History of American Football

  • The First Game

    The First Game
    The very first game of intercollegiate football was played between Rutgers and Princeton.
  • Football Spreads

    Football Spreads
    Columbia University fields a Football team for intercollegiate play.
  • No Games Played

    No Games Played
  • Continued Growth

    Continued Growth
    Teams were fielded from Princeton, Yale, Rutgers, Columba and Stevens Tech for the 1872 season.
  • The Standardization of Rules

    The Standardization of Rules
    Football Becomes Standardized On this day, representatives from Yale, Columbia, Princeton and Rutgers met at a hotel in New York City named Fifth Avenue Hotel to work out the first set of rules for intercollegiate football.
  • The 1873 Season Begins

    The 1873 Season Begins
    the 1873 season was marked by the addition of another team, as well as having no decided champion.
  • Rivalries Begin

    Rivalries Begin
    One of the first major rivalries in college football begins -- Harvard vs Yale
  • First Collegiate Confrence

    First Collegiate Confrence
    Harvard, Columbia and Princeton form the Intercollegiate Football Association.
  • Yale Joins the IFA

    Yale Joins the IFA
    Although Yale was not an original memeber of the IFA due to a despute regarding the number of players on each team, they later joined in 1879.
  • The First Rule Changes

    The First Rule Changes
  • Field Size Established

    Field Size Established
    A rule chagned required all football fields to be a 120 yards by 53 and 1/3rd yards.
  • Down-and-DIstance Rules Established

    Down-and-DIstance Rules Established
  • Length of the Game

    Length of the Game
    Time rules are established, making the game consist of two 45-minute halves.
  • First All-American Team Selected

    First All-American Team Selected
    The firstCollegiate All-American Team was selected. The team consisted of 3 players from Yale, 3 players from Harvard and 5 players from Princeton.
  • First Professional Player

    First Professional Player
  • First Professional Game

    First Professional Game
    The first wholly professional game was played on September 3rd, 1895.
  • Expansion

    43 unversities were actively fielding football teams.
  • First Collegiate Bowl Game

    First Collegiate Bowl Game
    The first ever Rose Bowl was played in Pasadena, California.
  • The IAA is Formed

    The IAA is Formed
    62 schools met in order to establish rules promoting player safety. These schools formed the Intercollegiate Athletic Association, which later became known as the NCAA.
  • Foward Pass Introduced

    Foward Pass Introduced
    A rule change legalized the foward pass, though it went relatively unused for years.
  • First Forward Pass is Thrown

    First Forward Pass is Thrown
    The very first forward pass was thrown by Bradbury Robinson, though it fell incomplete.
  • Field Goals Value Lowered

    Field Goals Value Lowered
    A successful field goal attempt was lowered to 3 points.
  • Value of Touchdown Increased

    Value of Touchdown Increased
    The value of a touchdown was increased from 5 to 6 points.
  • Roughing the Passer Introduced

    Roughing the Passer Introduced
    The Roughing the Passer penatly was introduced.
  • APFA Formed

    APFA Formed
    The American Professional Football Association, which later changed its name to the National Footvball League, is formed. It originally consisted of 14 teams, of which only 2 still exist today.
  • Green Bay Joins the APFA

    Green Bay Joins the APFA
    The Green Bay Packers joined the APFA in 1921, though they had been a team since 1919. The Packers have the record for longest use of an unchanged team name.
  • Popularity in the South

    Popularity in the South
    Football became wildly popular in the south in the 1930's. Two major rivalries are formed at this time, Auburn and Georgia, and Virginia and North Carolina.
  • NFL's First Playoff Game

    NFL's First Playoff Game
    The Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartants both held the same record at the end of the 1932 season, which prompted the NFL to hold its first playoff game. The Chicago Bears won 9-0.
  • First Televised Game

    First Televised Game
    NBC broadcasted [the first professional football game]( on television. It was a match between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • NFLPA is Formed

    NFLPA is Formed
    The National Football League Players Association is formed by Creighton Miller in order to help protect professional players.
  • AFL is Formed

    AFL is Formed
    Texas Business man Lamar Hunt (center) lead the formation of the first major rival to the National Football League, which was known as the American Football League.
  • The Super Bowl

    The Super Bowl
    The first AFL-NFL Championship Game is played between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Cheifs. The offical name of the game was changed to the Super Bowl in 1970. The Packers won 35-10.
  • Super Bowl III

    Super Bowl III
    The Baltimore Colts and the New York Jets met in Super Bowl 3. The Jets were seen as the underdog, as they were from the AFL which was viewed as a weaker league. Joe Namath and the Jets pulled off a shocking upset against Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts, winning 16-7. This gave the AFL some credibility as a competitive league to the NFL.
  • AFL-NFL Merger

    AFL-NFL Merger
    Originally being announced on June 8, 1966, 1970 was the year the AFL and NFL merged to form what we know now as the NFL. The leagues formed the confrences we have now that makes up the NFL, with the AFL becoming the AFC and the original NFL becoming the NFC.