National Football League
Professional American football league National Football League Current season, competition or edition:
No. of groups 32
Nation United States [A] Park Avenue New York NY Tampa Bay Buccaneers Green Bay Packers [B] TELEVISION partner(s) United States:
Fox NBC ESPN NFL Network Telemundo Deportes Broadcasters Official site
consisting of 32 teams, divided similarly in 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 regular 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 regular season, seven teams from each conference (four department winners and three wild card teams) advance to the playoffs single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is normally hung 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 Professional Football Association (APFA) prior to relabeling itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. After at first determining champs through end-of-season standings, a playoff system was executed in 1933 that culminated with the NFL National Championship till 1966. Following a contract to combine the NFL with the competing Football League (AFL), the Super Bowl was first kept in 1967 to identify a champion in between the very best teams from the two leagues and has actually remained as the final game of each NFL season because the merger was finished in 1970.
Today, the NFL has the highest 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 amongst the greatest club sporting occasions on the planet, with the specific games representing a lot of the most watched tv programs in American history and all occupying the Nielsen's Leading 5 tally of the all-time most viewed U.S. television broadcasts by 2015.
The NFL is the wealthiest professional sports league by income and the sports league with the most valuable teams.
Green Bay Packers hold the most combined NFL championships with thirteen, winning nine titles before the Super Bowl age and 4 Super Bowls later on. Because the production 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 development 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 way possible, to remove bidding for gamers between rival clubs and to protect cooperation in the formation of schedules.
Another conference was hung 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 renamed to the American Expert Football Association (APFA).
The league elected Jim Thorpe as its first president, and consisted of fourteen teams (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, but did not field a team in 1920. Just 2 of these teams, 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 groups played schedules that included non-league challengers, the APFA granted the Akron Pros the championship by virtue of their The very first occasion happened 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 full week of league play took place.
The following season led to 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 first in the league standings.
At the time, groups were ranked on a single table and the group 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 case of a tie if two teams played two times in a season, the result of the 2nd video game determined the title (the source of the 1921 debate). This method had actually been used considering that the league's creation in 1920, but no scenario had been encountered where 2 groups were connected for first. The league quickly identified that a playoff game between Chicago and Portsmouth was needed to choose the league's champ. The groups were originally scheduled 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 mix of heavy snow and severe cold required the video game to be moved inside to Chicago Arena, which did not have a regulation-size football field. Having fun with altered rules to accommodate the smaller sized playing field, the Bears won the video game 9–-- 0 and thus won the champion. Fan interest in the de facto national championship led the NFL, starting in, to split into 2 divisions with a national championship to be played between the division champs.
1934 season also marked the first of twelve seasons in which African Americans were missing from the league. The de facto ban was rescinded in, following public pressure and coinciding with the elimination of a comparable restriction Major League Baseball The NFL was always the biggest professional football league in the United States; it nevertheless faced many competing professional leagues through the 1930s and 1940s. Rival leagues consisted of a minimum of 3 separate Football Leagues All-America Football Conference (AAFC), on top of numerous regional leagues of varying quality. 3 NFL teams trace their histories to these competing leagues, including 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 came from the AAFC). By the 1950s, the NFL had an efficient monopoly on expert football in the United States; its only competitors in The United States and Canada was the expert 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 developed a specific niche market in Canada and still endures as an independent league.
A new professional league, the 4th Football League (AFL), began to play in 1960. The upstart AFL started to challenge the established NFL in popularity, gaining financially rewarding tv agreements and participating in a bidding war with the NFL free of charge agents and draft picks. The 2 leagues revealed a merger on June 8, 1966, to take full effect in 1970. In the meantime, the leagues would hold a common 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 merged, it was restructured into 2 conferences: the National Football Conference (NFC), consisting of most of the pre-merger NFL groups, and the American Football Conference (AFC), including all of the AFL groups as well as 3 pre-merger NFL groups.
Today, the NFL is the most popular sports league in The United States and Canada; much of its growth is credited to former Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who led the league from 1960 to 1989. Total yearly presence increased from 3 million at the beginning 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 developed NFL Characteristics in 1963. The league's licensing wing, NFL Characteristic earns the league billions of dollars every year; Rozelle's period likewise marked the development of NFL Charities and a nationwide collaboration with United Method Paul Tagliabue was chosen as commissioner to be successful Rozelle; his seventeen-year tenure, which ended in 2006, was marked by big increases in television contracts and the addition of four growth teams, as well as the intro of league initiatives to increase the number of minorities in league and team management roles.
The league's current Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has actually focused on minimizing the number of prohibited hits and making the sport much safer, mainly through fining or suspending gamers who break rules.
These actions are amongst many the NFL is requiring to lower concussions and enhance gamer security.
Season and playoff advancement
From 1920 to 1934, the NFL did not have a set number of games for teams to play, instead setting a minimum. The league mandated a twelve-game routine season for each team beginning in, later reducing this to eleven games in and 10 video games in, mainly due to World War II. After the war ended, the number of games returned to eleven games in, and later back to twelve in 1947. The NFL went to a fourteen-game schedule in, which it kept up until changing to the current 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 number of video games in the schedule will give half the teams 9 video games as the home team while half the teams have just eight home games. To reduce the viewed advantage on competition of having more house games, the additional house video game will be turned in 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 same variety of house games.
The NFL operated in a two-conference system from 1933 to, where the champions of each conference would fulfill in the NFL National Championship. If 2 teams tied 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 groups. Rather of just night out the conferences by including the expansion New Orleans Saints to the seven-member Western Conference, the NFL straightened the conferences and divide each into 2 four-team divisions. The four division champions would satisfy in the NFL playoffs, a two-round playoff.
The NFL also ran the Playoff Bowl (officially the Bert Bell Benefit Bowl) from 1960 to 1969. Successfully a third-place game, pitting the two conference runners-up versus each other, the league considers Playoff Bowls to have actually been exhibits rather than championship game. The league discontinued the Playoff Bowl in 1970 due to its understanding as a video game for losers.
Following the addition of the former AFL teams into the NFL in, the NFL divided into 2 conferences with 3 divisions each. The expanded league, now with twenty-six groups, would likewise include an expanded eight-team playoff, the individuals being the 3 division champions from each conference in addition to one 'wild card' group (the team with the very best win portion) from each conference. In 1978, the league added a 2nd wild card group from each conference, bringing the overall variety of playoff groups to ten, and a further 2 wild card groups were included to bring the total to twelve. When the NFL expanded to 32 teams in, the league realigned, changing the division structure from 3 departments in each conference to four divisions in each conference. As each department champion gets a playoff quote, the variety of wild card teams from each conference dropped from three to two.
The playoffs broadened again in 2020, including two more wild card teams 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 groups.
Up until 2015, the league was an unincorporated not-for-profit 501(c)( 6) Area 501(c)( 6) of the Internal Profits Code supplies an exemption from federal earnings tax for Organization leagues, chambers of commerce, real-estate boards, boards of trade, or expert football leagues (whether or not administering a pension fund for football players), not arranged 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 specific group (other than the non-profit Green Bay Packers) goes through tax because 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 labeled it a distraction, stating the impacts of the tax-exempt status of the league office have been mischaracterized consistently in recent years ... Every dollar of income generated through television rights costs, licensing arrangements, sponsorships, ticket sales, and other means 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 modification in filing status will make no product distinction to our service. As a result, the league office might owe around US$ 10 million in income taxes, however it is no longer required to disclose the incomes of its executive officers.
The league has 3 specified officers: the commissioner, secretary, and treasurer. Each conference has actually one specified officer, the president, which is basically an honorary position with couple of powers and primarily ritualistic tasks, including awarding the conference championship prize.
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 workers. He is the principal executive officer of the NFL and also has authority in employing league employees, negotiating television contracts, disciplining individuals that own part or all of an NFL team, clubs, or employed people of an NFL club if they have broken league laws or dedicated conduct damaging to the welfare of the League or expert football.
The commissioner can, in the event of misconduct by a party 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 groups of draft picks.
In extreme cases, the commissioner can provide suggestions to the NFL's Executive Committee up to and including the cancellation or forfeit of a club's franchise or any other action, he deems required. The commissioner can likewise issue sanctions as much as and including a lifetime restriction from the league if a specific connected to the NFL has banked on games or stopped working to inform the league of conspiracies or plans to bet on or repair video games.
The present Commissioner of the National Football League is Roger Goodell, who was elected in 2006 after Paul Tagliabue, the previous commissioner, retired.
NFL revenue is from 3 main sources: NFL Ventures (merchandising), NFL Enterprises (NFL Network NFL Sunday Ticket, which the league controls), and the tv agreement. The league distributes such earnings similarly among teams, no matter performance. Since February 2019 [upgrade], each group gets $255 million each year from the league's tv agreement, up 150% from $99.9 million in 2010.
Most NFL teams' financial statements are secret.
The Kansas City Star obtained the Kansas City Chiefs' tax returns for 2008–-- 2010. According to the Star, the team's revenue rose 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 television contract. The remaining one 3rd was from tickets ($42.4 million), business sponsorships ($6.6 million), food sales ($5 million), parking passes ($4.7 million), in-stadium marketing ($3.7 million), radio agreement ($2.7 million), and various sources.
The biggest Chiefs expenditure in 2010 was $148 million for gamers, coaches, and other staff members. Of the $38 million in running earnings, Clark Lamar Jr.
, 2 other kids, and widow of former team 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 profits model is in breach of the normal business structure. By rearranging revenues to all groups the NFL is guaranteeing that a person group will not dominate the league through excessive earnings.
Roger Noll described the profits sharing as the league's most important structural weak point, nevertheless, as there is no disincentive against a team playing severely and the largest cost item, player incomes, 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) ended up in 2nd location in the NFC South in 2021, the Buccaneers will play two games versus each of its division rivals (highlighted in light blue), one video game versus each group in the NFC East AFC East (highlighted in yellow), one video game each versus 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. Because 2021, the season has begun 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 usually a home game on a Thursday for the league's safeguarding champ.
Many NFL video games are used Sundays, with a Monday night game typically held a minimum of as soon as a week and Thursday night games occurring on many weeks as well.
NFL video games are not normally used Fridays or Saturdays up until late in the regular season, as federal law restricts professional football leagues from competing with college or high school football. Since high school and college teams normally play games on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the NFL can not hold games on those days till the Friday prior to the third Saturday in December. While Saturday video games late in the season are common, the league hardly ever holds Friday games, the most recent one being on Christmas Day in 2020.
NFL games are rarely arranged for Tuesday or Wednesday, and those days have actually just been utilized three times given that 1948: in 2010, when a Sunday game was rescheduled to Tuesday due to a blizzard, in 2012, when the Kickoff video 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 evaluating favorable for COVID-19 NFL regular season matchups are figured out according to a scheduling formula. Within a division, all four teams play 14 out of their 17 games against common challengers or each other–-- two video games (house and away) are bet the other three groups in the division, while one game is held against all the members of a division 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 4 years in the conference they are not in). Two of the other video games are intraconference games, figured out by the standings of the previous year –-- for example, if a team completes initially in its division, it will play two other first-place groups in its conference, while a team that ends up last would play two other last-place teams in the conference. The last video game is an inter-conference based on a rotating cycle and figured out by previous season's standings.
In total, each team plays 17 games and has one bye week, where it does not play a game.
Although a team's house and away challengers are understood by the end of the previous year's regular season, the specific dates and times for NFL games are not figured out until much later on due to the fact that the league has to account for, among other things, the Big league Baseball postseason and local occasions that could position a scheduling conflict with NFL video games. During the 2010 season, over 500,000 possible schedules were produced by computer systems, 5,000 of which were considered playable schedules and were evaluated by the NFL's scheduling group. After getting to what they felt was the best schedule out of the group, almost 50 more potential schedules were established to try to guarantee that the chosen schedule would be the best possible one.