National Football League
Professional American football league National Football League Current season, competitors or edition:
No. of groups 32
Country United States [A] Park Opportunity New York NY Tampa Bay Buccaneers Green Bay Packers [B] TELEVISION partner(s) United States:
Fox NBC ESPN NFL Network Telemundo Deportes Broadcasters Official website
consisting of 32 groups, divided equally in between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major North American expert sports leagues, the highest expert level of Football worldwide.
eighteen-week routine season runs from early September to early January, with each team playing seventeen video games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, 7 groups from each conference (four division winners and 3 wild card teams) advance to the playoffs single-elimination competition culminating in the Super Bowl, which is normally hung on the very first Sunday in February and is played in between the champions of the NFC and AFC. The league is headquartered in New york city City The NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. After at first figuring out champions through end-of-season standings, a playoff system was implemented in 1933 that culminated with the NFL Championship Game up until 1966. Following an agreement to combine the NFL with the competing American Football League (AFL), the Super Bowl was initially kept in 1967 to identify a champ in between the best teams from the 2 leagues and has actually stayed as the final video game of each NFL season since the merger was finished in 1970.
Today, the NFL has the greatest average participation (67,591) of any expert sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States.
The Super Bowl is also among the biggest club sporting occasions worldwide, with the specific video games representing a number of the most watched television programs in American history and all occupying the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most seen U.S. television broadcasts by 2015.
The NFL is the wealthiest professional sports league by earnings and the sports league with the most important groups.
Green Bay Packers hold the most combined NFL champions with thirteen, winning nine titles prior to the Super Bowl age and four Super Bowls later on. Because 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 conference was held by agents of the Akron Pros Canton Bulldogs Cleveland Indians Dayton Triangles Jordan Hupmobile auto showroom in Canton, Ohio This conference led to the formation of the American Expert Football Conference (APFC), a group who, according to the Canton Night Repository, meant to raise the requirement of professional football in every way possible, to remove bidding for players in between competing clubs and to secure cooperation in the development of schedules.
Another conference was hung on September 17, 1920 with representatives 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 City; and the Rock Island Independents Decatur Staleys Racine (Chicago) Cardinals The league was relabelled to the American Specialist Football Association (APFA).
The league chosen Jim Thorpe as its first president, and consisted of fourteen teams (the Buffalo All-Americans Chicago Tigers Columbus Panhandles Detroit Heralds joined the league throughout the year). The Massillon Tigers Massillon, Ohio was likewise at the September 17 meeting, however did not field a team in 1920. Only 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 first APFA (NFL) Championship in 1920.
Although the league did not preserve official standings for its 1920 inaugural season and teams played schedules that consisted of non-league opponents, the APFA awarded the Akron Pros the championship by virtue of their The first occasion took place on September 26, 1920 when the Rock Island Independents defeated the non-league St. Paul Ideals 48–-- 0 at Douglas Park On October 3, 1920, the first complete week of league play happened.
The following season led to the Chicago Staleys controversially winning the title over the Buffalo All-Americans.
On June 24, 1922, the APFA altered its name to the National Football League (NFL).
, the season ended with the Chicago Bears () and the Portsmouth Spartans) tied for very first in the league standings.
At the time, groups were ranked on a single table and the team with the highest winning percentage (not including 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 two times in a season, the result of the second video game figured out the title (the source of the 1921 controversy). This method had been used since the league's creation in 1920, but no situation had actually been experienced where 2 teams were connected for first. The league rapidly determined that a playoff game in between Chicago and Portsmouth was required to choose the league's champion. The teams were initially arranged to play the championship game, formally a regular-season game that would count towards the routine season standings, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, but a combination 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 altered rules to accommodate the smaller playing field, the Bears won the game 9–-- 0 and therefore won the champion. Fan interest in the de facto national championship led the NFL, beginning in, to divide into two departments with a national championship to be played between the department champs.
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 coinciding with the removal of a similar restriction Major League Baseball The NFL was always the biggest expert football league in the United States; it nevertheless faced various competing expert leagues through the 1930s and 1940s. Rival leagues consisted of a minimum of three separate Football Leagues All-America Football Conference (AAFC), on top of numerous local leagues of varying caliber. 3 NFL teams trace their histories to these rival leagues, including the Los Angeles Rams (who originated from a 1936 version of the Football League), the Cleveland Browns San Francisco 49ers (the last two of which came from the AAFC). By the 1950s, the NFL had an effective monopoly on professional football in the United States; its only competitors in The United States and Canada was the expert Canadian football circuit, which formally became the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 1958. With Canadian football being a various football code than the American game, the CFL established a niche market in Canada and still endures as an independent league.
A new professional league, the 4th American Football League (AFL), started to play in 1960. The upstart AFL began to challenge the recognized NFL in popularity, getting rewarding television contracts and taking part in a bidding war with the NFL free of charge representatives and draft picks. The 2 leagues revealed a merger on June 8, 1966, to take complete impact in 1970. In the meantime, the leagues would hold a typical 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 two 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 as well as three pre-merger NFL teams.
Today, the NFL is the most popular sports league in The United States and Canada; much of its development is credited to former Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who led the league from 1960 to 1989. General annual presence increased from 3 million at the start of his tenure to 17 million by the end of his tenure, and 400 million worldwide audiences watched 1989's Super Bowl XXIII The NFL established NFL Properties in 1963. The league's licensing wing, NFL Properties makes the league billions of dollars yearly; Rozelle's period also marked the creation of NFL Charities and a nationwide collaboration with United Method Paul Tagliabue was elected as commissioner to be successful Rozelle; his seventeen-year period, which ended in 2006, was marked by big increases in tv contracts and the addition of 4 expansion teams, along with the intro of league initiatives to increase the variety of minorities in league and team management functions.
The league's existing Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has actually focused on minimizing the number of illegal hits and making the sport more secure, generally through fining or suspending gamers who break guidelines.
These actions are amongst lots of the NFL is taking to lower concussions and improve player security.
Season and playoff development
From 1920 to 1934, the NFL did not have a set number of video games for teams to play, instead setting a minimum. The league mandated a twelve-game regular season for each group beginning in, later on reducing this to eleven games in and 10 video games in, mainly due to World War II. After the war ended, the variety of video games returned to eleven games in, and later on back to twelve in 1947. The NFL went to a fourteen-game schedule in, which it kept till changing to the existing sixteen-game schedule in In March 2021, the NFL officially embraced a seventeen-game schedule after getting the arrangement of the National Football League Players Association Having an odd variety of games in the schedule will provide half the teams 9 video games as the home group while half the teams have only 8 house video games. To lessen the viewed advantage on competitors of having more home games, the extra home game will be rotated in between the 2 conferences each year. This is due to the fact that playoff berths are assigned at the conference level, so all teams within the conference will have played the same number of house video games.
The NFL ran in a two-conference system from 1933 to, where the champs of each conference would satisfy in the NFL National Championship. If two teams tied for the conference lead, they would meet in a one-game playoff to determine the conference champ. In, the NFL broadened from fifteen teams to sixteen groups. Instead of just evening out the conferences by adding the growth New Orleans Saints to the seven-member Western Conference, the NFL realigned the conferences and divide each into 2 four-team departments. The 4 department champions would fulfill 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 two conference runners-up against each other, the league thinks about Playoff Bowls to have actually been exhibitions instead of playoff games. The league terminated the Playoff Bowl in 1970 due to its understanding as a game for losers.
Following the addition of the former AFL teams into the NFL in, the NFL split into two conferences with three divisions each. The expanded league, now with twenty-six teams, would likewise include a broadened eight-team playoff, the individuals being the 3 division champions from each conference in addition to one 'wild card' group (the group with the best win portion) from each conference. In 1978, the league included a second wild card team from each conference, bringing the overall variety of playoff teams to ten, and a further 2 wild card groups were added in to bring the total to twelve. When the NFL expanded to 32 teams in, the league straightened, altering the department structure from three departments 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 3 to 2.
The playoffs broadened once again in 2020, adding 2 more wild card groups to bring the overall to fourteen playoff groups.
Roger Goodell At the business level, the National Football League considers itself a trade association comprised of and financed by its 32 member groups.
Up till 2015, the league was an unincorporated not-for-profit 501(c)( 6) Area 501(c)( 6) of the Internal Income Code offers an exemption from federal income tax for Service leagues, chambers of commerce, real-estate boards, boards of trade, or professional football leagues (whether or not administering a pension fund for football gamers), not arranged for profit and no part of the net revenues of which inures to the advantage of any private investor or person..
In contrast, each individual team (except the non-profit Green Bay Packers) is subject to tax because they earn 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 identified it a distraction, saying the impacts of the tax-exempt status of the league office have actually been mischaracterized consistently in the last few years ... Every dollar of earnings created through television rights costs, licensing contracts, sponsorships, ticket sales, and other means is made by the 32 clubs and is taxable there. This will remain the case even when the league office and Management Council file returns as taxable entities and the modification in filing status will make no material difference to our organization. As a result, the league office may owe around US$ 10 million in earnings taxes, however it is no longer needed to disclose the salaries of its executive officers.
The league has 3 specified officers: the commissioner, secretary, and treasurer. Each conference has actually one defined officer, the president, which is basically an honorary position with few powers and mostly ceremonial tasks, including awarding the conference championship trophy.
The commissioner is elected by the affirmative vote of two-thirds or eighteen (whichever is higher) of the members of the league, while the president of each conference is chosen by an affirmative vote of three-fourths or 10 of the conference members.
The commissioner selects the secretary and treasurer and has broad authority in conflicts between clubs, players, coaches, and employees. He is the principal executive officer of the NFL and likewise has authority in employing league staff members, negotiating tv agreements, disciplining individuals that own part or all of an NFL group, clubs, or employed individuals of an NFL club if they have actually violated league bylaws or devoted 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 agreements with the league, and award or strip teams of draft picks.
In extreme cases, the commissioner can provide recommendations to the NFL's Executive Committee approximately and including the cancellation or forfeiture of a club's franchise or any other action, he deems essential. The commissioner can likewise issue sanctions up to and consisting of a life time restriction from the league if a private linked to the NFL has actually banked on games or stopped working to inform the league of conspiracies or strategies to bank on or repair games.
The existing Commissioner of the National Football League is Roger Goodell, who was chosen in 2006 after Paul Tagliabue, the previous commissioner, retired.
NFL earnings is from 3 primary sources: NFL Ventures (retailing), NFL Enterprises (NFL Network NFL Sunday Ticket, which the league controls), and the television agreement. The league disperses such income equally among teams, regardless of performance. As of February 2019 [upgrade], each team gets $255 million annually from the league's tv agreement, up 150% from $99.9 million in 2010.
Many NFL groups' financial declarations are secret.
The Kansas City Star acquired the Kansas City Chiefs' tax returns for 2008–-- 2010. According to the Star, the team's income increased from $231 million in 2008 to $302 million in 2010. In 2010, two thirds of revenue 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 tv contract. The staying one third was from tickets ($42.4 million), corporate sponsorships ($6.6 million), food sales ($5 million), parking passes ($4.7 million), in-stadium advertising ($3.7 million), radio agreement ($2.7 million), and various sources.
The biggest Chiefs cost in 2010 was $148 million for gamers, coaches, and other workers. Of the $38 million in operating income, Clark Lamar Jr.
, two other kids, and widow of former group owner Lamar Hunt divided $17.6 million, and reinvested the remaining $20 million into the team.
According to economist Richard D. Wolff, the NFL's revenue design is in breach of the typical business structure. By rearranging earnings to all teams the NFL is making sure that a person group will not control the league through extreme profits.
Roger Noll described the earnings sharing as the league's crucial structural weakness, however, as there is no disincentive against a team playing badly and the largest expense product, gamer salaries, is topped.
AFC East AFC North AFC South AFC West Costs 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) finished in 2nd place in the NFC South in 2021, the Buccaneers will play two games against each of its division competitors (highlighted in light blue), one game versus each team in the NFC East AFC East (highlighted in yellow), one game each against the second-place finishers in the NFC North NFC West (highlighted in orange) and one game against the team who completed second in the AFC South (highlighted in pink).
Presently, the 14 opponents each group faces over the 17-game routine season schedule are set utilizing a pre-determined formula:
The league runs an 18-week, 272-game regular season. Given that 2021, the season has started the week after Labor Day (the very first Monday in September) and concluded the week after New Year.
The opening video game of the season is usually a house game on a Thursday for the league's defending champion.
Many NFL video games are used Sundays, with a Monday night game usually held a minimum of as soon as a week and Thursday night games occurring on a lot of weeks too.
NFL games are not normally played on Fridays or Saturdays until late in the routine season, as federal law prohibits professional football leagues from taking on college or high school football. Since high school and college teams normally play games on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the NFL can not hold video games on those days up until the Friday prior to the third Saturday in December. While Saturday video games late in the season prevail, the league seldom holds Friday games, the most recent one being on Christmas Day in 2020.
NFL video games are hardly ever set up for Tuesday or Wednesday, and those days have just been used three times since 1948: in 2010, when a Sunday video game was rescheduled to Tuesday due to a blizzard, in 2012, when the Kickoff video game was moved from Thursday to Wednesday to prevent dispute with the Democratic National Convention and in 2020, when a game was postponed from Sunday to Tuesday due to players checking favorable for COVID-19 NFL regular season matchups are identified according to a scheduling formula. Within a division, all four teams play 14 out of their 17 games against typical challengers or each other–-- 2 games (house and away) are bet the other three teams in the department, while one video game is held versus all the members of a department from the NFC and a division from the AFC as determined by a turning cycle (3 years for the conference the group remains in, and four years in the conference they are not in). 2 of the other games are intraconference games, figured out by the standings of the previous year –-- for instance, if a group ends up first in its department, it will play two other first-place teams in its conference, while a team that finishes last would play two other last-place teams in the conference. The last video game is an inter-conference based upon a turning cycle and identified 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 team's house and away opponents are known by the end of the previous year's regular season, the specific dates and times for NFL games are not figured out up until much later due to the fact that the league needs to represent, among other things, the Major League Baseball postseason and local occasions that could present a scheduling dispute with NFL games. Throughout the 2010 season, over 500,000 prospective schedules were developed by computer systems, 5,000 of which were considered playable schedules and were evaluated by the NFL's scheduling team. After arriving at what they felt was the best schedule out of the group, almost 50 more potential schedules were established to attempt to ensure that the selected schedule would be the very best possible one.