The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league that is made up of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL remain one of the top four major North American professional sports leagues and the highest professional level of American football in the whole globe.
Its eighteen-week regular season usual start from the beginning of 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 advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which usually takes place on the first Sunday in February and is played among champions of the NFC and AFC. The headquarters of the league is located in New York.
The NFL was founded in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself the National Football League for the season of 1922. After initially determining the champions through end-of-season standings, a playoff system was Carried out in 1933 that culminated with the NFL Championship Game until 1966. Following an agreement to bring together the NFL with the rival American Football League (AFL), the Super Bowl first take place in 1967 in order to determine a champion between the best teams from the two leagues and has remained as the final game of each NFL season since the coming together was completed in 1970. The NFL happens to have the highest average attendance (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 also among the largest club sporting events in the globe, with the individual games accounting for many of the most watched television programs in American history and all inhabiting the Nielsen’s Top 5 tally of the all-time most watched U.S. television broadcasts by 2015. The NFL is the only prosperous professional sports league in terms of revenue and the sports league with the most precious teams.
The Green Bay Packers are in charge of the most combined NFL championships with thirteen, winning nine titles before the Super Bowl era and four Super Bowls afterwards. Since the establishment of the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers hold the most championship titles at six.
1950s: NFL rising in popularity
In the 1950s, pro football eventually won its place as a major sport. Slowly, but surely, the sport was becoming very popular. The NFL adopted television, giving Americans nationwide a chance to follow stars like Bobby Layne, Paul Hornung, Otto Graham, and Johnny Unitas.
The year 1958 NFL championship was played in Yankee Stadium and drew record TV viewership, making national celebrities out of Unitas and his Baltimore Colts teammates as Don Ameche scored the winning touchdown in overtime in one of the more exciting championship games that was ever played. It arrived at exactly the right moment to stimulate greater fan interest. During this same year, the league changed its name from National Football League to National-American Football League. This change, however, lasted for only three months before it changed back to the original National Football League (NFL).
In addition, the Pro Bowl game that had been sluggish ever since 1942 was renewed under a new arrangement. The game featured the all-stars of each conference at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The American Conference won against the National Conference 28-27, January 14, 1951.
The year 1956 brought a season of changes. It signified the beginning of the National Football League (NFL) Players Association. CBS became the first network to broadcast some NFL regular-season games into selected television markets across the nation.
The decade closed with the establishment of a rival league on August 22, 1959. For the fourth time, the American Football League was created to rival the National Football League by Lamar Hunt.
As of 2006, The NFL season features:
A 4-game National Football League exhibition season (or preseason) running from the beginning of August to early September
A 16-game, 17-week regular season running from September to December or early January
A team does not win a championship or any trophy just for having the best record during the regular season, but the league does acknowledge a champion for each of the 8 divisions.
A 12-team NFL Playoffs begin in January culminating in the Super Bowl in early February.
The winner of the Super Bowl is regarded the NFL Champion.
The television rights to the NFL are the most attractive and expensive rights not only of any American sport, but of any American entertainment property. With the fragmentation of audiences as a result of the increased field of broadcast and cable TV networks, sports remain one of the few entertainment properties that not only can ensure a large and different audience, but an audience that will watch in real time.
Yearly, the Super Bowl often ascends to the highest ranks among the most watched shows of the year.
Each NFL team has its own radio network and employs its messengers. Nationally, the NFL is heard on the Westwood One Radio Network, Sports USA Radio Network and in Spanish on Univision Radio and the United Stations Radio Network. Westwood would be the one to announce Sunday and Monday Night Football, all Thursday games, two Sunday afternoon contests and all post-season games, including the Pro Bowl. Sports USA Radio broadcasts two Sunday afternoon games every Sunday during the regular season.
The NFL Draft
Every year during April, each NFL franchise seeks to add new players to its list through a collegiate draft known as the “NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting,” which is very commonly known as the NFL Draft.
The teams are ranked in inverse arrangements based on the record in the previous season r, with the worst record picking first, and the second worst picking second and so on. The two exceptions to this order are made for teams that occurred in the previous Super Bowl; the Super Bowl champion always picks 32nd, and the Super Bowl loser always picks 31st.
The draft proceeds for 7 rounds. Rounds 1–3 are operated on Saturday of draft weekend, rounds 4–7 are operated on Sunday. The teams are given a limited amount of time to make their picks. If the pick is not made in the assigned time, the next teams in the draft may draft before them.
The teams have the option of trading away their picks to other teams for different picks, players, cash, or a combination thereof. While the player-for-player trades are costly during the rest of the year, trades are far more common on draft day.
The first pick in the draft is often considered to be the best overall player in the rookie class. This may or may not be true, since teams sometimes select players based on needs, rather than on overall skill. However, it is considered a great honor to be a first-round pick, and a greater honor to be the first overall pick.
The drafted players may only mediate with the team that drafted them (or to another team if their rights were traded away). The drafting team has one year to sign the player. If they do not do so, the player may re enter the draft and can be drafted by another team
The NFL steroid policy has been lauded by some and lambasted by others, but the policy is the longest running in professional sports, which began in 1987. The current steroid policy of the NFL suspends players without pay who test positive for banned materials as it has since 1987. The canceled games may be either regular season games or playoff games.
In comparison to the steroid policies of Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, the NFL has long been the most rigorous. While recently MLB and the NHL agreed to permanently ban athletes for their third offense, they have long been resistant to such measures, and random testing is in its infancy.
Ever Since the NFL started random, year-round tests and suspending players for performance improving drugs it has caught many more players using drugs. In April 2005, 111 NFL players had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, and of those 111, the NFL suspended 54. Only two NFL players have ever tested positive more than once, and they both retired.
Current NFL teams
There are 32 NFL teams. Each club is permitted a maximum of 55 players, though nearly every team keeps only 53 on their final roster in case there are any injured players, during the regular season. Unlike Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League, the league has no teams in Canada mainly due to the historical existence of the Canadian Football League.
Most major metropolitan areas in the United States have an NFL franchise; the outstanding exception is the Los Angeles area, from which both the Raiders and Rams relocated following the 1994 season. The NFL is able to make use of the possible relocation of a franchise to Los Angeles as leverage, for example when trying to convince the local governments to contribute some parts to the cost of new stadiums for its other franchises.
Electronic Arts publishes an NFL video game for current video game consoles and for PCs every year, called Madden NFL, this is being named after former coach and current football commentator John Madden, who commentates the game together with Al Michaels. Prior to the 2005–2006 football season, other NFL games were generated by competing video game publishers, such as 2K Games and Midway Games. However, in December 2004, Electronic Arts signed a five-year contract with the NFL, which means only Electronic Arts will be permitted to publish games featuring NFL team and player names. This made video game developer Midway Games to release a game in 2005 called Blitz
In the NFL, players wear uniform numbers according to the position they play. The present system was organized into the league on April 5, 1973,as a way for fans and officials (referees, linesmen) to be able to easily identify players on the field by their position. The Players who were already in the league during that time were grandfathered, and did not have to change their uniform numbers if they did not conform. Since that date, players are invariably allotted numbers within the following ranges, based on their primary position:
Quarterbacks, placekickers and punters: 1–19
Wide receivers: 10–19, 80–89
Running backs and defensive backs: 20–49
Offensive linemen: 50–79
Linebackers: 50–59 and 90–99
Defensive linemen: 50–79 and 90–99.
Prior to the year 2004,the players were only allowed to wear number 80-89 .The NFL had rules changed during that year to allow for wide receivers to wear numbers 10–19 and to give room for the increased number of players at wide receiver and tight ends coming into the league. Prior to that, players were only permitted to wear non-standard numbers if their team had run out of numbers within the prescribed number range.
Periodically, players will appeal to the national football league to give them a chance to wear the number that is not in line with the numbering system. Brad Van Pelt, a linebacker who entered the national football league in the year 1973 wore number 10 during his 11 seasons with the club,despite that it was not being covered by the grandfather clause. In 2006, New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush appealed to the NFL to let him keep the number 5 which he used at University of Southern California. His request was later denied.
It should be noted that this NFL numbering system is based on a player’s main position. Any player wearing any number may play at any position on the field at any time although the player that are wearing numbers 50–79 must let the referee know that they are playing out of their position by reporting as an “ineligible number in an eligible position”). Normally, only players on offense with eligible numbers are allowed to touch the ball by taking a snap from the center, receiving a hand-off or catching a pass. It is not always uncommon for running backs to line up at wide receiver on certain plays, or to have a large lineman play at fullback or tight end in short yardage situations. When the final 53-player roster is organized, they are re-given numbers within the stated guidelines.
Vince Lombardi Trophy
AFC Championship Game (Lamar Hunt Trophy)
NFC Championship Game (George S. Halas Trophy)
NFL Most Valuable Player Award
NFL Coach of the Year Award
NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award
NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award
Super Bowl MVP
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award
Walter Payton Man of the Year Award
Pro Bowl MVP
The national football league is one of the most popular sporting companies because of the excitement and attention it brings as a sport as well as its ability to bring everyone together to watch some good football. The buildup from a sport that was struggling to meet the player’s demand on salary pay has led to it becoming a highly paid sport. The sport uses multiple athletes from various parts of the world and multiple races to play hard-hitting football every Sunday for at least four to five months. And the increased intensity of the Super Bowl in itself has made it one of the most prominent television events in the nation and probably one of the biggest events in all of professional sports.
The National Football League as a full sport has developed into a company that brings in variety, and allows players, executives and fans the opportunity to watch, play and even negotiate a deal to make the game of professional football more incredible to be a part of. And now, the company itself is entering its season in existence, and the sport of football as a whole has never been as strong as it is now, And with an amazing crop of new talent coming in every year, more people looking forward to getting involved and more new fans coming to watch every year, the future of the NFL could not look any brighter.