The History of the NFL
The NFL has become the most popular sport in the United States. It is watched my millions every weekend. The NFL is only growing in popularity. With new fans joining the fun every day. The NFL has faced its share of problems too. With concussions scaring away many future players, the NFL is hoping to lower the possibility of concussions in the future. Each NFL team plays a total of 16 games over a span of 17 weeks. There are two conferences in the NFL, the AFC and the NFC. There are four divisions in each conference, each with 4 teams. The playoff teams are decided by the division rankings. The winner of each division makes the playoffs, with the two best 2nd place ...view middle of the document...
Only two founding teams remain active in the NFL. The Decatur Staleys (now known as the Chicago Bears), and the Chicago Cardinals (now known as the Arizona Cardinals). The Green Bay Packers are the oldest team to never change its name or location. The New York Football Giants joined the league in 1925. The Portsmouth Spartans joined in 1930. The Spartans relocated to Detroit in 1934 and became the Detroit Lions. The Indianapolis Colts also trace their roots back to a founding member of the APFA, the Dayton Triangles, but are considered a separate franchise from the Triangles and was founded in 1953 as the Baltimore Colts.
The first championships were awarded to the team with the best win-loss record. This caused confusion as to whom the championship should belong to. Some teams would schedule collegiate or amateur teams, and others would play more or less games then other teams.
In 1933, three new teams were added to the NFL, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, and the Eagles. The NFL consisted of ten teams now, and the ten teams were split into two different divisions, the Eastern and Western division. The Eastern division consisted of the Philadelphia Eagles, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, Boston Redskins, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Western Division consisted of the Chicago Bears, Portsmouth Spartans, Chicago Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, and the Cincinnati Reds. The winner of each division would meet in the NFL championship game.
The first ever NFL draft was held in 1936. The first televised NFL game was on November 22nd, 1939 in a game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Dodgers won 23-14. It was in this time that the NFL became segregated. There were no black NFL players from 1933 to 1945. The main advocate for this was George Preston Marshall, the owner of the Boston Redskins. Marshall implemented an all-white rule to please the southern fan, and even after the NFL’s color barrier was broken in 1950s, Marshall still only allowed white people to play on his Washington Redskins. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy forced the Redskins and Marshall to integrate. Despite all of his bigotry, Marshall was still voted into to Pro Football Hall Of Fame.
The NFL was mainly second to College Football in popularity in its early days, but started to gain fans after the World War II. The NFL brought a faster, higher scoring version of football. The league also became the first major national sports league to add West Coast teams. In 1945 the Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles to become the first national sports team to hail from the West Coast. In 1950 the NFL accepted three more teams, the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and the Baltimore Colts from the All-America Football Conference, expanding the league to thirteen teams. In 1958 the New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts played in “The Greatest Game Ever Played” for the championship. It was the first nationally televised football game. The...