structural weak point, however, as there is no disincentive against a group playing terribly and the largest cost item, gamer wages, is topped.
AFC East AFC North AFC South AFC West Expenses Steelers Titans Chiefs Dolphins Ravens Colts Raiders Patriots Browns Texans Chargers Jets Bengals Jaguars Broncos NFC East NFC North NFC South NFC West Washington Packers Saints Seahawks Giants Bears Buccaneers Rams Cowboys Vikings Panthers Cardinals Eagles Lions Falcons 49ers This chart of the 2020 season standings displays an application of the NFL scheduling formula. The Buccaneers in 2020 (highlighted in green) ended up in 2nd place in the NFC South in 2021, the Buccaneers will play 2 video games versus each of its department rivals (highlighted in light blue), one game against each group in the NFC East AFC East (highlighted in yellow), one video game each against the second-place finishers in the NFC North NFC West (highlighted in orange) and one game versus the group who finished second in the AFC South (highlighted in pink).
Currently, the 14 opponents each team faces over the 17-game routine season schedule are set using a pre-determined formula:
The league runs an 18-week, 272-game regular season. Since 2021, the season has actually started the week after Labor Day (the first Monday in September) and concluded the week after New Year.
The opening video game of the season is typically a home game on a Thursday for the league's defending champ.
Most NFL games are used Sundays, with a Monday night game normally held at least when a week and Thursday night games happening on many weeks also.
NFL video games are not typically used Fridays or Saturdays till late in the regular season, as federal law restricts professional football leagues from taking on college or high school football. Because high school and college teams normally play video games on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the NFL can not hold video games on those days up until the Friday before the third Saturday in December. While Saturday video games late in the season prevail, the league rarely holds Friday video games, the most current one being on Christmas Day in 2020.
NFL games are hardly ever scheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday, and those days have only been used three times since 1948: in 2010, when a Sunday game was rescheduled to Tuesday due to a blizzard, in 2012, when the Kickoff game was moved from Thursday to Wednesday to prevent conflict with the Democratic National Convention and in 2020, when a game was held off from Sunday to Tuesday due to gamers testing positive for COVID-19 NFL routine season matches are figured out according to a scheduling formula. Within a department, all 4 teams play 14 out of their 17 games against common opponents or each other–-- two games (home and away) are bet the other 3 groups in the department, while one game is held versus all the members of a division from the NFC and a department from the AFC as identified by a turning cycle (three years for the conference the team is in, and 4 years in the conference they are not in). 2 of the other video games are intraconference video games, identified by the standings of the previous year –-- for instance, if a team finishes initially in its department, it will play 2 other first-place groups in its conference, while a team that finishes last would play 2 other last-place teams in the conference. The last game is an inter-conference based upon a turning cycle and determined by previous season's standings.
In total, each group plays 17 games and has one bye week, where it does not play a video game.
Although a group's house and away opponents are known by the end of the previous year's routine season, the precise dates and times for NFL games are not figured out till much later on since the league needs to account for, to name a few things, the Major League Baseball postseason and regional events that might present a scheduling conflict with NFL games. During the 2010 season, over 500,000 prospective schedules were produced by computer systems, 5,000 of which were thought about playable schedules and were reviewed by the NFL's scheduling group. After reaching what they felt was the very best schedule out of the group, almost 50 more potential schedules were developed to try to make sure that the chosen schedule would be the best possible one.