Tue. Feb 20th, 2024

The very first football game was played November 6, 1869. It was between Rutgers College and Princeton University and took place in New Brunswick, New Jersey on a plot of land that is now the site of the College Avenue Gymnasium. Rutgers won 6-4 to become the first ever American football champions.

Walter Camp is largely recognized as the father of American football. He is the man who introduced the shift from rugby to football. From 1876 on, Camp was responsible for the rules of American football and played a major role in popularizing the sport. He planned to introduce rules that were ethical and equitable and upheld fair play. He introduced several elements to the game such as the Scrimmage line and the shift from center to quarterback. 

The NFL

The NFL is the most famous football league in the world. It is also very popular for sports betting, click here to find out more. The game continued to evolve over the years and in 1906 teams were allowed to start having players take hands-on defense downfield. This allowed for bigger and stronger teams to have a better chance of winning. The National Football League (NFL) was formed in 1920 in Canton, Ohio with the intention to be “the idealized American football league.” After a series of disastrous teams, the franchise owners and managers agreed to have a league meeting in Canton, Ohio. At this meeting, they formulated rules for the league to follow. The meeting was held on August 20, 1920. It is still considered the first day of the NFL season.

Prior to 1920, professional football was a sport that was restricted to colleges, amateur teams, and semi-professional teams. The NFL was formed to promote the professional football game to fans in major cities throughout the country. Before becoming an official league, the NFL had several team owners and managers. They could not agree to a league structure, rules and organization. The owners and managers agreed to form a professional football league on August 20, 1920. It was here that the NFL had its first owners’ meeting in a hotel in Canton, Ohio.

One of the first chalenges for the NFL was the formation of schedules. There were no set ways for teams to play each other other than a home-and-away basis. There were no formalized playoffs, and games were played in any order at a team’s convenience. Many teams demanded that the league schedule be set, but this was not done.

Initially No Divisions

Professional football became more popular with fans as the 1920s progressed. To provide fans with more football, the NFL developed its own championship game. It was originally decided by Halas and Perkins that an annual game would be held between Bears and Packers playing for the 1932 NFL Championship. However, this decision was not well received by fans, so a week was added for a playoff game. The NFL was originally intended to be a major league, but quickly became a minor league due to the popularity of college football.

12 NFL Teams

Originally, there were 12 teams in the NFL. The Boston Braves and Providence Steamroller dropped out after the first season. By 1922, two more franchises were added: the Chicago Bears and New York Giants. The league then expanded into Ohio which gave them four more teams: Columbus Tigers, Cincinnati Celts, Dayton Triangles and Akron Indians (later renamed Indians). This gave the league 16 teams by 1926. The number was reduced to 14 when the financially struggling Canton Bulldogs dropped out. The Dayton Triangles also dropped out of the league, but later joined back in 1927.

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