National Football League
Professional American football league National Football League Current season, competitors or edition:
No. of groups 32
Country United States [A] Park Avenue New York NY Tampa Bay Buccaneers Green Bay Packers [B] TELEVISION partner(s) United States:
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including 32 groups, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the 4 major North American expert sports leagues, the greatest expert level of American football on the planet.
eighteen-week regular 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, seven groups from each conference (four division winners and three wild card groups) advance to the playoffs single-elimination competition culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually 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) before relabeling itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. After initially identifying champs through end-of-season standings, a playoff system was carried out in 1933 that culminated with the NFL Championship Game till 1966. Following an arrangement to combine the NFL with the competing American Football League (AFL), the Super Bowl was initially held in 1967 to identify a champion between the very best teams from the 2 leagues and has actually stayed as the last game of each NFL season because the merger was finished in 1970.
Today, the NFL has the highest average participation (67,591) of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States.
The Super Bowl is likewise among the greatest club sporting events in the world, with the individual games accounting for much of the most watched television programs in American history and all inhabiting 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 income and the sports league with the most important teams.
Green Bay Packers hold the most combined NFL championships with thirteen, winning nine titles prior to the Super Bowl era and four Super Bowls afterwards. Because the production of the Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Steelers New England Patriots both have one of 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 car showroom in Canton, Ohio This meeting resulted in the formation of the American Expert Football Conference (APFC), a group who, according to the Canton Evening Repository, intended to raise the requirement of professional football in every way possible, to remove bidding for gamers in between rival clubs and to protect cooperation in the formation of schedules.
Another meeting was hung 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 City; and the Rock Island Independents Decatur Staleys Racine (Chicago) Cardinals The league was relabelled to the American Professional Football Association (APFA).
The league elected Jim Thorpe as its very first president, and consisted of fourteen groups (the Buffalo All-Americans Chicago Tigers Columbus Panhandles Detroit Declares joined the league during the year). The Massillon Tigers Massillon, Ohio was also at the September 17 conference, however did not field a group in 1920. Only 2 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 very first APFA (NFL) Championship in 1920.
Although the league did not keep official standings for its 1920 inaugural season and teams played schedules that included non-league challengers, the APFA awarded the Akron Pros the champion by virtue of their The first event 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, teams were ranked on a single table and the team with the highest gaining portion (not consisting of ties, which were not counted towards the standings) at the end of the season was declared the champion; the only tiebreaker was that in the event of a tie if 2 groups played twice in a season, the result of the second game determined the title (the source of the 1921 controversy). This approach had actually been utilized since the league's development in 1920, however no scenario had been encountered where two teams were tied for initially. The league quickly figured out that a championship game in between Chicago and Portsmouth was required to decide the league's champion. The teams were originally set up to play the playoff game, officially 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 extreme cold forced the video game to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium, which did not have a regulation-size football field. Playing with transformed rules to accommodate the smaller playing field, the Bears won the video game 9–-- 0 and thus won the championship. Fan interest in the de facto national championship led the NFL, starting in, to split into 2 divisions with a championship game to be played between the division champs.
1934 season likewise 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 ban Big league Baseball The NFL was always the largest professional football league in the United States; it however faced various competing expert leagues through the 1930s and 1940s. Competing leagues included a minimum of 3 separate American Football Leagues All-America Football Conference (AAFC), on top of different local leagues of varying quality. 3 NFL groups trace their histories to these competing leagues, consisting of the Los Angeles Rams (who came from a 1936 version of the American Football League), the Cleveland Browns San Francisco 49ers (the last two 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 professional 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 makes it through 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 established NFL in popularity, acquiring lucrative tv agreements and engaging in a bidding war with the NFL totally free agents and draft choices. The 2 leagues announced a merger on June 8, 1966, to take complete effect in 1970. In the meantime, the leagues would hold a common draft and national championship. 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 merged, it was rearranged into 2 conferences: the National Football Conference (NFC), including the majority of the pre-merger NFL teams, and the American Football Conference (AFC), consisting of all of the AFL teams along with 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. Total yearly presence increased from 3 million at the start of his period to 17 million by the end of his tenure, and 400 million international audiences watched 1989's Super Bowl XXIII The NFL developed NFL Residences in 1963. The league's licensing wing, NFL Characteristic earns the league billions of dollars every year; Rozelle's tenure likewise marked the creation of NFL Charities and a nationwide collaboration with United Way Paul Tagliabue was elected as commissioner to succeed Rozelle; his seventeen-year period, which ended in 2006, was marked by big increases in tv contracts and the addition of four expansion groups, as well as the introduction of league initiatives to increase the variety of minorities in league and team management functions.
The league's present Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has focused on reducing the number of illegal hits and making the sport much safer, mainly through fining or suspending gamers who break rules.
These actions are among lots of the NFL is taking to decrease concussions and enhance gamer security.
Season and playoff advancement
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 group start in, later reducing this to eleven video games in and 10 games in, mainly due to World War II. After the war ended, the number of video games gone back 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 switching to the current sixteen-game schedule in In March 2021, the NFL formally embraced a seventeen-game schedule after acquiring the agreement of the National Football League Players Association Having an odd number of games in the schedule will offer half the groups nine video games as the home group while half the groups have just eight house games. To lessen the viewed benefit on competitors of having more home games, the additional home game will be rotated between the two conferences each year. This is due to the fact that playoff berths are designated at the conference level, so all teams within the conference will have played the exact same number of house video games.
The NFL ran in a two-conference system from 1933 to, where the champs of each conference would meet in the NFL National Championship. If two teams 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 teams to sixteen groups. Rather of just night out the conferences by adding the growth New Orleans Saints to the seven-member Western Conference, the NFL straightened the conferences and divide each into two four-team divisions. The 4 division champs would meet in the NFL playoffs, a two-round playoff.
The NFL also operated the Playoff Bowl (formally the Bert Bell Advantage Bowl) from 1960 to 1969. Efficiently a third-place game, pitting the 2 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 understanding as a game for losers.
Following the addition of the former AFL groups 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 a broadened eight-team playoff, the individuals being the 3 division champs 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 groups to ten, and a further 2 wild card teams were added in to bring the overall to twelve. When the NFL broadened to 32 teams in, the league straightened, changing the department structure from 3 departments in each conference to 4 divisions in each conference. As each department champion gets a playoff quote, the number of wild card teams from each conference dropped from 3 to 2.
The playoffs expanded again in 2020, including 2 more wild card groups to bring the total 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 nonprofit 501(c)( 6) Area 501(c)( 6) of the Internal Income Code provides an exemption from federal earnings 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 incomes of which inures to the advantage of any personal shareholder or individual..
In contrast, each private team (except the non-profit Green Bay Packers) goes through tax due to the fact that 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 been mischaracterized consistently in recent years ... Every dollar of earnings generated through tv rights charges, licensing arrangements, sponsorships, ticket sales, and other methods is earned 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 change in filing status will make no material distinction to our service. As a result, the league workplace may owe around US$ 10 million in income taxes, however it is no longer required to divulge the incomes of its executive officers.
The league has three specified officers: the commissioner, secretary, and treasurer. Each conference has one specified officer, the president, which is basically an honorary position with few powers and mostly ritualistic duties, including awarding the conference championship prize.
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 designates the secretary and treasurer and has broad authority in disagreements between clubs, gamers, coaches, and staff members. He is the primary executive officer of the NFL and likewise has authority in working with league employees, negotiating tv agreements, disciplining individuals that own part or all of an NFL team, clubs, or utilized individuals of an NFL club if they have actually violated league laws or dedicated conduct harmful to the well-being of the League or expert football.
The commissioner can, in case of misconduct by a celebration connected with the league, suspend individuals, by far a fine of as much as US$ 500,000, cancel contracts with the league, and award or strip groups of draft choices.
In extreme cases, the commissioner can provide suggestions to the NFL's Executive Committee as much as and including the cancellation or forfeit of a club's franchise or any other action, he considers needed. The commissioner can also provide sanctions approximately and including a lifetime ban from the league if an individual linked to the NFL has banked on games or stopped working to notify the league of conspiracies or plans to bet 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 income is from three main sources: NFL Ventures (merchandising), NFL Enterprises (NFL Network NFL Sunday Ticket, which the league controls), and the tv contract. The league distributes such income similarly among groups, despite performance. As of February 2019 [upgrade], each group gets $255 million each year from the league's television contract, up 150% from $99.9 million in 2010.
A lot of NFL groups' monetary 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 income increased from $231 million in 2008 to $302 million in 2010. In 2010, two 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), corporate 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 employees. Of the $38 million in operating earnings, Clark Lamar Jr.
, two other children, and widow of previous team 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 earnings model is in conflict of the common corporate structure. By rearranging earnings to all groups the NFL is guaranteeing that a person team will not dominate the league through excessive profits.
Roger Noll described the earnings sharing as the league's crucial structural weak point, nevertheless, as there is no disincentive versus a group playing severely and the biggest expense item, gamer 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) finished in second place in the NFC South in 2021, the Buccaneers will play 2 games against each of its division competitors (highlighted in light blue), one video game against 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 video game against the group who ended up second in the AFC South (highlighted in pink).
Currently, the 14 challengers each team faces over the 17-game regular season schedule are set using a pre-determined formula:
The league runs an 18-week, 272-game regular season. Considering that 2021, the season has begun 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 home video game on a Thursday for the league's protecting champion.
Many NFL video games are played on Sundays, with a Monday night game normally held a minimum of when a week and Thursday night video games taking place on many weeks also.
NFL video games are not generally used Fridays or Saturdays till late in the regular season, as federal law forbids expert football leagues from competing with college or high school football. Because high school and college groups typically play games on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the NFL can not hold video games on those days till the Friday prior to the third Saturday in December. While Saturday video games late in the season prevail, the league hardly ever holds Friday video games, the most current one being on Christmas Day in 2020.
NFL games are hardly ever arranged for Tuesday or Wednesday, and those days have actually just been used 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 conflict with the Democratic National Convention and in 2020, when a game was postponed from Sunday to Tuesday due to gamers testing positive for COVID-19 NFL routine season matchups are figured out according to a scheduling formula. Within a department, all four teams play 14 out of their 17 games versus typical challengers or each other–-- two games (home and away) are played against the other 3 teams in the division, while one game is held against all the members of a department from the NFC and a division from the AFC as determined 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, figured out by the standings of the previous year –-- for instance, if a group completes first in its division, it will play two other first-place groups in its conference, while a group that ends up last would play 2 other last-place groups in the conference. The last game is an inter-conference based upon a turning cycle and figured out by previous season's standings.
In overall, each team 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 identified till much later on since the league needs to represent, among other things, the Major League Baseball postseason and local events that might present a scheduling conflict with NFL video games. Throughout the 2010 season, over 500,000 potential schedules were developed by computer systems, 5,000 of which were considered playable schedules and were reviewed by the NFL's scheduling group. After coming to what they felt was the very best schedule out of the group, almost 50 more prospective schedules were developed to try to guarantee that the picked schedule would be the best possible one.