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:
Fox NBC ESPN NFL Network Telemundo Deportes Broadcasters Official website
consisting of 32 teams, divided equally in between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is among the 4 major North American expert sports leagues, the highest expert level of American football in the world.
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, 7 groups from each conference (four department winners and 3 wild card groups) advance to the playoffs single-elimination competition culminating in the Super Bowl, which is normally held on the very first Sunday in February and is played in between the champs of the NFC and AFC. The league is headquartered in New york city City The NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) prior to renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. After initially determining champions through end-of-season standings, a playoff system was executed in 1933 that culminated with the NFL Championship Game till 1966. Following an agreement to combine the NFL with the competing Football League (AFL), the Super Bowl was first held in 1967 to determine a champion in between the best groups from the two leagues and has actually stayed as the final 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 on the planet and is the most popular sports league in the United States.
The Super Bowl is likewise among the greatest club sporting occasions on the planet, with the private games representing many of the most watched tv programs in American history and all inhabiting the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most seen U.S. tv broadcasts by 2015.
The NFL is the wealthiest expert sports league by earnings and the sports league with the most important teams.
Green Bay Packers hold the most combined NFL championships with thirteen, winning 9 titles prior to the Super Bowl age and 4 Super Bowls afterwards. 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 meeting was held by representatives of the Akron Pros Canton Bulldogs Cleveland Indians Dayton Triangles Jordan Hupmobile auto display room in Canton, Ohio This conference resulted in the formation of the American Professional Football Conference (APFC), a group who, according to the Canton Evening Repository, meant to raise the requirement of professional football in every method possible, to eliminate bidding for gamers in between rival clubs and to secure cooperation in the formation of schedules.
Another conference was hung on September 17, 1920 with representatives 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 Specialist 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 throughout the year). The Massillon Tigers Massillon, Ohio was likewise at the September 17 meeting, but did not field a team 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 groups played schedules that included non-league opponents, the APFA awarded the Akron Pros the championship by virtue of their The first occasion occurred 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 complete week of league play took place.
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 group with the greatest gaining percentage (not consisting of ties, which were not counted towards the standings) at the end of the season was stated the champion; the only tiebreaker was that in the event of a tie if two teams played two times in a season, the result of the second video game identified the title (the source of the 1921 controversy). This technique had been utilized considering that the league's production in 1920, however no situation had actually been experienced where 2 teams were connected for first. The league rapidly identified that a championship game in between Chicago and Portsmouth was required to choose the league's champ. The groups were initially arranged to play the playoff game, formally a regular-season video game that would count towards the regular season standings, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, but a mix of heavy snow and extreme cold forced the video game to be moved indoors to Chicago Arena, which did not have a regulation-size football field. Playing with modified rules to accommodate the smaller sized playing field, the Bears won the game 9–-- 0 and thus won the champion. Fan interest in the de facto national championship led the NFL, starting in, to divide into 2 divisions with a national championship to be played in between the division 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 accompanying the removal of a comparable ban Big league Baseball The NFL was always the biggest professional football league in the United States; it nonetheless faced numerous competing expert leagues through the 1930s and 1940s. Competing leagues included at least 3 separate Football Leagues All-America Football Conference (AAFC), on top of various regional leagues of varying quality. 3 NFL groups 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 a reliable monopoly on expert football in the United States; its only competitors in North America was the professional 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 video game, the CFL established a niche market in Canada and still endures as an independent league.
A new professional league, the 4th American Football League (AFL), began to play in 1960. The upstart AFL started to challenge the recognized NFL in appeal, gaining rewarding tv agreements and taking part in a bidding war with the NFL free of charge agents and draft choices. The two leagues announced a merger on June 8, 1966, to take complete result in 1970. In the meantime, the leagues would hold a typical draft and championship game. The game, the Super Bowl, was held four 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 combined, it was reorganized into two 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 teams along with three pre-merger NFL groups.
Today, the NFL is the most popular sports league in The United States and Canada; much of its growth is attributed to former Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who led the league from 1960 to 1989. Total annual participation 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 established NFL Characteristics in 1963. The league's licensing wing, NFL Characteristic earns the league billions of dollars each year; Rozelle's period likewise marked the development of NFL Charities and a nationwide partnership with United Method Paul Tagliabue was chosen as commissioner to prosper Rozelle; his seventeen-year period, which ended in 2006, was marked by big increases in tv agreements and the addition of 4 expansion teams, as well as the intro of league efforts to increase the variety of minorities in league and team management roles.
The league's existing Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has actually focused on decreasing the variety of unlawful hits and making the sport much safer, generally through fining or suspending players who break guidelines.
These actions are among numerous the NFL is requiring to decrease concussions and enhance gamer safety.
Season and playoff development
From 1920 to 1934, the NFL did not have a set number of video games for teams to play, instead setting a minimum. The league mandated a twelve-game regular season for each team start in, later reducing this to eleven games in and 10 games in, mainly due to World War II. After the war ended, the variety of video games gone back to eleven games in, and later on back to twelve in 1947. The NFL went to a fourteen-game schedule in, which it maintained until switching to the present sixteen-game schedule in In March 2021, the NFL formally embraced a seventeen-game schedule after getting the contract of the National Football League Players Association Having an odd variety of video games in the schedule will offer half the teams nine games as the home group while half the teams have only eight house video games. To reduce the perceived advantage on competition of having more house games, the extra home game will be rotated in between the two conferences each year. This is since playoff berths are allocated at the conference level, so all teams within the conference will have played the exact same variety of house video games.
The NFL ran in a two-conference system from 1933 to, where the champs of each conference would satisfy in the NFL National Championship. If 2 teams connected for the conference lead, they would meet in a one-game playoff to figure out the conference champion. In, the NFL expanded from fifteen teams to sixteen groups. Instead of simply 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 department champs would meet in the NFL playoffs, a two-round playoff.
The NFL likewise ran the Playoff Bowl (officially the Bert Bell Benefit Bowl) from 1960 to 1969. Effectively a third-place video game, pitting the 2 conference runners-up versus each other, the league considers Playoff Bowls to have been exhibitions instead of playoff games. The league discontinued the Playoff Bowl in 1970 due to its perception as a game for losers.
Following the addition of the former AFL groups into the NFL in, the NFL divided into 2 conferences with three departments each. The broadened league, now with twenty-six teams, would also feature a broadened eight-team playoff, the individuals being the 3 department champs from each conference as well as one 'wild card' team (the team with the very best win portion) from each conference. In 1978, the league included a second wild card team from each conference, bringing the total number of playoff groups to 10, and an additional 2 wild card teams were added in to bring the overall to twelve. When the NFL broadened to 32 teams in, the league straightened, altering the division structure from three departments in each conference to four divisions in each conference. As each department champ gets a playoff quote, the number of wild card groups from each conference dropped from 3 to two.
The playoffs expanded once again in 2020, adding 2 more wild card teams to bring the overall to fourteen playoff groups.
Roger Goodell At the business level, the National Football League considers itself a trade association comprised of and financed by its 32 member teams.
Up till 2015, the league was an unincorporated nonprofit 501(c)( 6) Section 501(c)( 6) of the Internal Income Code provides an exemption from federal earnings tax for Organization 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 revenues of which inures to the benefit of any private investor or individual..
On the other hand, each specific group (except the non-profit Green Bay Packers) is subject to tax because 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 labeled it a distraction, saying the effects of the tax-exempt status of the league workplace have actually been mischaracterized consistently over the last few years ... Every dollar of earnings produced through television rights costs, licensing agreements, sponsorships, ticket sales, and other ways 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 company. As a result, the league workplace may owe around US$ 10 million in income taxes, however it is no longer needed to divulge the wages of its executive officers.
The league has three defined officers: the commissioner, secretary, and treasurer. Each conference has actually one defined officer, the president, which is basically an honorary position with couple of powers and primarily ritualistic responsibilities, consisting of awarding the championship game trophy.
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 disagreements between clubs, players, coaches, and workers. He is the primary executive officer of the NFL and also has authority in hiring league employees, negotiating tv contracts, disciplining individuals that own part or all of an NFL team, clubs, or employed people of an NFL club if they have actually violated 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 associated with the league, suspend people, hand down 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 offer suggestions to the NFL's Executive Committee as much as and including the cancellation or loss of a club's franchise or any other action, he considers needed. The commissioner can likewise release sanctions as much as and consisting of a lifetime restriction from the league if a specific connected to the NFL has bet on video games or failed to alert the league of conspiracies or strategies to bank 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 profits is from three primary sources: NFL Ventures (merchandising), NFL Enterprises (NFL Network NFL Sunday Ticket, which the league controls), and the television agreement. The league disperses such earnings equally amongst groups, no matter performance. Since February 2019 [upgrade], each team gets $255 million annually from the league's tv agreement, up 150% from $99.9 million in 2010.
Many NFL groups' financial statements are secret.
The Kansas City Star got the Kansas City Chiefs' tax returns for 2008–-- 2010. According to the Star, the team's revenue increased from $231 million in 2008 to $302 million in 2010. In 2010, two thirds of income 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 third 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 contract ($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 running earnings, 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 economist Richard D. Wolff, the NFL's profits model remains in conflict of the normal business structure. By redistributing earnings to all teams the NFL is making sure that one team will not control the league through excessive revenues.
Roger Noll explained the earnings sharing as the league's crucial structural weak point, nevertheless, as there is no disincentive versus a team playing severely and the biggest expense item, player wages, 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 displays 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 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 against the second-place finishers in the NFC North NFC West (highlighted in orange) and one game against the team who finished second in the AFC South (highlighted in pink).
Currently, the 14 opponents each group 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 actually 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 safeguarding champion.
Many NFL games are used Sundays, with a Monday night game generally held at least once a week and Thursday night games taking place on many weeks too.
NFL games are not normally used Fridays or Saturdays up until late in the routine season, as federal law restricts expert football leagues from competing with college or high school football. Since high school and college teams usually play games on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the NFL can not hold games on those days until the Friday prior to the third Saturday in December. While Saturday games late in the season prevail, the league seldom holds Friday video games, the most recent one being on Christmas Day in 2020.
NFL video games are rarely arranged for Tuesday or Wednesday, and those days have actually only been used 3 times given that 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 players checking positive for COVID-19 NFL regular season matches are figured out according to a scheduling formula. Within a division, all 4 teams play 14 out of their 17 games versus common opponents or each other–-- 2 video games (home and away) are played against the other 3 groups 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 figured out by a rotating cycle (three years for the conference the group is in, and 4 years in the conference they are not in). 2 of the other games are intraconference games, identified by the standings of the previous year –-- for example, if a group ends up first in its department, it will play 2 other first-place groups in its conference, while a group that ends up last would play two other last-place groups in the conference. The final game is an inter-conference based upon a turning 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 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 determined up until much later due to the fact that the league has to account for, among other things, the Big league Baseball postseason and regional occasions that might position a scheduling dispute with NFL games. During the 2010 season, over 500,000 possible schedules were created by computers, 5,000 of which were considered playable schedules and were evaluated by the NFL's scheduling team. After reaching what they felt was the best schedule out of the group, almost 50 more potential schedules were established to try to ensure that the selected schedule would be the best possible one.