The History of the NFL.

The History of the NFL.

The NFL has been around for 100 years.  Maybe some of our great grandparents were alive when the NFL’s first season began.  When the National Football League began, only ten teams in the league. Those teams were the New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, Cleveland Browns, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

First, American football goes back to the 19th century when colleges started using modified rules for rugby and soccer.  Companies started to sponsor professional teams when football became popular. The foundation used to be called the American Professional Football Association (APFA).  There were ten teams when the league began. Those teams were the Cleveland Browns, the Los Angeles Rams, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Washington Redskins, the Detroit Lions, the New York Giants, the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears, and the Arizona Cardinals.  The oldest team is the Arizona Cardinals. Before Arizona, the Cardinals were resigned in Chicago. The Chicago Bears used to be the Decatur Staleys. In 1922, the APFA was changed to the National Football League (NFL).  

Next, the first featured game that was televised was between the Eagles and the Dodgers.  The Eagles lost 23-14 to the Dodgers. Television wasn’t invented until 1927, but the NFL got a television deal in 1939 so that fans at home could watch the games.  The NFL has been making around $15 billion a year.  

Then, many great moments have occurred in the NFL.  Moments from when the league was created, the NFL draft, instant replay being made, and when the Miami Dolphins had a perfect season.  When the league was first born, there was a meeting of seven men in Canton, Ohio in 1920. The group decided that the league would consist of 10 teams in four states.  The league was called the APFA until it was changed two years later to the NFL. The NFL Draft was created by Bert Bell in 1935. Bell believed that the draft would enhance the competitive parity on the field in order to ensure the financial viability of all franchises.  Football fans were aware of the AFL and NFL merger, but Bert was responsible for the first real merger of the NFL. The merger was between the NFL and the All-America Football Conference.  

Additionally, instant replay was created in 1986.  The reason for instant replays was to help the referees out with specific calls in games.  Before 1986, whenever a team lost due to a bad call, it gave fans a rallying point to bemoan their bad luck.  The Miami Dolphins had a perfect season in 1972. They didn’t lose a single game that season. Of course, back then most teams only played 14 games per season.  Now, every team plays 16 games per season. The Miami Dolphins had great players Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris, wide receiver Paul Warfield, and Hall of Fame lineman Jim Langer.  The quarterback Bob Greise got injured in week five. Bob Greise was a Purdue grad and a future hall of famer. So backup QB Earl Morrall would step up until Greise was ready to play for the Super Bowl.  They would beat the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl 14-7.  

Furthermore, quarterback is the glamour position of the NFL.  He is the guy who gets the most attention when the team is on offense.  Every team has had an amazing quarterback at some point in the team’s history.  The Miami Dolphins best quarterback of all time is Dan Marino. He spent 17 years in the NFL in Miami.  He threw for 61,361 yards in his NFL career and 420 touchdowns. The Buffalo Bills best quarterback was Jim Kelly.  Kelly spent 11 seasons with Buffalo. The Bills won six straight AFC East titles under Jim’s leadership and won four consecutive conference championships.  The Bills would go on to lose four straight Super Bowls. The Patriots best quarterback was Tom Brady. Brady is still the current quarterback for New England and most would say that he is the greatest quarterback of all time in the league’s history.  He has led the Patriots to six Super Bowls, including the 2019 Super Bowl. The Indianapolis Colts best QB of all time is actually not Peyton Manning. Johnny Unitas holds that title. Unitas has won three championships for the Colts in 1958, 1959, and Super Bowl V.  Manning only won one title for Indianapolis. The Denver Broncos had the legendary John Elway. Elway led the Broncos to five Super Bowls and winning the final two for Denver. The New York Giants’ best was the little brother of Peyton Manning, Elli Manning. Elli is still the quarterback for the Giants and has won two Super Bowls for them, both of them upsetting the Patriots with last-minute drives to win the game.  The Saints’ amazing QB is Drew Brees who still currently plays for New Orleans. Brees played at Purdue for his college career and led the Saints to their only Super Bowl in 2010. Joe Montana, a Notre Dame grad, was the best quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. Montana led the 49ers to four Super Bowls victories and was the MVP of the Super Bowl three times.

In conclusion, the NFL has had some memorable players and moments.  Quarterback is the most recognized position in all of football. This year’s NFL season is the 100th season.  Teams that are good this year are the Eagles, Patriots, Chiefs, and the Saints just to name a few. Since Antonio Brown just signed with the New England Patriots, they might just be the 2020 NFL Super Bowl Champions.  I think they will win because they have a great quarterback in Tom Brady and a wide receiver Antonio Brown. The Patriots have been a great team for so many years at this point. They have a pretty solid defense as well.

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