The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football franchise based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's American Football Conference North division, their home stadium is Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati. Their divisional opponents are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens; the Bengals were founded in 1966 as a member of the American Football League by former Cleveland Browns head coach Paul Brown. Brown was the Bengals' head coach from their inception to 1975. After being dismissed as the Browns' head coach by Art Modell in January 1963, Brown had shown interest in establishing another NFL franchise in Ohio and looked at both Cincinnati and Columbus, he chose the former when a deal between the city, Hamilton County, Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds was struck that resulted in an agreement to build a multipurpose stadium which could host both baseball and football games. Due to the impending merger of the AFL and the NFL, scheduled to take full effect in the 1970 season, Brown agreed to join the AFL as its tenth and final franchise.
The Bengals, like the other former AFL teams, were assigned to the AFC following the merger. Cincinnati was selected because, like their neighbors the Reds, they could draw from several large neighboring cities that are all no more than 110 miles away from downtown Cincinnati; the Bengals won the AFC championship in 1981 and 1988, but lost Super Bowls XVI and XXIII to the San Francisco 49ers. After Paul Brown's death in 1991, controlling interest in the team was inherited by his son, Mike Brown. In 2011, Brown purchased shares of the team owned by the estate of co-founder Austin Knowlton and is now the majority owner of the Bengals franchise; the 1990s and the 2000s were a period of great struggle. Following the 1990 season, the team went 14 years without posting a winning record nor making the playoffs; the Bengals had several head coaches and several of their top draft picks did not pan out. Mike Brown, the team's de facto general manager, was rated as among the worst team owners in American professional sports.
Since the mid-2000s, the team's fortunes have improved. Two years after becoming head coach, Marvin Lewis guided the Bengals to their first winning season and first division title in over a decade. After the acquisition of Andy Dalton as quarterback in 2011, the Bengals had made the playoffs each season until 2016, ranking among NFL teams in win totals; the Bengals drafts are highly touted, leading to a consistency that had long escaped the franchise. However, the team has remained unable to win in the postseason and have not won a playoff game since 1990, the longest such drought in the NFL; the Bengals are one of the 12 NFL teams to not have won a Super Bowl as of the 2017 season. In 1967, an ownership group led by Paul Brown was granted a franchise in the American Football League. Brown named the team the Bengals in order "to give it a link with past professional football in Cincinnati". Another Cincinnati Bengals team had existed in the city and played in three previous American Football Leagues from 1937 to 1942.
The city's world-renowned zoo was home to a rare white Bengal tiger. However as an insult to Art Modell, or as a homage to his own start as a head coach to the Massillon Tigers, Brown chose the exact shade of orange used by his former team, he added black as the secondary color. Brown chose a simple logo: the word "BENGALS" in black lettering. One of the potential helmet designs Brown rejected was a striped motif, similar to the helmets adopted by the team in 1981 and, still in use to this day. In 1966, the American Football League agreed to a merger with its older and more established rival, the National Football League. Among the terms of the merger was that the AFL was permitted to add one additional franchise. One of the reasons the NFL agreed to this was that they wanted an number of clubs in the merged league, so a team needed to be added that brought the combined total number clubs in the merged league to twenty-six teams; the NFL was content for that team to be in the American Football League because it meant that the existing nine AFL clubs were the ones that had to provide players in the ensuing expansion draft and the NFL owners preferred for the ensuing dilution of talent to occur in what they had always considered to be an inferior league.
For the AFL, a key motive behind their agreement to accept a new team was that the guarantee of an eventual place in the NFL meant the league could charge a steep expansion fee of $10 million–400 times the $25,000 the original eight owners paid when they founded the league in 1960. The cash from the new team provided the American Football League with the funds needed to pay the indemnities required to be paid by the AFL to the NFL, as stipulated by the merger agreement. Prior to the merger being announced, Brown had not considered joining the American Football League, was not a supporter of what he regarded to be an inferior competition, once famously stating that "I didn't pay ten million dollars to be in the AFL." However, with the announcement of the merger, Brown realized that the AFL expansion franchise would be his only realistic path back into the NFL in the short to medium term. He acquiesc
The Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League. From the merger with the rival American Football League in 1970 up through 2013 and since 2017, it is called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference against those in the National Football Conference. From 2014 through 2016, the NFL experimented with an unconferenced format, where the teams were selected by two honorary team captains, instead of selecting players from each conference; the players were picked in a televised "schoolyard pick" prior to the game. Unlike most major sports leagues, which hold their all-star games midway through their regular seasons, the Pro Bowl is played around the end of the NFL season; the first official Pro Bowl was played in January 1951, three weeks after the 1950 NFL Championship Game. Between 1970 and 2009, the Pro Bowl was held the weekend after the Super Bowl. Since 2010, it has been played the weekend before the Super Bowl. Players from the two teams competing in the Super Bowl do not participate.
For years, the game has suffered from lack of interest due to perceived low quality, with observers and commentators expressing their disfavor with it in its current state. It draws lower TV ratings than regular season NFL games, although the game draws similar ratings to other major all-star games, such as the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. However, the biggest concern of teams is to avoid injuries to the star players; the Associated Press wrote that players in the 2012 game were "hitting each other as though they were having a pillow fight". Between 1980 and 2016, the game was played at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii except for two years. On June 1, 2016, the NFL announced that they reached a multi-year deal to move the game to Orlando, Florida as part of the league's ongoing efforts to make the game more relevant; the first "Pro All-Star Game", featuring the all-stars of the 1938 season, was played on January 15, 1939 at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. The NFL All-Star Game was played again in Los Angeles in 1940 and in New York and Philadelphia in 1941 and 1942 respectively.
Although planned as an annual contest, the all-star game was discontinued after 1942 because of travel restrictions put in place during World War II. During the first five all-star games, an all-star team would face that year's league champion; the league champion won the first four games before the all-stars were victorious in the final game of this early series. The concept of an all-star game was not revived until June 1950, when the newly christened "Pro Bowl" was approved; the game was sponsored by the Los Angeles Publishers Association. It was decided that the game would feature all-star teams from each of the league's two conferences rather than the league champion versus all-star format, used previously; this was done to avoid confusion with the Chicago College All-Star Game, an annual game which featured the league champion against a collegiate all-star team. The teams would be led by the coach of each of the conference champions. Prior to the Pro Bowl, following the 1949 season, the All-America Football Conference, which contributed three teams to the NFL in a partial merger in 1950, held its own all-star game, the Shamrock Bowl.
The first 21 games of the series were played in Los Angeles. The site of the game was changed annually for each of the next seven years before the game was moved to Aloha Stadium in Halawa, Hawaii for 30 straight seasons from 1980 through 2009; the 2010 Pro Bowl was played at Sun Life Stadium, the home stadium of the Miami Dolphins and host site of Super Bowl XLIV, on January 31, the first time that the Pro Bowl was held before the championship game. With the new rule being that the conference teams do not include players from the teams that will be playing in the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl returned to Hawaii in 2011 but was again held during the week before the Super Bowl, where it remained for three more years; the 2012 game was met with criticism from fans and sports writers for the lack of quality play by the players. On October 24, 2012, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had second thoughts about the Pro Bowl, telling a Sirius XM show that if the players did not play more competitively, he was "not inclined to play it anymore".
During the ensuing off-season, the NFL Players Association lobbied to keep the Pro Bowl, negotiated several rule changes to be implemented for the 2014 game. Among them, the teams will no longer be AFC vs. NFC, instead be selected by captains in a fantasy draft. For the 2014 game, Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders were chosen as alumni captains, while their captains were Drew Brees and Robert Quinn, along with Jamaal Charles and J. J. Watt. On April 9, 2014, the NFL announced that the 2015 Pro Bowl would be played the week before the Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on January 25, 2015; the game returned to Hawaii in 2016, the "unconferenced" format was its last. For 2017, the league considered hosting the game at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, which if approved would be the first time the game had been hosted outside the United States; the NFL is considering future Pro Bowls in Mexico and Germany. The NFL hopes that by leveraging international markets with the star power of Pro Bowls, international pop
Liberty University is a private evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia. It is one of the largest Christian universities in the world and the largest private non-profit university in the United States, measured by student enrollment; as of 2017, the university enrolls more than 15,000 students at its Lynchburg campus and more than 94,000 students in online courses for a total of about 110,000 in all. The school consists of 17 colleges, including a school of law. Liberty's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Liberty Flames, their college football team is an NCAA Division I FBS Independent, while most of the other sports teams compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Studies at the university have a conservative Christian orientation, with three required Bible-studies classes in the first year for undergraduate students; the university's honor code, called the "Liberty Way", prohibits premarital sex and private interactions between members of the opposite sex.
Described as a "bastion of the Christian right" in American politics, the university plays a prominent role in Republican politics. Liberty promotes the Christian right viewpoint on matters such as abortion; the university teaches creationism alongside the science of evolutionary biology. Founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell and Elmer L. Towns the university began as Lynchburg Baptist College. Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, Falwell served as the first president of the school; the name was changed to Liberty Baptist College in 1977 before settling on Liberty University in 1985. Liberty University's tax exempt status was formally recognized by the IRS in 1987. Upon the death of his father in 2007, Jerry Falwell Jr. became the university's president. Since 1999, Liberty has had an informal relationship with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia by way of having two members from that organization on the university board of trustees. In its early years, the university was held afloat financially by major donors.
The university was placed on probation multiple times in the 1990s by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools due to heavy debt loads. In 1990, the university's debt totaled $110 million; as of 2017 the university's endowment stands at more than $1 billion and gross assets are in excess of $2 billion. In 1985, the university began a distance learning program by mailing VHS tapes to students and was the forerunner to Liberty University's current online program; when high-speed Internet connections became more widespread around 2005, Liberty began to offer online courses to a larger adult population. The 17-story Freedom Tower was completed in February 2018 and, at 275 feet, is the tallest building in Lynchburg; the tower holds a 25-bell carillon. Liberty University's Center for Music & Worship hosts the Miss Virginia beauty competition which sends the winner of the state to represent it in the Miss America Pageant. Construction was completed in August 2009 on the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, a synthetic ski slope featuring Snowflex.
It includes beginner and advanced slopes, is the first of its kind in the United States. The Observatory Center opened in the spring of 2013 next to the Equestrian Center; the dome consists of a classroom. It houses a 20-inch RC Optical Systems Truss Ritchey-Chrétien high-quality research telescope and several Celestron CPC 800 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes on pedestals, able to roll out under a roof; the observatory serves three purposes: public nights and research. Student Activities is open to all students, it was announced in December 2016 that Liberty University will be constructing an on-campus shooting range for students to protect themselves against active shooters and terrorist attacks. The four-story, 170,000-square-foot Jerry Falwell Library opened in January 2014; the library features a robot-assisted storage and retrieval system for over 250,000 archived items, with room for another 170,000. The robot locates requested items within a large storage room and delivers the items to the front desk.
There are 150 public computers throughout the building for electronic archive research. The library features group study rooms, writable walls, terraces, a vegetative roof; the entrance to the library is highlighted by a 24 ft media wall powered by three Microsoft Kinect units and integrated using a custom program. The media wall uses motion-sensor technology to enable visitors to scroll through university news, browse pictures contributed from students and learn about upcoming university events; the $50 million library is part of a larger $500 million building and expansion plan announced by Liberty University. The National Civil War Chaplains Museum contains exhibits about clergy members and religious activity during the Civil War era, it is the only museum in the nation devoted to this purpose. The mission of the museum is to "educate the public about the role of chaplains and rabbis and religious organizations in the Civil War. A 501 organization, the museum rents space from Liberty University's DeMoss Center.
It has 10,000 square feet, with a 50-seat video theatre, archive displays, a research library, bookstore. The museum commemorates Catholic and Jewish chaplains (including African Am
Tackle (gridiron football position)
Tackle is a playing position in American and Canadian football. In the one-platoon system prevalent in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a tackle played on both offense and defense. In the modern system of specialized units, offensive tackle and defensive tackle are separate positions, the stand-alone term "tackle" refers to the offensive tackle position only; the offensive tackle is a position on the offensive line and right. Like other offensive linemen, their job is to block: to physically keep defenders away from the offensive player who has the football and enable him to advance the football and score a touchdown; the term "tackle" is a vestige of an earlier era of football in which the same players played both offense and defense. A tackle is the strong position on the offensive line, they power their blocks with quick steps and maneuverability. The tackles are in charge of the outside protection. If the tight end goes out for a pass, the tackle must cover everyone that his guard does not, plus whoever the tight end is not covering.
They defend against defensive ends. In the NFL, offensive tackles measure over 6 ft 4 in and 300 lb. According to Sports Illustrated football journalist Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman, offensive tackles achieve the highest scores, relative to the other positional groups, on the Wonderlic Test, with an average of 26; the Wonderlic is taken before the draft to assess each player's aptitude for learning and problem solving. The right tackle is the team's best run blocker. Most running plays are towards the strong side of the offensive line; the right tackle will face the defending team's best run stoppers. He must be able to gain traction in his blocks so that the running back can find a hole to run through; the left tackle is the team's best pass blocker. Of the two tackles, the left tackles will have better footwork and agility than the right tackle in order to counteract the pass rush of defensive ends; when a quarterback throws a forward pass, the quarterback's shoulders are aligned perpendicular to the line of scrimmage, with the non-dominant shoulder closer to downfield.
Right-handed quarterbacks, the majority of players in the position, thus turn their backs to defenders coming from the left side, creating a vulnerable "blind side" that the left tackle must protect. A 2006 book by Michael Lewis, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, made into a 2009 motion picture, sheds much light on the workings of the left tackle position; the book and the film's introduction discuss how the annual salary of left tackles in the NFL skyrocketed in the mid-1990s. Premier left tackles are now sought after, are the second highest paid players on a roster after the quarterback. Recent examples include Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel, Lane Johnson, Matt Kalil, Trent Williams, Jake Long, Joe Thomas
A touchdown is a scoring play in both American and Canadian football. Whether running, returning a kickoff or punt, or recovering a turnover, a team scores a touchdown by advancing the ball into the opponent's end zone. To score a touchdown, one team must take the football into the opposite end zone. In all gridiron codes, the touchdown is scored the instant the ball touches or "breaks" the plane of the goal line while in possession of a player whose team is trying to score in that end zone; this particular requirement of the touchdown is the exact opposite of the prerequisite to score most sports in which points are scored by moving a ball or equivalent object into a goal where the whole of the relevant object must cross the whole of the goal line for a score to be awarded. The play is dead and the touchdown scores the moment the ball touches plane in possession of a player, or the moment the ball comes into possession of an offensive player in the end zone; the slightest part of the ball touching or being directly over the goal line is sufficient for a touchdown to score.
However, only the ball counts, not a player's foot, or any other part of the body. Touching one of the pylons at either end of the goal line with the ball constitutes "breaking the plane" as well. Touchdowns are scored by the offense by running or passing the ball; the former is called a rushing touchdown, in the latter, the quarterback throws a touchdown pass or passing touchdown to the receiver, who makes a touchdown reception. However, the defense can score a touchdown if they have recovered a fumble or made an interception and return it to the opposing end zone. Special teams can score a touchdown on a kickoff or punt return, or on a return after a missed or blocked field goal attempt or blocked punt. In short, any play in which a player carries the ball across the goal line scores a touchdown, the manner in which he gained possession is inconsequential. In the NFL, a touchdown may be awarded by the referee as a penalty for a "palpably unfair act," such as a player coming off the bench during a play and tackling the runner, who would otherwise have scored.
A touchdown is worth six points. The scoring team is awarded the opportunity for an extra point or a two-point conversion. Afterwards, the team that scored the touchdown kicks off to the opposing team, if there is any time left. Unlike a try scored in rugby, contrary to the event's name, the ball does not need to touch the ground when the player and the ball are inside the end zone; the term touchdown is a holdover from gridiron's early days when the ball was required to be touched to the ground as in rugby, as rugby and gridiron were still similar sports at this point. This rule was changed to the modern-day iteration in 1889; when the first uniform rules for American football were enacted by the newly formed Intercollegiate Football Association following the 1876 Rugby season, a touchdown counted for 1⁄4 of a kicked goal and allowed the offense the chance to kick for goal by placekick or dropkick from a spot along a line perpendicular to the goal line and passing through the point where the ball was touched down, or through a process known as a "punt-out", where the attacking team would kick the ball from the point where it was touched down to a teammate.
If the teammate could fair catch the ball, he could follow with a try for goal from the spot of the catch, or resume play as normal. The governing rule at the time read: "A match shall be decided by a majority of touchdowns. A goal shall be equal to four touchdowns. In 1881, the rules were modified so that a goal kicked from a touchdown took precedence over a goal kicked from the field in breaking ties. In 1882, four touchdowns were determined to take precedence over a goal kicked from the field. Two safeties were equivalent to a touchdown. In 1883, points were introduced to football, a touchdown counted as four points. A goal after a touchdown counted as four points. In 1889, the provision requiring the ball to be touched to the ground was removed. A touchdown was now scored by possessing the ball beyond the goal line. In 1897, the touchdown scored five points, the goal after touchdown added another point. In 1900, the definition of touchdown was changed to include situations where the ball becomes dead on or above the goal line.
In 1912, the value of a touchdown was increased to six points. The end zone was added. Before the addition of the end zone, forward passes caught beyond the goal line resulted in a loss of possession and a touchback; the increase from five points to six did not come until much in Canada, the touchdown remained only five points there until 1956. In addition, the score continued to be called a try in Canada until the second half of the twentieth century; the ability to score a touchdown on the point-after attempt was added to NCAA football in 1958, high school football in 1969, the CFL in 1975 and the NFL in 1994. The short-lived World Football League, a professional American football league that operated in 1974 and 1975, gave touchdowns a 7-point value. American football scoring Conversion Touchdown celebration Touchdown Jesus Touchdown pass Conversion
Pro Football Hall of Fame
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame for professional American football, located in Canton, Ohio. Opened in 1963, the Hall of Fame enshrines exceptional figures in the sport of professional football, including players, franchise owners, front-office personnel all of whom made their primary contributions to the game in the National Football League; the Hall of Fame's Mission is to "Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values & Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE." The Hall of Fame class of 2019 were selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame by a 48-member selection committee and announced on February 2, 2019. Including the 2019 class, there are now a total of 326 members of the Hall of Fame; the community of Canton, Ohio lobbied the NFL to have the Hall of Fame built in their city for two reasons: first, the NFL was founded in Canton in 1920. Groundbreaking for the building was held on August 11, 1962; the original building contained just two rooms, 19,000 square feet of interior space.
In April 1970, ground was broken for the first of many expansions. This first expansion cost $620,000, was completed in May 1971; the size was increased to 34,000 square feet by adding another room. The pro shop opened with this expansion; this was an important milestone for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as yearly attendance passed the 200,000 mark for the first time. This was at least in some part due to the increase in popularity of professional football caused by the advent of the American Football League and its success in the final two AFL-NFL World Championship games. In November 1977, work began on another expansion project, costing US$1,200,000, it was completed in November 1978, enlarging the gift shop and research library, while doubling the size of the theater. The total size of the hall was now more than 2.5 times the original size. The building remained unchanged until July 1993; the Hall announced yet another expansion, costing US$9,200,000, adding a fifth room. This expansion was completed in October 1995.
The building's size was increased to 82,307 square feet. The most notable addition was the GameDay Stadium, which shows an NFL Films production on a 20-foot by 42-foot Cinemascope screen. In 2013, the Hall of Fame completed renovation today; the Hall of Fame consists of 118,000 square feet. An $800 million expansion project, Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, is underway and will be completed to coincide with the NFL's Centennial in 2020. Dick McCann Dick Gallagher Pete Elliott John Bankert Steve Perry David Baker Through 2018, all players in the hall except one, played some part of their professional career in the NFL. Though several Hall of Famers have had AFL, Canadian Football League, World Football League, United States Football League, Arena Football League and/or Indoor Football League experience, there is a division of the Hall devoted to alternative leagues such as this, to this point no players have made the Hall without having made significant contributions to either the NFL, AFL or All-America Football Conference.
For CFL stars, there is a parallel Canadian Football Hall of Fame. The Chicago Bears have the most Hall of Famers among the league's franchises with either 34 or 28 enshrinees depending on whether you count players that only played a small portion of their careers with the team. Enshrinees are selected by a 48-person committee made up of media members known as the Selection Committee; each city that has a current NFL team sends one representative from the local media to the committee. A city with more than one franchise sends a representative for each franchise. There are 15 at-large delegates including one representative from the Pro Football Writers Association. Except for the PFWA representative, appointed to a two-year term, all other appointments are open-ended and terminated only by death, retirement, or resignation. To be eligible for the nominating process, a player or coach must have been retired for at least five years. Any other contributor such as a team owner or executive can be voted in at any time.
Fans may nominate any player, coach or contributor by writing to the Pro Football Hall of Fame via letter or email. The Selection Committee is polled three times by mail to narrow the list to 25 semifinalists: once in March, once in September, once in October. In November, the committee selects 15 finalists by mail balloting. A Seniors and Contributors Committee, subcommittees of the overall Selection Committee, nominate Seniors and Contributors; the Seniors Committee and Contributors Committee add two or one finalist on alternating years which makes a final ballot of 18 finalists under consideration by
National Football League
The National Football League is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided between the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, the highest professional level of American football in the world; the NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, held in the first Sunday in February, is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC; the NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL agreed to merge with the American Football League in 1966, the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that season. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States.
The Super Bowl is among the biggest club sporting events in the world and individual Super Bowl games account for many of the most watched television programs in American history, all occupying the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most watched U. S. television broadcasts by 2015. The NFL's executive officer is the commissioner; the players in the league belong to the National Football League Players Association. The team with the most NFL championships is the Green Bay Packers with thirteen; the current NFL champions are the New England Patriots, who defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII for their sixth Super Bowl championship. On August 20, 1920, a meeting was held by representatives of the Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, Dayton Triangles at the Jordan and Hupmobile auto showroom in Canton, Ohio; this meeting resulted in the formation of the American Professional Football Conference, a group who, according to the Canton Evening Repository, intended to "raise the standard of professional football in every way possible, to eliminate bidding for players between rival clubs and to secure cooperation in the formation of schedules".
Another meeting was held on September 17, 1920 with representatives from teams from four states-Akron, Canton and Dayton from Ohio. The league was renamed to the American Professional Football Association; the league elected Jim Thorpe as its first president, consisted of 14 teams. The Massillon Tigers from Massillon, Ohio was at the September 17 meeting, but did not field a team in 1920. Only two of these teams, the Decatur Staleys and the Chicago Cardinals, remain. Although the league did not maintain official standings for its 1920 inaugural season and teams played schedules that included non-league opponents, the APFA awarded the Akron Pros the championship by virtue of their 8–0–3 record; the first event occurred on September 26, 1920 when the Rock Island Independents defeated the non-league St. Paul Ideals 48–0 at Douglas Park. On October 3, 1920, the first full week of league play occurred; the following season resulted in the Chicago Staleys controversially winning the title over the Buffalo All-Americans.
On June 24, 1922, the APFA changed its name to the National Football League. In 1932, the season ended with the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans tied for first in the league standings. At the time, teams were ranked on a single table and the team with the highest winning percentage at the end of the season was declared the champion; this method had been used since the league's creation in 1920, but no situation had been encountered where two teams were tied for first. The league determined that a playoff game between Chicago and Portsmouth was needed to decide the league's champion; the teams were scheduled to play the playoff game a regular season game that would count towards the regular season standings, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, but a combination of heavy snow and extreme cold forced the game to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium, which did not have a regulation-size football field. Playing with altered rules to accommodate the smaller playing field, the Bears won the game 9–0 and thus won the championship.
Fan interest in the de facto championship game led the NFL, beginning in 1933, to split into two divisions with a championship game to be played between the division champions. The 1934 season marked the first of 12 seasons in which African Americans were absent from the league; the de facto ban was rescinded in 1946, following public pressure and coinciding with the removal of a similar ban in Major League Baseball. The NFL was always the foremost pro