National Football League
Professional American football league National Football League Current season, competitors or edition:
No. of teams 32
Nation United States [A] Park Opportunity New York NY Tampa Bay Buccaneers Green Bay Packers [B] TV partner(s) United States:
Fox NBC ESPN NFL Network Telemundo Deportes Broadcasters Official website
including 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is among the four major North American professional sports leagues, the highest expert level of Football in the world.
eighteen-week routine season ranges from early September to early January, with each team playing seventeen games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, seven teams from each conference (4 department winners and 3 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 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 figuring out champs through end-of-season standings, a playoff system was implemented in 1933 that culminated with the NFL Championship Game until 1966. Following an arrangement to combine the NFL with the rival Football League (AFL), the Super Bowl was first held in 1967 to figure out a champ between the best groups from the two leagues and has actually remained as the last 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 professional sports league on the planet and is the most popular sports league in the United States.
The Super Bowl is also among the most significant club sporting events on the planet, with the private games representing a lot of the most watched television programs in American history and all occupying the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most watched U.S. tv broadcasts by 2015.
The NFL is the wealthiest professional sports league by profits and the sports league with the most important teams.
Green Bay Packers hold the most combined NFL championships with thirteen, winning 9 titles before the Super Bowl age and four Super Bowls later on. Considering that the development 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 vehicle display room in Canton, Ohio This conference led to the formation of the American Professional Football Conference (APFC), a group who, according to the Canton Night Repository, meant to raise the standard of expert football in every method possible, to remove bidding for gamers between competing clubs and to secure cooperation in the development of schedules.
Another meeting was held on September 17, 1920 with agents from teams 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 renamed to the American Specialist Football Association (APFA).
The league chosen Jim Thorpe as its very 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 group in 1920. Only 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 very first APFA (NFL) Champion in 1920.
Although the league did not preserve main standings for its 1920 inaugural season and groups played schedules that included non-league challengers, the APFA awarded the Akron Pros the championship by virtue of their The very first event 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 very first complete 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 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, teams were ranked on a single table and the group with the highest gaining percentage (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 two groups played twice in a season, the outcome of the second video game determined the title (the source of the 1921 debate). This approach had actually been utilized considering that the league's creation in 1920, however no scenario had actually been come across where 2 teams were tied for first. The league rapidly determined that a playoff game in between Chicago and Portsmouth was required to choose the league's champ. The groups were initially set up to play the championship game, formally a regular-season game that would count towards the regular season standings, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, however a combination of heavy snow and severe cold forced the video game to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium, which did not have a regulation-size football field. Having fun with modified 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 championship game led the NFL, starting in, to divide into two departments with a championship game to be played in between the department champs.
1934 season also 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 accompanying the elimination of a comparable ban Major League Baseball The NFL was constantly the largest professional football league in the United States; it however dealt with numerous competing expert leagues through the 1930s and 1940s. Competing leagues included a minimum of three different Football Leagues All-America Football Conference (AAFC), on top of different local 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 model 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 professional Canadian football circuit, which officially 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 survives as an independent league.
A new professional league, the 4th Football League (AFL), started to play in 1960. The upstart AFL started to challenge the recognized NFL in appeal, gaining lucrative tv contracts and participating in a bidding war with the NFL totally free agents and draft picks. 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 video game, the Super Bowl, was held 4 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), consisting of the majority of the pre-merger NFL groups, and the American Football Conference (AFC), consisting of all of the AFL teams along with 3 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 annual presence increased from 3 million at the beginning of his tenure to 17 million by the end of his period, and 400 million worldwide 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 annually; Rozelle's period likewise marked the development of NFL Charities and a national collaboration with United Way Paul Tagliabue was elected as commissioner to be successful Rozelle; his seventeen-year period, which ended in 2006, was marked by big boosts in tv agreements and the addition of 4 growth groups, along with the intro of league initiatives to increase the number of minorities in league and group management roles.
The league's present Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has focused on minimizing the number of illegal hits and making the sport safer, primarily through fining or suspending gamers who break guidelines.
These actions are amongst many the NFL is taking to reduce concussions and enhance player security.
Season and playoff development
From 1920 to 1934, the NFL did not have a set number of video games for groups to play, rather setting a minimum. The league mandated a twelve-game routine season for each group start in, later reducing this to eleven games in and 10 video games in, generally due to World War II. After the war ended, the variety of 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 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 variety of games in the schedule will give half the groups nine games as the home group while half the teams have only 8 house games. To minimize the perceived benefit on competition of having more house 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 allocated at the conference level, so all groups within the conference will have played the exact same number of house games.
The NFL ran in a two-conference system from 1933 to, where the champs of each conference would fulfill in the NFL Championship Game. If 2 teams tied for the conference lead, they would satisfy in a one-game playoff to determine the conference champion. In, the NFL broadened from fifteen groups to sixteen teams. Instead of just evening out the conferences by including the expansion New Orleans Saints to the seven-member Western Conference, the NFL realigned the conferences and split each into 2 four-team divisions. The 4 department champs would meet 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. Efficiently a third-place game, pitting the 2 conference runners-up versus 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 perception as a game for losers.
Following the addition of the previous AFL groups into the NFL in, the NFL split into 2 conferences with three divisions each. The expanded league, now with twenty-six teams, would also feature an expanded eight-team playoff, the participants being the 3 division champs from each conference as well as one 'wild card' team (the team with the very best win percentage) from each conference. In 1978, the league added a second wild card team from each conference, bringing the overall number of playoff groups to 10, and a further two wild card teams were included to bring the total to twelve. When the NFL broadened to 32 groups in, the league realigned, altering the department structure from 3 departments in each conference to four departments in each conference. As each division champion gets a playoff bid, the number of wild card groups from each conference dropped from three to 2.
The playoffs broadened again in 2020, adding 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 comprised of and funded by its 32 member groups.
Up till 2015, the league was an unincorporated nonprofit 501(c)( 6) Section 501(c)( 6) of the Internal Earnings Code provides an exemption from federal earnings taxation for Company leagues, chambers of commerce, real-estate boards, boards of trade, or professional football leagues (whether administering a pension fund for football players), not organized for earnings and no part of the net incomes of which inures to the advantage of any personal investor or individual..
On the other hand, each specific team (except the non-profit Green Bay Packers) undergoes tax since they earn 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, stating the impacts of the tax-exempt status of the league workplace have been mischaracterized repeatedly recently ... Every dollar of earnings produced through television rights charges, licensing contracts, 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 product difference to our service. As an outcome, the league workplace may owe around US$ 10 million in earnings taxes, but it is no longer required to reveal the salaries of its executive officers.
The league has actually 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 mainly ritualistic duties, including awarding the championship game trophy.
The commissioner is elected 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 elected 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 disputes in between clubs, players, coaches, and staff members. He is the principal executive officer of the NFL and likewise has authority in employing league staff members, working out tv contracts, disciplining people that own part or all of an NFL team, clubs, or employed people of an NFL club if they have actually breached league bylaws or dedicated conduct destructive to the well-being of the League or professional football.
The commissioner can, in case of misconduct by a celebration connected with the league, suspend people, by far a fine of as much as US$ 500,000, cancel contracts with the league, and award or strip teams of draft picks.
In severe cases, the commissioner can provide recommendations to the NFL's Executive Committee up to and consisting of the cancellation or loss of a club's franchise or any other action, he considers necessary. The commissioner can likewise provide sanctions up to and including a life time restriction from the league if a specific linked to the NFL has actually bet on games or stopped working to notify the league of conspiracies or plans to bet on or fix games.
The current 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 three primary sources: NFL Ventures (retailing), NFL Enterprises (NFL Network NFL Sunday Ticket, which the league controls), and the tv agreement. The league distributes such profits similarly amongst groups, no matter performance. Since February 2019 [upgrade], each group receives $255 million yearly from the league's tv contract, up 150% from $99.9 million in 2010.
A lot of NFL groups' monetary statements are secret.
The Kansas City Star obtained the Kansas City Chiefs' tax returns 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 earnings 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 3rd 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 cost in 2010 was $148 million for gamers, coaches, and other employees. Of the $38 million in operating income, Clark Lamar Jr.
, 2 other kids, and widow of former group 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 income model is in conflict of the common corporate structure. By rearranging profits to all groups the NFL is ensuring that one group will not control the league through excessive incomes.
Roger Noll described the earnings sharing as the league's crucial structural weakness, however, as there is no disincentive against a group playing terribly and the biggest cost item, 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 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 two games versus each of its department rivals (highlighted in light blue), one video 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 video game versus the team who finished second in the AFC South (highlighted in pink).
Presently, the 14 opponents each team deals with over the 17-game regular season schedule are set utilizing 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 very first Monday in September) and concluded the week after New Year.
The opening game of the season is normally a home video game on a Thursday for the league's protecting champion.
Most NFL video games are used Sundays, with a Monday night game typically held a minimum of once a week and Thursday night video games occurring on the majority of weeks also.
NFL games are not usually used Fridays or Saturdays until late in the routine season, as federal law forbids professional football leagues from taking on college or high school football. Because high school and college teams normally play games on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the NFL can not hold games on those days until the Friday before the third Saturday in December. While Saturday video games late in the season are common, the league rarely holds Friday games, the most recent one being on Christmas Day in 2020.
NFL games are rarely set up for Tuesday or Wednesday, and those days have just been utilized 3 times because 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 avoid dispute with the Democratic National Convention and in 2020, when a video game was delayed from Sunday to Tuesday due to players testing positive for COVID-19 NFL regular season matches are determined according to a scheduling formula. Within a division, all four groups play 14 out of their 17 video games versus typical opponents or each other–-- two games (house and away) are played against the other 3 teams in the department, while one video game is held against all the members of a division from the NFC and a department from the AFC as figured out by a turning cycle (three years for the conference the team is 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 team ends up initially in its department, it will play 2 other first-place groups in its conference, while a team that completes last would play two other last-place teams in the conference. The final game is an inter-conference based on a rotating cycle and identified by previous season's standings.
In total, each team plays 17 video games and has one bye week, where it does not play a video game.
Although a group's home and away opponents are known by the end of the previous year's regular season, the exact dates and times for NFL video games are not identified up until much later because the league has to represent, to name a few things, the Major League Baseball postseason and local occasions that could pose a scheduling dispute with NFL video games. During the 2010 season, over 500,000 possible schedules were produced by computer systems, 5,000 of which were thought about playable schedules and were reviewed by the NFL's scheduling group. After arriving at what they felt was the best schedule out of the group, almost 50 more prospective schedules were established to attempt to make sure that the chosen schedule would be the very best possible one.