The National Football League (NFL) is one of the most popular sports in America. Millions of people attend NFL games in person every year to cheer for their teams. The story of the NFL is one of the greatest success stories in the history of sports. The sport was founded as an association of four teams that you have probably never heard of—the Canton Bulldogs, Akron Pros, Dayton Triangles and Cleveland Indians. The four teams met in a showroom in Ohio one night in 1920. Of the four teams, none could afford to pay the franchise fee of $100 at that time.
For many years, the NFL struggled to survive partly because the game struggled to attract fans. Nearly 50 short-lived teams went bankrupt in the league’s first few years of existence. By 1950, the sport had emerged as a major American sport with a handful of great teams dominating the sport. The Green Bay Packers, coached by Vince Lombardi, became the modern National Football League’s first true dynasty by scooping five league championships in the 1960s. By the end of the year 1965, AFL signed a deal with NBC to the tune of $36 million, excluding addition cash for playoffs.
The NFL rules
From 1920 to 1931, the NFL winners were determined by a win-loss percentage of the team. But in 1932, the NFL, which for
years had followed college football’s rules, made several changes for the very first time and started to develop new rules serving and the style it preferred. In 1941, the league laws were revised to determine the championship in case the
teams tie in division races, as well as sudden-death in the event playoff games tie after four quarters. In 1966, NFL and AFL announced that they will merge. In fact, informal talks had started long before things became serious.
The likes of Werblin were involved in the talk, despite his firmness that New York might be a two-team football state. The first Super Bowl between these two leagues was played at the end of 1966 season, though it took until 1970 for the two leagues to completely merge their operations. The two leagues played as single league with two conferences — the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. An unspoken contract agreement that one league wouldn’t sign the players from the other league was breached in 1966 when the NFL’s team New York Giants signed Pete Gogolak from AFL’s Buffalo Bills.