American Football Tournaments

How the National Football League became a gigantic business (Part 3)

The step leading up to the creation of a professional team with the first foundations is still in place before the turn of the century. NFL was founded in Canton, Ohio, in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association. Part of their success must include Jim Thorpe, an excellent American athlete, was chosen as the first president of the federation. Before the NFL, real teams didn’t last long.

The current Federation was located in 1922 by Joe Carr, the successor of Thorpe. Carr held the highest position until 1939 while teams like Akron Pros, Columbus Panhandles, Frankford Yellow Jackets, and Staten Island Stapletons kept coming and going. It was followed by Carl Strock but only for a year.

In 1941, he was replaced by Elmer Layden, who remained in this position during World War II. When player, coach and veteran boss Bert Bell came to power in 1946, access to television finally helped the federation bring its sport to the masses. Bell remained in leadership until his death in 1959, and that was when Pete Rozelle arrived. It was only then that the professional American football that we often watch on TV today actually appeared.

When Rozelle joined, the NFL then consisted of two boards with a total of 12 teams including New York Giant, Cleverland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, Chicago Cardinals, Baltimore Colts, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers , Detroit Lions, and Los Angles Rams.

By the time he took over, Cardinals moved to St. Louis and had another team in Dallas; Another team in Minneapolis was added in 1961. However, there are many other cities in the country that are trying to get into this growing activity. And a rival league emerged in 1959, far more powerful than any rival ever.

While the NFL initially tried to ignore this emerging person, the organization called the American Football League began to encroach on what was once considered the NFL’s own territory with teams in Boston, Buffalo, Denver, Houston, New York, Oakland, Dallas, and Los Angles.