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The history of the NFL is rich and full of ups and downs, penalties, and touchdowns. How good is your NFL general knowledge

Do you know when it was founded, what teams have been around since its inception, and how much success each has had in the Super Bowl?

Have you ever asked yourself how the NFL evolved over the years to become one of the most popular sports leagues in the world?


Throughout the years, the National Football League has evolved into what it is today.

It is a league with a diverse fanbase and is widely watched in many parts of the world. The league is also well known for the great players that play in it.


The History of the National Football League

Throughout the history of the National Football League, there have been many different types of professional football teams that have appeared on the field. 

These teams have played against each other in games that have been played all over the world. These teams have included the United Football League, the American Professional Football Association, and the XFL.


American Professional Football Association

Founded in 1920, the American Professional Football Association was the forerunner of the modern NFL. 

It included teams from four states. It also laid the groundwork for the growth of football as a popular and financially successful sport.

The first team to play in the league was the Rock Island Independents, which played in Illinois. They beat the St. Paul Ideals 48-0 in September. Then, the Akron Pros won the league’s first championship.

The league also adopted the first football league standings and official statistics. Teams were allowed to sell preseason games to local stations. The league also introduced an extra regular season game. This was played at Chicago Stadium.

The league also allowed teams to play non-APFA teams in the early years. They were allowed to play at an 80-yard field. This was the first time an NFL team hosted a game in the evening. 


United States Football League

During the mid-1980s, the United States Football League was a proposed professional football league. 

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In essence, it was a league that would allow NFL teams to use undrafted players as a late-season replacements. The league was formed to serve underserved areas in large cities without a professional football team.

A key component of the USFL was “The Dixon Plan.” This plan was a scheme devised by New Orleans antique dealer David Dixon.

It outlined how to control spending and construct NSFL-caliber stadiums in major television markets. The scheme also enticed networks to offer USFL TV deals.

The Dixon Plan was a major factor in the USFL’s successful push for a TV deal. In the scheme, the USFL sought to raise $60 million and sell shares to the public.

The best part of the USFL was its instant replay system. The NSFL’s system, which was in use until 1991, was somewhat different from the present form.


XFL

XFL history is a story of one season and a whirlwind of changes in the sport. 

The league was started by Vince McMahon, the owner of the WWE and NBC. They decided to create a spring football league that would counteract the NFL.

The league was established in two divisions. The western division was more competitive than the eastern division, with records ranging from 4-6 for Las Vegas to 7-3 for Los Angeles. 

Las Vegas finished last after losing three straight games. The XFL playoffs included the top two teams in each division.

The XFL featured extensive television coverage, with three games each week on NBC, TNN, and UPN. Some games were also broadcast on TSN and ESPN.

The league introduced a “no fair catch” kickoff rule, which aimed to speed up the game. It also ruled out any gunners from crossing the line of scrimmage before punting. It also allowed teams to travel for game days.


AFL-NFL Merger

Whether you like football or not, you can’t deny that the AFL-NFL merger was a watershed moment. 

This merger unified two of the world’s most successful football leagues, paving the way for today’s 24-team NFL. In doing so, the two leagues forged a new and improved league that was better than the old.

The AFL boasted a 14-game regular season schedule that was longer than the NFL’s 12-game schedule. They also had the largest television contract of all time. Initially, the deal was with ABC-TV, but in 1966, the league changed its television contract to CBS-TV.

The AFL was also known for its clever marketing. One of the best-known names in the business was Tex Maule, who was the team’s public relations director. 

In addition to his public relations duties, he was also a leading football writer for Sports Illustrated. Maule’s deprecatory columns about the AFL were taken at face value by the magazine’s editors.

The AFL also had the honor of naming its game ball the “Duke” from Wilson. It was also the first professional soccer-style placekicker to take the field, in the form of Pete Gogolak.

The AFL and NFL were still separate leagues in 1966, but their merger was imminent. The AFL’s first World Championship was played in January 1967.

The AFL-NFL merger was a great success. The new league created a competitive landscape that would last for decades to come. The league’s first franchises were the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Miami Dolphins.

Interestingly, the AFL’s first television contract was with ABC-TV, which opted out of its final year. The AFL-NFL merger was accompanied by antitrust sanctions, but it still gave consumers a choice.

The AFL-NFL merger is still one of the best mergers in the history of the sport. Not only was it a major turning point for the sport, but it also helped spur growth.


AFL-NFL World Championship Game

Until 1970, the NFL had its own league championship games. 

In the early 1960s, an upstart coalition known as the American Football League was formed. This new league would play its league championship games against the NFL, which was considered to be the National League of pro football.

The AFL-NFL World Championship Game was first held in 1967 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. Afterward, the game was formally referred to as the AFL-NFL World Championship Game.

The game was broadcast by NBC and CBS. NBC provided commentary by Paul Christman and Curt Gowdy. CBS did not use play-by-play until the second half.

The first AFL-NFL World Championship Game was played on January 1, 1967, at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Kansas City Chiefs entered the game after an 11-2-1 regular season. The game was played before 61,946 fans. 

The first “Super” game was billed as a faceoff between Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers and Hank Stram’s Kansas City Chiefs. The two teams combined for 448 points.

The AFL-NFL World Champion Game was the first championship game in the history of professional American football. However, the rivalry between the NFL and the AFL did not end with the game.

The NFL decided to merge with the AFL and create one league with 24 teams in January 1967. The merger would end after the 1970 season. Eventually, the merger would increase to 26 teams. It would end in 1970, with the NFL’s 16-team champion meeting the 10-team AFL’s champion.

The first “Super” game was played before 60 million viewers. Several sportswriters believed the game was a mismatch. Several other sports teams parlayed the name of the Super Bowl into their own title games.

The NFL decided to use a six-foot-wide border for the goalposts. The AFL also changed their goalpost to a “sling-shot” goalpost.


The game lasted 77 minutes and 54 seconds. It was the longest championship game in NFL history.
The AFL-NFL World Championship Game is a major sports event that has become an American tradition.

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