National Football League
Professional American football league National Football League Current season, competitors or edition:
No. of teams 32
Nation 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 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 professional level of Football in the world.
eighteen-week routine season ranges from early September to early January, with each group playing seventeen games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, 7 teams from each conference (4 division winners and three wild card teams) advance to the playoffs single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is typically 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 The NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Specialist Football Association (APFA) prior to relabeling itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. After initially identifying champs through end-of-season standings, a playoff system was implemented in 1933 that culminated with the NFL Championship Game until 1966. Following an agreement to merge the NFL with the competing Football League (AFL), the Super Bowl was first kept in 1967 to figure out a champion between the best groups from the two leagues and has actually remained as the last game of each NFL season given that the merger was finished in 1970.
Today, the NFL has the greatest average participation (67,591) of any professional sports league worldwide and is the most popular sports league in the United States.
The Super Bowl is also amongst the greatest club sporting events in the world, with the private video games accounting for many of the most watched television programs in American history and all inhabiting the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most viewed U.S. television broadcasts by 2015.
The NFL is the most affluent expert sports league by earnings and the sports league with the most important teams.
Green Bay Packers hold the most combined NFL champions with thirteen, winning nine titles prior to the Super Bowl age and four Super Bowls afterwards. Because the creation of the Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Steelers New England Patriots both have the most championship titles at six.
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 automobile showroom in Canton, Ohio This meeting led to the development of the American Professional Football Conference (APFC), a group who, according to the Canton Night Repository, intended to raise the requirement of professional football in every method possible, to remove bidding for gamers between rival clubs and to protect cooperation in the formation of schedules.
Another meeting was held on September 17, 1920 with representatives from groups from 4 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 Professional Football Association (APFA).
The league chosen Jim Thorpe as its first president, and included fourteen groups (the Buffalo All-Americans Chicago Tigers Columbus Panhandles Detroit Declares joined the league throughout the year). The Massillon Tigers Massillon, Ohio was also at the September 17 meeting, however did not field a group in 1920. Only two of these groups, the Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears) and the Chicago Cardinals (now the Arizona Cardinals), remain in the NFL.
Akron Pros won the first APFA (NFL) Champion in 1920.
Although the league did not preserve main standings for its 1920 inaugural season and teams played schedules that consisted of non-league opponents, the APFA granted the Akron Pros the championship by virtue of their The first occasion took place 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 full 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 altered 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, teams were ranked on a single table and the team with the highest gaining portion (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 the event of a tie if 2 groups played two times in a season, the outcome of the second game identified the title (the source of the 1921 controversy). This technique had actually been used considering that the league's production in 1920, however no circumstance had been encountered where 2 teams were connected for first. The league rapidly identified 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 video game that would count towards the routine season standings, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, but a combination of heavy snow and severe cold required the video game to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium, which did not have a regulation-size football field. Having fun with transformed rules to accommodate the smaller playing field, the Bears won the video game 9–-- 0 and hence won the champion. Fan interest in the de facto national championship led the NFL, starting in, to divide into 2 departments with a championship game to be played in between the department champs.
1934 season also marked the very first of twelve seasons in which African Americans were missing from the league. The de facto restriction was rescinded in, following public pressure and coinciding with the elimination of a similar restriction Major League Baseball The NFL was constantly the largest expert football league in the United States; it nevertheless faced many competing expert leagues through the 1930s and 1940s. Rival leagues included at least 3 different American Football Leagues All-America Football Conference (AAFC), on top of numerous regional leagues of varying caliber. Three NFL teams trace their histories to these competing leagues, consisting of the Los Angeles Rams (who came from a 1936 iteration of the Football League), the Cleveland Browns San Francisco 49ers (the last 2 of which originated from the AAFC). By the 1950s, the NFL had an effective monopoly on expert football in the United States; its only competition 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 developed a niche market in Canada and still endures as an independent league.
A new expert league, the 4th Football League (AFL), began to play in 1960. The upstart AFL began to challenge the established NFL in popularity, acquiring financially rewarding tv agreements and taking part in a bidding war with the NFL for free agents and draft choices. The 2 leagues announced a merger on June 8, 1966, to take full impact in 1970. In the meantime, the leagues would hold a typical draft and championship game. The game, the Super Bowl, was held four times before 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 reorganized into two conferences: the National Football Conference (NFC), consisting of the majority of the pre-merger NFL groups, and the American Football Conference (AFC), consisting of all of the AFL groups in addition to 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. Overall yearly presence increased from 3 million at the start of his period to 17 million by the end of his period, and 400 million international viewers watched 1989's Super Bowl XXIII The NFL established NFL Properties in 1963. The league's licensing wing, NFL Properties earns the league billions of dollars annually; Rozelle's period also marked the development of NFL Charities and a nationwide partnership with United Way Paul Tagliabue was chosen as commissioner to prosper Rozelle; his seventeen-year tenure, which ended in 2006, was marked by large increases in television agreements and the addition of four growth groups, along with the introduction of league efforts to increase the variety of minorities in league and group management functions.
The league's present Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has focused on decreasing the variety of prohibited hits and making the sport more secure, generally through fining or suspending gamers who break rules.
These actions are among lots of the NFL is taking to reduce concussions and enhance player security.
Season and playoff advancement
From 1920 to 1934, the NFL did not have a set number of games for groups 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, generally due to The second world war. After the war ended, the number of games returned 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 till changing to the existing sixteen-game schedule in In March 2021, the NFL formally adopted a seventeen-game schedule after getting the contract of the National Football League Players Association Having an odd variety of games in the schedule will provide half the groups nine video games as the house group while half the groups have only 8 house video games. To decrease the perceived benefit on competitors of having more home games, the additional home game will be rotated between the 2 conferences each year. This is due to the fact that playoff berths are allocated at the conference level, so all teams within the conference will have played the exact same number of home games.
The NFL ran in a two-conference system from 1933 to, where the champs of each conference would fulfill in the NFL National Championship. If 2 groups connected for the conference lead, they would fulfill in a one-game playoff to figure out the conference champion. In, the NFL broadened from fifteen groups to sixteen teams. Rather of simply 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 champs would satisfy in the NFL playoffs, a two-round playoff.
The NFL likewise ran the Playoff Bowl (formally the Bert Bell Benefit Bowl) from 1960 to 1969. Efficiently a third-place video game, pitting the two conference runners-up against each other, the league considers Playoff Bowls to have actually been exhibits rather than championship game. The league ceased the Playoff Bowl in 1970 due to its perception as a video game for losers.
Following the addition of the previous AFL teams into the NFL in, the NFL divided into two conferences with three departments each. The expanded league, now with twenty-six teams, would also feature a broadened eight-team playoff, the participants being the 3 division champions from each conference along with one 'wild card' team (the group with the best win percentage) from each conference. In 1978, the league included a second wild card group from each conference, bringing the total variety of playoff teams to 10, and an additional two wild card teams were added in to bring the total to twelve. When the NFL expanded to 32 groups in, the league straightened, altering the division structure from 3 divisions in each conference to four divisions in each conference. As each department champ gets a playoff bid, the number of wild card teams from each conference dropped from three to 2.
The playoffs broadened once again in 2020, adding 2 more wild card groups to bring the total to fourteen playoff teams.
Roger Goodell At the corporate level, the National Football League considers itself a trade association made up of and funded by its 32 member teams.
Up up until 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 taxation 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 earnings of which inures to the advantage of any private shareholder or person..
On the other hand, each individual team (other than the non-profit Green Bay Packers) goes through tax since they make a profit.
The NFL quit the tax-exempt status in 2015 following public criticism; in a letter to the club owners, Commissioner Roger Goodell identified it a diversion, saying the results of the tax-exempt status of the league office have actually been mischaracterized repeatedly recently ... Every dollar of earnings produced through tv rights fees, licensing contracts, sponsorships, ticket sales, and other methods is earned by the 32 clubs and is taxable there. This will stay the case even when the league office and Management Council file returns as taxable entities and the change in filing status will make no product difference to our organization. As an outcome, the league workplace might 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 actually 3 defined officers: the commissioner, secretary, and treasurer. Each conference has actually one specified officer, the president, which is essentially an honorary position with couple of powers and primarily ritualistic duties, consisting of awarding the conference championship trophy.
The commissioner is chosen 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 chosen by an affirmative vote of three-fourths or 10 of the conference members.
The commissioner designates the secretary and treasurer and has broad authority in conflicts in between clubs, players, coaches, and staff members. He is the primary executive officer of the NFL and also has authority in employing league staff members, negotiating television contracts, disciplining individuals that own part or all of an NFL group, clubs, or utilized people of an NFL club if they have actually violated league laws or dedicated conduct destructive to the welfare of the League or professional football.
The commissioner can, in case of misbehavior by a party associated with the league, suspend individuals, by far a fine of approximately US$ 500,000, cancel agreements with the league, and award or strip groups of draft picks.
In severe cases, the commissioner can offer recommendations to the NFL's Executive Committee approximately and including the cancellation or forfeit of a club's franchise or any other action, he considers essential. The commissioner can also issue sanctions approximately and consisting of a life time ban from the league if a private connected to the NFL has actually bet on video games or failed to notify the league of conspiracies or strategies to bank on or repair video games.
The present Commissioner of the National Football League is Roger Goodell, who was chosen in 2006 after Paul Tagliabue, the previous commissioner, retired.
NFL income is from three primary sources: NFL Ventures (retailing), NFL Enterprises (NFL Network NFL Sunday Ticket, which the league controls), and the tv agreement. The league disperses such earnings similarly amongst groups, no matter efficiency. As of February 2019 [update], each team receives $255 million annually from the league's tv contract, up 150% from $99.9 million in 2010.
A lot of NFL groups' financial statements are secret.
The Kansas City Star got the Kansas City Chiefs' income tax return for 2008–-- 2010. According to the Star, the group's profits increased from $231 million in 2008 to $302 million in 2010. In 2010, two thirds of revenue originated 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 3rd 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 agreement ($2.7 million), and miscellaneous sources.
The largest Chiefs cost in 2010 was $148 million for gamers, coaches, and other staff members. Of the $38 million in operating income, Clark Lamar Jr.
, two other kids, and widow of previous team 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 conflict of the typical business structure. By redistributing earnings to all teams the NFL is ensuring that a person group will not dominate the league through extreme revenues.
Roger Noll described the revenue sharing as the league's crucial structural weakness, nevertheless, as there is no disincentive against a team playing severely and the biggest expense product, gamer salaries, 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 shows an application of the NFL scheduling formula. The Buccaneers in 2020 (highlighted in green) completed in 2nd place in the NFC South in 2021, the Buccaneers will play two video games versus each of its department rivals (highlighted in light blue), one video game versus each group in the NFC East AFC East (highlighted in yellow), one game each versus the second-place finishers in the NFC North NFC West (highlighted in orange) and one video game versus the group who completed second in the AFC South (highlighted in pink).
Currently, the 14 opponents each group faces over the 17-game regular season schedule are set utilizing a pre-determined formula:
The league runs an 18-week, 272-game routine season. Because 2021, the season has started the week after Labor Day (the first Monday in September) and concluded the week after New Year.
The opening game of the season is generally a house game on a Thursday for the league's safeguarding champ.
Most NFL video games are played on Sundays, with a Monday night video game normally held at least once a week and Thursday night games taking place on many weeks too.
NFL video games are not typically played on Fridays or Saturdays till late in the regular season, as federal law forbids professional football leagues from competing with college or high school football. Because high school and college teams typically play games on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the NFL can not hold video games on those days till the Friday prior to the 3rd Saturday in December. While Saturday games late in the season are common, the league seldom holds Friday video games, the most recent one being on Christmas Day in 2020.
NFL games are hardly ever arranged for Tuesday or Wednesday, and those days have actually just been utilized 3 times because 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 avoid dispute with the Democratic National Convention and in 2020, when a game was delayed from Sunday to Tuesday due to players checking positive for COVID-19 NFL routine season matches are identified according to a scheduling formula. Within a division, all four groups play 14 out of their 17 games versus common challengers or each other–-- two games (house and away) are bet the other 3 teams in the department, while one game is held against all the members of a department from the NFC and a division from the AFC as identified by a turning cycle (three years for the conference the team remains in, and 4 years in the conference they are not in). 2 of the other games are intraconference video games, identified by the standings of the previous year –-- for example, if a team ends up first in its division, it will play two other first-place groups in its conference, while a team that completes last would play 2 other last-place teams in the conference. The last game is an inter-conference based on a turning cycle and identified by previous season's standings.
In overall, each group plays 17 video games and has one bye week, where it does not play a video game.
Although a group's house and away challengers are known by the end of the previous year's regular season, the exact dates and times for NFL games are not determined until much later since the league has to account for, among other things, the Major League Baseball postseason and regional occasions that might posture a scheduling dispute with NFL video games. During the 2010 season, over 500,000 potential schedules were created by computer systems, 5,000 of which were thought about playable schedules and were evaluated by the NFL's scheduling team. After getting to what they felt was the best schedule out of the group, nearly 50 more potential schedules were developed to try to guarantee that the selected schedule would be the very best possible one.