National Football League
Professional American football league National Football League Current season, competitors or edition:
No. of groups 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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consisting of 32 groups, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major North American expert sports leagues, the highest professional level of Football worldwide.
eighteen-week routine season runs from early September to early January, with each group playing seventeen video games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the routine season, 7 teams from each conference (4 division winners and three wild card groups) advance to the playoffs single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is typically hung on the first Sunday in February and is played between the champs of the NFC and AFC. The league is headquartered in New York City The NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Expert Football Association (APFA) prior to relabeling itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. After at first figuring out champions through end-of-season standings, a playoff system was carried out in 1933 that culminated with the NFL Championship Game up until 1966. Following a contract to merge the NFL with the competing Football League (AFL), the Super Bowl was first kept in 1967 to identify a champion between the very best groups from the two leagues and has actually stayed as the final video game of each NFL season given that the merger was finished in 1970.
Today, the NFL has the greatest average presence (67,591) of any expert sports league worldwide and is the most popular sports league in the United States.
The Super Bowl is also among the most significant club sporting events worldwide, with the individual games representing much of the most watched tv programs in American history and all occupying the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most enjoyed U.S. television broadcasts by 2015.
The NFL is the most affluent professional sports league by revenue and the sports league with the most valuable teams.
Green Bay Packers hold the most combined NFL champions with thirteen, winning nine titles before the Super Bowl period and 4 Super Bowls later on. Given that the creation of the Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Steelers New England Patriots both have one of the most champion 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 meeting resulted in the formation of the American Specialist Football Conference (APFC), a group who, according to the Canton Evening Repository, planned to raise the requirement of expert football in every method possible, to get rid of bidding for players in between competing clubs and to protect cooperation in the development 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 renamed to the American Specialist Football Association (APFA).
The league elected Jim Thorpe as its first president, and included fourteen teams (the Buffalo All-Americans Chicago Tigers Columbus Panhandles Detroit Declares signed up with 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 teams, 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 included 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 changed 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 gaining 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 the event of a tie if two teams played twice in a season, the outcome of the second video game determined the title (the source of the 1921 controversy). This technique had actually been utilized since the league's production in 1920, but no situation had been experienced where 2 groups were connected for first. The league quickly figured out that a playoff game in between Chicago and Portsmouth was required to decide the league's champion. The groups were originally scheduled to play the playoff game, formally a regular-season game that would count towards the regular season standings, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, but a combination of heavy snow and severe cold forced the game to be moved indoors to Chicago Arena, which did not have a regulation-size football field. Having fun with modified rules to accommodate the smaller sized playing field, the Bears won the video game 9–-- 0 and therefore won the champion. Fan interest in the de facto championship game led the NFL, starting in, to divide into 2 departments with a championship game to be played in between the department champions.
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 accompanying the removal of a comparable restriction Major League Baseball The NFL was constantly the largest expert football league in the United States; it nevertheless dealt with many rival expert leagues through the 1930s and 1940s. Rival leagues consisted of a minimum of 3 separate American Football Leagues All-America Football Conference (AAFC), on top of numerous local leagues of varying quality. 3 NFL teams trace their histories to these rival 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 efficient monopoly on expert football in the United States; its only competition in North America was the expert Canadian football circuit, which formally ended up being the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 1958. With Canadian football being a different football code than the American game, the CFL developed a niche market in Canada and still survives as an independent league.
A brand-new expert league, the 4th Football League (AFL), began to play in 1960. The upstart AFL started to challenge the recognized NFL in popularity, gaining lucrative 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 effect 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 restructured into two conferences: the National Football Conference (NFC), including the majority of the pre-merger NFL teams, and the Football Conference (AFC), including all of the AFL teams along with 3 pre-merger NFL teams.
Today, the NFL is the most popular sports league in North America; much of its growth is attributed to previous Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who led the league from 1960 to 1989. Total yearly presence increased from 3 million at the beginning of his period to 17 million by the end of his period, and 400 million worldwide audiences watched 1989's Super Bowl XXIII The NFL established NFL Residences in 1963. The league's licensing wing, NFL Properties earns the league billions of dollars each year; Rozelle's tenure likewise marked the development of NFL Charities and a nationwide partnership with United Method Paul Tagliabue was chosen as commissioner to succeed Rozelle; his seventeen-year period, which ended in 2006, was marked by large increases in tv contracts and the addition of 4 expansion teams, in addition to the introduction of league efforts to increase the number of minorities in league and team management roles.
The league's current Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has actually focused on reducing the variety of unlawful hits and making the sport more secure, mainly through fining or suspending players who break guidelines.
These actions are among many the NFL is taking to decrease concussions and improve gamer security.
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 routine season for each group beginning in, later on shortening this to eleven video games in and 10 games in, primarily due to World War II. 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 maintained up until changing to the present sixteen-game schedule in In March 2021, the NFL officially embraced a seventeen-game schedule after gaining the arrangement of the National Football League Players Association Having an odd number of games in the schedule will give half the teams nine video games as the home group while half the teams have only eight home games. To reduce the viewed advantage on competition of having more house games, the additional home game will be turned in between the two conferences each year. This is since playoff berths are assigned at the conference level, so all groups within the conference will have played the exact same number of house games.
The NFL operated in a two-conference system from 1933 to, where the champs of each conference would meet in the NFL Championship Game. If 2 groups tied for the conference lead, they would fulfill in a one-game playoff to determine the conference champ. In, the NFL expanded from fifteen groups to sixteen groups. Rather of simply night 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 two four-team divisions. The 4 division champions would satisfy 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. Effectively a third-place video game, pitting the 2 conference runners-up against each other, the league considers Playoff Bowls to have been exhibits rather than championship game. 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 3 divisions each. The expanded league, now with twenty-six teams, would likewise feature an expanded eight-team playoff, the participants being the three division champions from each conference along with one 'wild card' group (the team with the very best win percentage) from each conference. In 1978, the league included a 2nd wild card team from each conference, bringing the overall variety of playoff teams to ten, and an additional two wild card teams were added in to bring the total to twelve. When the NFL broadened to 32 groups in, the league realigned, altering the division structure from 3 divisions in each conference to 4 departments in each conference. As each department champion gets a playoff bid, the number of wild card groups from each conference dropped from 3 to 2.
The playoffs broadened once again in 2020, including 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 teams.
Up until 2015, the league was an unincorporated not-for-profit 501(c)( 6) Section 501(c)( 6) of the Internal Revenue Code provides an exemption from federal income tax for Company leagues, chambers of commerce, real-estate boards, boards of trade, or professional football leagues (whether or not administering a pension fund for football players), not arranged for earnings and no part of the net incomes of which inures to the benefit of any personal investor or person..
In contrast, each specific team (other than the non-profit Green Bay Packers) undergoes tax due to the fact that 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 identified it a diversion, stating the impacts of the tax-exempt status of the league office have actually been mischaracterized consistently recently ... Every dollar of income created through television rights fees, licensing agreements, 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 workplace and Management Council file returns as taxable entities and the modification in filing status will make no product difference to our business. As an outcome, the league office might owe around US$ 10 million in income taxes, however it is no longer needed to reveal the salaries of its executive officers.
The league has actually three specified officers: the commissioner, secretary, and treasurer. Each conference has one defined officer, the president, which is essentially an honorary position with few powers and mostly ceremonial tasks, consisting of granting the conference championship trophy.
The commissioner is chosen 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 appoints the secretary and treasurer and has broad authority in conflicts in between clubs, gamers, coaches, and staff members. He is the primary executive officer of the NFL and likewise has authority in hiring league staff members, working out tv contracts, disciplining people that own part or all of an NFL team, clubs, or used individuals of an NFL club if they have actually broken league laws or devoted conduct damaging to the welfare of the League or professional football.
The commissioner can, in the event of misbehavior by a celebration related to the league, suspend people, by far a fine of approximately US$ 500,000, cancel contracts with the league, and award or strip groups of draft picks.
In severe cases, the commissioner can use recommendations to the NFL's Executive Committee up to and including the cancellation or forfeiture of a club's franchise or any other action, he deems needed. The commissioner can likewise provide sanctions up to and consisting of a lifetime restriction from the league if a specific linked to the NFL has actually bet on games or stopped working to alert the league of conspiracies or strategies to bet on or repair 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 earnings is from 3 main sources: NFL Ventures (retailing), NFL Enterprises (NFL Network NFL Sunday Ticket, which the league controls), and the television agreement. The league distributes such profits similarly among groups, no matter efficiency. Since February 2019 [upgrade], each team gets $255 million each year from the league's television agreement, up 150% from $99.9 million in 2010.
The majority 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 team's earnings rose from $231 million in 2008 to $302 million in 2010. In 2010, two thirds of income 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 agreement. The remaining 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 contract ($2.7 million), and various sources.
The biggest Chiefs expense in 2010 was $148 million for gamers, coaches, and other staff members. Of the $38 million in operating income, Clark Lamar Jr.
, two other children, and widow of previous group owner Lamar Hunt divided $17.6 million, and reinvested the staying $20 million into the team.
According to financial expert Richard D. Wolff, the NFL's income model is in conflict of the typical business structure. By redistributing earnings to all teams the NFL is ensuring that one team will not dominate the league through extreme incomes.
Roger Noll explained the income sharing as the league's crucial structural weak point, nevertheless, as there is no disincentive against a team playing severely and the largest cost product, player wages, is capped.
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 video games versus each of its department competitors (highlighted in light blue), one video game against each team 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 video game against the group who finished second in the AFC South (highlighted in pink).
Presently, the 14 challengers each group deals with over the 17-game routine season schedule are set using a pre-determined formula:
The league runs an 18-week, 272-game routine season. Since 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 games are played on Sundays, with a Monday night video game typically held at least when a week and Thursday night games happening on the majority of weeks too.
NFL games are not normally used Fridays or Saturdays up until late in the regular season, as federal law forbids expert football leagues from competing with college or high school football. Since high school and college groups usually play games on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the NFL can not hold games on those days until the Friday before the 3rd Saturday in December. While Saturday video games late in the season are common, the league hardly ever holds Friday games, the most current one being on Christmas Day in 2020.
NFL video games are rarely set up for Tuesday or Wednesday, and those days have actually only been utilized 3 times since 1948: in 2010, when a Sunday video 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 video game was held off from Sunday to Tuesday due to players evaluating favorable for COVID-19 NFL routine season matches are identified according to a scheduling formula. Within a division, all 4 teams play 14 out of their 17 video games versus typical challengers or each other–-- 2 games (home and away) are bet the other three groups in the department, while one game is held against all the members of a division from the NFC and a division from the AFC as identified by a rotating 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, determined by the standings of the previous year –-- for example, if a team completes initially in its department, it will play two other first-place groups in its conference, while a group that completes last would play 2 other last-place teams in the conference. The last game is an inter-conference based upon a rotating cycle and determined by previous season's standings.
In overall, each group plays 17 video games and has one bye week, where it does not play a game.
Although a team's house and away opponents are understood by the end of the previous year's regular season, the precise dates and times for NFL games are not determined until much later on since the league needs to represent, among other things, the Major League Baseball postseason and local events that might posture a scheduling dispute with NFL video games. Throughout the 2010 season, over 500,000 possible schedules were developed by computers, 5,000 of which were thought about playable schedules and were examined by the NFL's scheduling team. After reaching what they felt was the best schedule out of the group, nearly 50 more possible schedules were developed to try to guarantee that the picked schedule would be the best possible one.