American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves; the offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, otherwise they turn over the football to the defense. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal; the team with the most points at the end of a game wins. American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sports of association football and rugby football; the first match of American football was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams and Princeton, under rules based on the association football rules of the time.
During the latter half of the 1870s, colleges playing association football switched to the Rugby Union code, which allowed carrying the ball. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, the line of scrimmage, eleven-player teams, the concept of downs; the sport is related to Canadian football, which evolved parallel and contemporary to the American game, most of the features that distinguish American football from rugby and soccer are present in Canadian football. American football as a whole is the most popular sport in the United States; the most popular forms of the game are professional and college football, with the other major levels being high school and youth football. As of 2012, nearly 1.1 million high school athletes and 70,000 college athletes play the sport in the United States annually all of them men, with a few exceptions. The National Football League, the most popular American football league, has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world.
In the United States, American Football is called "football". The terms "gridiron" or "American football" are favored in English-speaking countries where other codes of football are popular, such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia. American football evolved from the sports of rugby football. Rugby football, like American football, is a sport where two competing teams vie for control of a ball, which can be kicked through a set of goalposts or run into the opponent's goal area to score points. What is considered to be the first American football game was played on November 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton, two college teams; the game was played between two teams of 25 players each and used a round ball that could not be picked up or carried. It could, however, be kicked or batted with the feet, head or sides, with the ultimate goal being to advance it into the opponent's goal. Rutgers won the game 6 goals to 4. Collegiate play continued for several years in which matches were played using the rules of the host school.
Representatives of Yale, Columbia and Rutgers met on October 19, 1873 to create a standard set of rules for all schools to adhere to. Teams were set at 20 players each, fields of 400 by 250 feet were specified. Harvard abstained from the conference, as they favored a rugby-style game that allowed running with the ball. After playing McGill University using both Canadian and American rules, the Harvard players preferred the Canadian style having only 11 men on the field, running the ball without having to be chased by an opponent, the forward pass and using an oblong instead of a round ball. An 1875 Harvard–Yale game played under rugby-style rules was observed by two impressed Princeton athletes; these players introduced the sport to Princeton, a feat the Professional Football Researchers Association compared to "selling refrigerators to Eskimos." Princeton, Harvard and Columbia agreed to intercollegiate play using a form of rugby union rules with a modified scoring system. These schools formed the Intercollegiate Football Association, although Yale did not join until 1879.
Yale player Walter Camp, now regarded as the "Father of American Football", secured rule changes in 1880 that reduced the size of each team from 15 to 11 players and instituted the snap to replace the chaotic and inconsistent scrum. The introduction of the snap resulted in unexpected consequences. Prior to the snap, the strategy had been to punt. However, a group of Princeton players realized that, as the snap was uncontested, they now could hold the ball indefinitely to prevent their opponent from scoring. In 1881, both teams in a game between Yale-Princeton used this strategy to maintain their undefeated records; each team held the ball. This "block game" proved unpopular with the spectators and fans of both teams. A rule change was necessary to prevent this strategy from taking hold, a reversion to the scrum was considered. However, Camp proposed a rule in 1882 that limited each team to three downs, or tackles, to adva
The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers compete in the National Football League, as a member club of the league's National Football Conference South division; the team is headquartered in Bank of America Stadium in uptown Charlotte. They are one of the few NFL teams to own the stadium they play in, registered as Panthers Stadium, LLC; the Panthers are supported throughout the Carolinas. The team hosts its annual training camp at Wofford College in South Carolina; the head coach is Ron Rivera. The Panthers were announced as the league's 29th franchise in 1993, began play in 1995 under original owner and founder Jerry Richardson; the Panthers played well in their first two years, finishing 7–9 in 1995 and 12–4 the following year, winning the NFC West before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. They did not have another winning season until 2003, when they won the NFC Championship Game and reached Super Bowl XXXVIII, losing 32–29 to the New England Patriots.
After recording playoff appearances in 2005 and 2008, the team failed to record another playoff appearance until 2013, the first of three consecutive NFC South titles. After losing in the divisional round to the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 and the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, the Panthers returned to the Super Bowl in 2015, but lost to the Denver Broncos; the Panthers have reached the playoffs seven times, advancing to four NFC Championship Games and two Super Bowls. They have won one in the NFC West and five in the NFC South; the Carolina Panthers are registered as Panther Football, LLC. and are controlled by David Tepper, whose purchase of the team from founder Jerry Richardson was unanimously approved by league owners on May 22, 2018. The club is worth US$2.3 billion, according to Forbes. On December 15, 1987, entrepreneur Jerry Richardson announced his bid for an NFL expansion franchise in the Carolinas. A North Carolina native, Richardson was a former wide receiver on the Baltimore Colts who had used his 1959 league championship bonus to co-found the Hardee's restaurant chain becoming president and CEO of TW Services.
Richardson drew his inspiration to pursue an NFL franchise from George Shinn, who had made a successful bid for an expansion National Basketball Association team in Charlotte, the Charlotte Hornets. Richardson founded Richardson Sports, a partnership consisting of himself, his family, a number of businessmen from North and South Carolina were recruited to be limited partners. Richardson looked at four potential locations for a stadium choosing uptown Charlotte. To highlight the demand for professional football in the Carolinas, Richardson Sports held preseason games around the area from 1989 to 1991; the first two games were held at Carter–Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina, Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, while the third and final game was held at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. The matchups were between existing NFL teams. In 1991, the group formally filed an application for the open expansion spot, on October 26, 1993, the 28 NFL owners unanimously named the Carolina Panthers as the 29th member of the NFL.
The Panthers first competed in the 1995 NFL season. The Panthers were put in the NFC West to increase the size of that division to five teams. Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dom Capers was named the first head coach; the team finished its inaugural season 7–9, the best performance from a first-year expansion team. They performed better in their second season, finishing with a 12–4 record and winning the NFC West division, as well as securing a first-round bye; the Panthers beat the defending Super Bowl champions Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round before losing the NFC Championship Game to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers. The team managed only a 7–9 finish in 1997 and slipped to 4–12 in 1998, leading to Capers' dismissal as head coach; the Panthers hired former San Francisco 49ers head coach George Seifert to replace Capers, he led the team to an 8–8 record in 1999. The team finished 7–9 in 2000 and fell to 1–15 in 2001, winning their first game but losing their last 15.
This performance tied the NFL record for most losses in a single season and it broke the record held by the winless 1976 Buccaneers for most consecutive losses in a single season, leading the Panthers to fire Seifert. After the NFL's expansion to 32 teams in 2002, the Panthers were relocated from the NFC West to the newly created NFC South division; the Panthers' rivalries with the Falcons and Saints were maintained, they would be joined by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. New York Giants defensive coordinator John Fox was hired to replace Seifert and led the team to a 7–9 finish in 2002. Although the team's defense gave up few yards, ranking the second-best in the NFL in yards conceded, they were hindered by an offense that ranked as the second-worst in the league in yards gained; the Panthers improved to 11–5 in the 2003 regular season, winning the NFC South and making it to Super Bowl XXXVIII before losing to the New England Patriots, 32–29, in what was immedia
2002 NFL season
The 2002 NFL season was the 83rd regular season of the National Football League. The league went back to an number of teams, expanding to 32 teams with the addition of the Houston Texans; the clubs were realigned into eight divisions, four teams in each. The Chicago Bears played their home games in 2002 in Champaign, Illinois at Memorial Stadium because of the reconstruction of Soldier Field; the NFL title was won by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they defeated the Oakland Raiders 48–21 in Super Bowl XXXVII, at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California on January 26, 2003. With the Houston Texans joining the NFL, the league's teams were realigned into eight divisions: four teams in each division and four divisions in each conference. In creating the new divisions, the league tried to maintain the historical rivalries from the old alignment, while at the same time attempting to organize the teams geographically. Three teams from the AFC Central were required to be in the same division as part of any realignment proposals.
The major changes were: The Indianapolis Colts, the Tennessee Titans, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the inaugural Houston Texans were placed into the newly formed AFC South. This kept the Indianapolis Colts & Peyton Manning from moving to the more geographically correct AFC North; the Atlanta Falcons, the New Orleans Saints, the Carolina Panthers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were placed into the newly formed NFC South. The teams in the AFC Central and NFC Central were placed in the new AFC North and NFC North apart from the Titans and Buccaneers; the Seattle Seahawks became the only team to switch conferences twice, moving from the AFC West to the NFC West. The Arizona Cardinals moved from the NFC East to the NFC West, they had played in Chicago and St. Louis before moving to Tempe, Arizona in 1988. Additionally, the arrival of the Texans meant that the league could return to its pre-1999 scheduling format in which no team received a bye during the first two weeks or last seven weeks of the season.
From 1999 to 2001, at least one team sat out each week because of an odd number of teams in the league. It nearly became problematic during the previous season due to the September 11 attacks, since the San Diego Chargers had their bye week during the week following 9/11 and the league nearly outright canceled that week’s slate of games; the league introduced a new eight-year scheduling rotation designed so that all teams will play each other at least twice during those eight years, play in every other team’s stadium at least once. Under scheduling formulas in use from 1978 to 2001, two teams in different divisions might never play each other for over fifteen seasons. Under the new scheduling formula, only two of a team’s games each season are based on the previous season’s record, down from four under the previous system. All teams play four interconference games. An analysis of win percentages in 2008 showed a statistical trend upwards for top teams since this change; the playoff format was modified: four division winners and two wild cards from each conference now advance to the playoffs, instead of three division winners and three wild cards.
In each conference, the division winners are now seeded 1 through 4, the wild cards are seeded 5 and 6. In the current system, the only way a wild card team can host a playoff game is if both teams in the conference’s championship game are wild cards. However, the number of playoff teams still remains at 12, where it has been since 1990. A player who touches a pylon remains in-bounds until any part of his body touches the ground out-of-bounds. Continuing-action fouls now will result in the loss of down and distance. Any dead-ball penalties by the offense after they have made the line to gain will result in a loss of 15 yards and a new first down; the 15 yard penalty was enforced but the down was replayed. The act of batting and stripping the ball from a player is legal. Chop-blocks are illegal on kicking plays. Hitting a quarterback helmet-to-helmet anytime after a change of possession is illegal. After a kickoff, the game clock will start when the ball is touched in the field of play; the clock started when the ball was kicked.
Inside the final two minutes of a half/overtime, the game clock will not stop when the player who takes the snap is tackled behind the line of scrimmage. With the opening of the NFL’s first stadium with a retractable roof, Reliant Stadium, the following rules were enacted: The home team must determine whether their retractable roof is to be opened or closed 90 minutes before kickoff. If it is closed at kickoff, it cannot be reopened during the game. If it is open at kickoff, it cannot be closed during the game unless the weather conditions become severe. Reebok took over the contract to be the official athletic supplier to the NFL for all 32 teams’ uniforms. All teams had individual contracts with athletic suppliers. American Needle, which had a contract with a few teams before the Reebok deal, challenged the NFL in court over Reebok’s exclusive deal, with the NFL stating that it was a “single-entity league” instead of a group consisting of various owners; the case went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 2009, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Ameri
2003 NFL season
The 2003 NFL season was the 84th regular season of the National Football League. Regular-season play was held from September 4, 2003, to December 28, 2003. Due to damage caused by the Cedar Fire, Qualcomm Stadium was used as an emergency shelter, thus the Miami Dolphins–San Diego Chargers regular-season match on October 27 was instead played at Sun Devil Stadium, the home field of the Arizona Cardinals; the playoffs began on January 3, 2004. The NFL title was won by the New England Patriots when they defeated the Carolina Panthers, 32–29, in Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, on February 1; this was the last season until the 2016 NFL season where neither of the previous Super Bowl participants made the playoffs. If an onside kick inside the final five minutes of the game does not go 10 yards, goes out of bounds, or is touched illegally, the receiving team will have the option of accepting the penalty and getting the ball immediately; the kicking team was penalized, but had another chance to kick again from five yards back.
League officials encouraged networks to cut to a commercial break if an instant replay challenge review was initiated. Networks were not permitted to utilize those game stoppages for their prescribed commercial periods. Dick Hantak and Bob McElwee retired in the 2003 off-season. Hantak joined the league as a back judge in 1978, was assigned Super Bowl XVII in that position, he was promoted to referee in 1986, working Super Bowl XXVII. McElwee joined the NFL in 1976 as a line judge, became a referee in 1980, he was the referee for three Super Bowls: XXII, XXVIII, XXXIV. Walt Anderson and Pete Morelli were promoted to referee to replace McElwee. Cincinnati Bengals – Marvin Lewis. Dallas Cowboys – Bill Parcells. Detroit Lions – Steve Mariucci. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jack Del Rio. San Francisco 49ers – Dennis Erickson. Philadelphia Eagles – New stadium: Lincoln Financial Field. New Orleans Saints – New AstroPlay home turf by mid-season Atlanta Falcons – New FieldTurf surface Green Bay Packers – New remodeled Lambeau Field Chicago Bears – New remodelled Soldier Field.
Buffalo Bills – New AstroPlay home turf Atlanta Falcons – New logo, new uniforms Detroit Lions – New uniforms, added black trim on logo and numbers Philadelphia Eagles – Added silver trim to numbers on uniforms. Introduce new home alternative uniforms. Black uniforms with white numbers with midnight green shadow in numbers. San Diego Chargers – White pants with road uniforms. New England Patriots – Added third alternative uniforms. Silver uniforms. Miami Dolphins – Added third alternate uniforms. Orange uniforms. Houston Texans – Added third alternate uniforms. Red Uniforms. Cleveland Browns – Added new alternate orange pants last worn in the Kardiac Kids era of coach Sam Rutigliano. Tennessee Titans – Added third alternate uniforms, powder blue Indianapolis finished ahead of Tennessee in the AFC South based on better head-to-head record. Denver clinched the AFC 6 seed instead of Miami based on better conference record. Buffalo finished ahead of N. Y. Jets in the AFC East based on better division record.
Jacksonville finished ahead of Houston in the AFC South based on better division record. Oakland finished ahead of San Diego in the AFC West based on better conference record. Philadelphia clinched the NFC 1 seed instead of St. Louis based on better conference record. Seattle clinched the NFC 5 seed instead of Dallas based on strength of victory. Within each conference, the four division winners and the two wild card teams qualified for the playoffs; the four division winners are seeded 1 through 4 based on their overall won-lost-tied record, the wild card teams are seeded 5 and 6. The NFL does not use a fixed bracket playoff system, there are no restrictions regarding teams from the same division matching up in any round. In the first round, dubbed the wild-card playoffs or wild-card weekend, the third-seeded division winner hosts the sixth seed wild card, the fourth seed hosts the fifth; the 1 and 2 seeds from each conference receive a bye in the first round. In the second round, the divisional playoffs, the number 1 seed hosts the worst surviving seed from the first round, while the number 2 seed will play the other team.
The two surviving teams from each conference's divisional playoff games meet in the respective AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, hosted by the higher seed. Although the Super Bowl, the fourth and final round of the playoffs, is played at a neutral site, the designated home team is based on an annual rotation by conference. * Indicates overtime victory ** Indicates double overtime victory The following teams and players set all-time NFL records during the season: The 2003 NFL Draft was held from April 26 to 27, 2003 at New York City's Theater at Madison Square Garden. With the first pick, the Cincinnati Bengals selected quarterback Carson Palmer from the University of Southern California. NFL Record and Fact Book NFL History 2001– Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League Football Outsiders 2003 Team Efficiency Ratings Pro Football Reference.com – 2003
Don James (American football)
Donald Earl James was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at Kent State University from 1971 to 1974 and at the University of Washington from 1975 to 1992, compiling a career college football record of 178–76–3, his 1991 Washington team won a share of the national championship after completing a 12–0 season with a decisive win over Michigan in the Rose Bowl. James was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1997. James was born in 1932 at his family's home on the outskirts of Ohio, he was the fourth of five sons. Four of the five played football, the eldest, starred at Ohio State on the 1942 national championship team, played professional football for a decade. James attended Massillon Washington High School, played quarterback for the football team, graduated in 1950. James attended the University of Miami on a football scholarship, was the Hurricanes' quarterback in 1952 and 1953, he set Miami single-season records for completions and completion percentage.
He earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1954, was commissioned a lieutenant in the U. S. Army. James was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. James was graduate assistant for the Jayhawks at the University of Kansas under his former high school coach, Chuck Mather, received a master's degree in education, he coached high school football in Florida at Southwest Miami High School in 1959 was a college assistant coach for 12 seasons at Florida State and Colorado. James became a head coach in 1971 at Kent State in Ohio, where he had a 25–19–1 record in four years. There he coached future NFL great Jack Lambert, current college head coach Nick Saban of Alabama, former head coach Gary Pinkel of Missouri. During his four seasons at Kent, the Golden Flashes won their only Mid-American Conference title, in 1972, played in their first bowl game, the 1972 Tangerine Bowl. In December 1974, James was hired by University of Washington athletic director Joseph Kearney to succeed Jim Owens as head coach of the Washington Huskies.
Like Owens, James served as Husky head coach for 18 seasons, from 1975 until August 1993. He led the Huskies to a national championship in 1991. While at Washington, James' teams won four Rose Bowls, the Orange Bowl in January 1985, had a 10–5 record in all bowl games. Overall, James tallied a 153–57–2 record at Washington, including a then-record 98 wins in Pacific-10 Conference play.. Washington won 22 consecutive games from November 1990 to November 1992. James won national college coach of the year honors in 1977, 1984, 1991, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997. During the 1992 season, it was revealed. Among them, starting quarterback Billy Joe Hobert had received a series of loans totaling $50,000 made by a friend's father-in-law. While it was determined the loan was neither an NCAA violation nor an institutional violation, this was the first in a series of reports by the Seattle Times and Los Angeles Times that initiated Pacific-10 Conference and NCAA investigations.
These led to charges that Washington exhibited "lack of institutional control" over its handling of recruiting funds for on-campus visits and a Los Angeles booster summer jobs program. The Huskies received sanctions from both the Pacific-10 Conference. Though notably James and the coaching staff were not cited as having broken any rules, James resigned from his head coaching position on August 22, 1993, in protest of what were considered unfair sanctions against his team for minor, unsubstantiated, or fabricated infractions. James clarified he was protesting what was a betrayal by University President William Gerberding. Though he and Athletic Director Barbara Hedges had presented James the final list of penalties that all Pac-10 parties had agreed best for the football program and athletics, Gerberding argued in favor of altering the penalties against the program from a two-year TV revenue ban and one-year bowl ban, to a one-year TV revenue ban and two-year bowl ban. In a 2006 interview with columnist Blaine Newnham of The Seattle Times, James said his resignation from head coaching "probably saved his life".
James married his high school sweetheart, Carol Hoobler, a Massillon native who followed James to Miami where she became a cheerleader. They were married in August 1952 and had three children: Jeff and Jeni. James died of pancreatic cancer at his Kirkland residence in 2013 at age 80. In October 2017, the University of Washington unveiled a bronze statue of James in the northwest plaza of Husky Stadium. James' record at Washington against conference opponents ^ excludes non-conference loss to ASU in 1975Wins by UCLA and ASU were vacated, yielding 99–36–2 Assistant coaches under James who became NCAA or NFL head coaches: Keith Gilbertson: Idaho, Washington Skip Hall: Boise State Jim Heacock: Illinois State Jim Lambright: Washington Jim E. Mora: New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts Jim L. Mora: Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, UCLA Gary Pinkel: Toledo, Missouri Nick Saban: Toledo, Michigan State, LSU, Miami Dolphins, Alabama Matt Simon: North Texas Chris Tormey: Idaho, Nevada Jeff Woodruff: Eastern Michigan List of presid
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
Sports Illustrated is an American sports magazine owned by Meredith Corporation. First published in August 1954, it has over 3 million subscribers and is read by 23 million people each week, including over 18 million men, it was the first magazine with circulation over one million to win the National Magazine Award for General Excellence twice. It is known for its annual swimsuit issue, published since 1964, has spawned other complementary media works and products. There were two magazines named Sports Illustrated before the current magazine began on August 16, 1954. In 1936, Stuart Scheftel created Sports Illustrated with a target market for the sportsman, he published the magazine from 1936 to 1938 on a monthly basis. The magazine was a life magazine size and focused on golf and skiing with articles on the major sports, he sold the name to Dell Publications, which released Sports Illustrated in 1949 and this version lasted 6 issues before closing. Dell's version focused on major sports and competed on magazine racks against Sport and other monthly sports magazines.
During the 1940s these magazines were monthly and they did not cover the current events because of the production schedules. There was no large-base, weekly sports magazine with a national following on actual active events, it was that Time patriarch Henry Luce began considering whether his company should attempt to fill that gap. At the time, many believed sports was beneath the attention of serious journalism and did not think sports news could fill a weekly magazine during the winter. A number of advisers to Luce, including Life magazine's Ernest Havemann, tried to kill the idea, but Luce, not a sports fan, decided the time was right; the goal of the new magazine was to be a magazine, but with sports. Many at Time-Life scoffed at Luce's idea. Launched on August 16, 1954, it was not profitable and not well run at first, but Luce's timing was good; the popularity of spectator sports in the United States was about to explode, that popularity came to be driven by three things: economic prosperity and Sports Illustrated.
The early issues of the magazine seemed caught between two opposing views of its audience. Much of the subject matter was directed at upper-class activities such as yachting and safaris, but upscale would-be advertisers were unconvinced that sports fans were a significant part of their market. After more than a decade of steady losses, the magazine's fortunes turned around in the 1960s when Andre Laguerre became its managing editor. A European correspondent for Time, Inc. who became chief of the Time-Life news bureaux in Paris and London, Laguerre attracted Henry Luce's attention in 1956 with his singular coverage of the Winter Olympic Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo, which became the core of SI's coverage of those games. In May 1956, Luce brought Laguerre to New York to become assistant managing editor of the magazine, he was named managing editor in 1960, he more than doubled the circulation by instituting a system of departmental editors, redesigning the internal format, inaugurating the unprecedented use in a news magazine of full-color photographic coverage of the week's sports events.
He was one of the first to sense the rise of national interest in professional football. Laguerre instituted the innovative concept of one long story at the end of every issue, which he called the "bonus piece"; these well-written, in-depth articles helped to distinguish Sports Illustrated from other sports publications, helped launch the careers of such legendary writers as Frank Deford, who in March 2010 wrote of Laguerre, "He smoked cigars and drank Scotch and made the sun move across the heavens... His genius as an editor was that he made you want to please him, but he wanted you to do that by writing in your own distinct way."Laguerre is credited with the conception and creation of the annual Swimsuit Issue, which became, remains, the most popular issue each year. In 1990, Time Inc. merged with Warner Communications to form the media conglomerate Time Warner. In 2014, Time Inc. was spun off from Time Warner. In November 2017, Meredith Corporation announced that it would acquire Time Inc. and the acquisition was completed in January 2018.
However, in March 2018, Meredith stated that it would explore selling Sports Illustrated and several other former Time properties, arguing that they did not properly align with the company's lifestyle brands and publications. From its start, Sports Illustrated introduced a number of innovations that are taken for granted today: Liberal use of color photos—though the six-week lead time meant they were unable to depict timely subject matter Scouting reports—including a World Series Preview and New Year's Day bowl game round-up that enhanced the viewing of games on television In-depth sports reporting from writers like Robert Creamer, Tex Maule and Dan Jenkins. Regular illustration features by artists like Robert Riger. High school football Player of the Month awards. Inserts of sports cards in the center of the magazine 1994 Launched Sports Illustrated Interactive CD-ROM with StarPress Multimedia, Incorporates player stats and highlights from the year in sports. In 2015 Sports Illustrated purchased a group of software companies and combined them to create Sports Illustrated Play, a platform that offers sports league management software as a service.
In 1965, offset printing bega