This is a very old sport..The history of the American football is very short. Not many Americans, or should I say NFL fans know the history of this game. We do know the history of American football, the great teams, great players and coaches.
This is not so much the history of the NFL..But the history of football.
The idea of a kicking game may well have occurred to many different peoples in all parts of the world. The English did more with the kicking game than anyone else. They played the game of football when ever or where ever possible. By the mid-1600's, football began to take on the look of a national game. It even had rules. Young Englishmen were playing it everywhere.
Although the football rules had not yet been written down at Rugby, the school itself had an ironclad rule affecting all games: the game had to stop five o'clock. One day in 1823, a kicking game was in progress when the bell began to ring. At that moment, a young man named William Webb Ellis caught the ball. For whatever his reason, instead of marking the ball for one last free kick, he took off like a frightened cat and, to the horror of all, RAN across the goal!
Today his name is immortalized at Rugby School by a plaque dedicated to "William Webb Ellis, who with a fine disregard for the rules of football as played in his time, first took the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the Rugby game."
History of the NFL Begins.
American Football has been played for almost a century. At first this sport was mostly kicking and running, field goals were the main means of scoring. The forward pass came about because President Roosevelt threatened to abolish football in 1905. Because to many people were dying from the sport.
Professional League Football History of the NFL
Because of World War II many players would come out of college and go into the service for a year or two. After there Army service there would be a huge surplus of young talented football players. In 1944 Arch Ward a sports editor for the Chicago Tribune started another Professional football league. The All-American Football Confrence was the new league. In direct competition with the National Football League.
The American Football Confrence had teams in cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Buffalo, Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Cleveland, and Miami. In 1945 NFL Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles where the AAC Los Angeles Dons where located. Both teams where on a race for tickets and fan support. The Rams and Dons ended up playing each other in the Western Conference Championship.
The Rams of the NFL defeated the Dons of the AAC. That was the beginning of the end for the AAC, the two leagues ended up merging that 1949. Only 3 teams where left from the AAFC, the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and Baltimore Colts. In 1951and 52 the new league broke all their old attendance records, and continued to break the record for eight years.
In 1960 Pete Rozelle was elected commissioner of the NFL. American Football League came about the same year. Just like in 1945 this was competition from a new league. In 1963 a lawsuit was brought against the NFL by the AFL, a $10 million antitrust lawsuit. The AFL lost the lawsuit, and some of the AFL teams ended up merging with the NFL. Which became the AFC and NFC the NFL.
The Golden age of football came in the 1950's, this was a time of change. The teams were gaining more and more fans and they were also making more money. This started to change aspects of the game, aspects like; player's salary, Television coverage and stadium size.
The NFL learned early the effectiveness of TV at first they would have the Television station go and film the football game and they would be charged to pay for the rest of the tickets that hadn't been sold so every game would technically be a sell out. In the beginning the TV stations and the team owners didn't know how the fans would react if they televised a home game. They tired it and less then half the normal fan population showed up, that was the end of televising home games and the beginning of filming away games only.
Television was a new technological devise that took the country by storm, in the early 50's 8 million televisions would be sold a year. Radios were a thing of the past; the television revolutionized the sport of football and the country.