CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF THE MODERN NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Professional football came into being in the roaring 20's. A hand full of teams would barnstorm around the country via train to play each other, or maybe, a team that was made up of the local populace. The organization that was made up of teams like the Canton Bulldogs, Pottsville Maroons, Frankford Yellowjackets, and the Deluth Eskimos was loosely run at best, but people did come to watch them play, and the ink in the press was fairly positive. The following is a chronological history of how the NFL developed:

1933
National Football league formed with 10 teams:

New York Giants
Chicago Bears
Green Bay Packers
Pittsburgh Steelers
Chicago Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles
Boston Redskins
Brooklyn Dodgers
Cincinnati Reds
Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans

1934
Portsmouth Spartans move to Detroit, become Detroit Lions
Cincinnati Reds move to St. Louis, become St. Louis Gunners

1935
St. Louis Gunners disband

1937
Cleveland Rams join league
Boston Redskins move to Washington D.C., become Washington Redskins

1944
Boston Yanks join the league as expansion team

1945
Brooklyn Dodgers disband

1946

Cleveland Rams move to Los Angeles, become Los Angeles Rams
The All America Football Conference is formed with 8 teams:
Cleveland Browns
San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles Dons
Chicago Rockets
Buffalo Bisons
Miami Seahawks
New York Yankees
Brooklyn Dodger

1947
Miami Seahawks move to Baltimore, become Baltimore Colts in All America Conference
Buffalo Bisons change name to Buffalo Bills

1949
Boston Yanks move to New York, become New York Bulldogs
Chicago Rockets change name to Chicago Hornets
New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers merge to become New York-Brooklyn Yankees

1950
New York Bulldogs disband
All America Conference disbands after 4 seasons
Cleveland Browns join NFL as expansion team
San Francisco 49ers join NFL as expansion team
Baltimore Colts join NFL as expansion team
New York Yanks join NFL as expansion team

1951
Baltimore Colts disband
New York Yanks disband

1952
Dallas Texans join league as expansion team

1953
Dallas Texans move to Baltimore, become Baltimore Colts

1960
Dallas Cowboys join league as expansion team
Chicago Cardinals move to St. Louis, become St. Louis Cardinals
American Football League formed with 8 team:
Dallas Texans
Los Angeles Chargers
Boston Patriots
New York Titans
Denver Broncos
Houston Oilers
Buffalo Bills
Oakland Raiders

1961
Minnesota Vikings join NFL as expansion team
Los Angeles Chargers (AFL) move to San Diego, become San Diego Chargers

1963
Dallas Texans (AFL) move to Kansas City, become Kansas City Chiefs (AFL)
New York Titans Change name to New York Jets

1966
Atlanta Falcons join NFL as expansion team
Miami Dolphins join NFL as expansion team

NFL and AFL merge. All 9 AFL teams join league. National and American Conferences are formed. Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore volunteer to join AFL. New line-up reads:

NFC

New York Giants
Chicago Bears
Green Bay Packers
Detroit Lions
Dallas Cowboys
Washington Redskins
Los Angeles Rams
Sa Francisco 49ers
Minnesota Vikings
St. Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles
Atlanta Falcons
AFC

Cleveland Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers
Baltimore Colts
Miami Dolphins
Kansas City Chiefs
New York Jets
Oakland Raiders
San Diego Chargers
Denver Broncos
Houston Oilers
Boston Patriots
Buffalo Bills

1967
New Orleans Saints join NFC as expansion team

1968
Cincinnati Bengals join AFC as expansion team

1971
Boston Patriots move to Foxboro Mass., change name to New England Patriots

1976
Seattle Seahawks join AFC as expansion team Tampa Bay Bucaneers join NFC as expansion team

1982
Oakland Raiders move to Los Angeles, become Los Angeles Raiders

1984
Baltimore Colts move to Indianapolis, become Indianapolis Colts

1988
St. Louis Cardinals move to Tempe, Arizona, become Arizona Cardinals

1995
Jacksonville Jaguars join AFC as expansion team Carolina Panthers join NFC as expansion team Los Angeles Rams move to St. Louis, become St. Louis Rams Los Angeles Raiders move back to Oakland, become Oakland Raiders again

1996
Cleveland Browns move to Baltimore, become Baltimore Ravens

1997
Houston Oilers move to Nashville, Tenn., become Tennessee Oilers

1999
Cleveland Browns join the AFC as expansion team

At the end of the 2001 season, the National Football League (31 teams) was organized as follows:

NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
San Francisco 49ers
St. Louis Rams
Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans Saints
Carolina Panthers
Chicago Bears
Green Bay Packers
Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings
Tampa Bay Bucaneers
New York Giants
Dallas Cowboys
Washington Redskins
Philadelphia Eagles
Arizona Cardinals




AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

West
Oakland Raiders
Seattle Seahawks
San Diego Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs
Denver Broncos
Central
Cleveland Browns
Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals
Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee Oilers
Baltimore Ravens
East
Miami Dolphins
New York Jets
Indianapolis Colts
New England Patriots
Buffalo Bills

For the 2002 season, the NFL re-aligned, adding the Houston Texans as an expansion team to the AFC, making 32 teams. The two conferences have 4 divisions:

AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
East
Buffalo
Miami
New England
NY Jets
North
Baltimore
Cincinnati
Cleveland
Pittsburgh
South
Houston
Indianapolis
Jacksonville
Tennessee
West
Denver
Kansas City
Oakland
San Diego
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

East
Dallas
NY Giants
Philadelphia
Washington
North
Chicago
Detroit
Green Bay
Minnesota
South
Atlanta
Carolina
New Orleans
Tampa Bay
West
Arizona
St. Louis
San Francisco
Seattle

SCHEDULING FORMULA
Each team within a division will play 14 common opponents as follows:
Each team will play home and away against its three division opponents (6 games).
Each team will play the four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (4 games).
Each team will play the four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (4 games).
Each team will play a pair of intraconference games based on the prior year's standings (2 games), i.e. first place teams in a division will play against the first place teams from another division within the same conference.