Franchises in the National Football League have a long history. From the National Football League's inception with 14 members in 1920 to the present 32 clubs, here's an overview of every franchise that has belonged to the NFL over the years. As well as listing the current owner of each team, this article also lists the previous owners and their families where relevant.
The Pittsburgh Pirates were a major league baseball team that played from 1892 to 1960. The team was originally named the Cincinnati Reds but changed its name before the start of the season. Before the Reds, there was no other team in Ohio so they are considered the first modern-day franchise in Ohio.
The Baltimore Orioles were a major league baseball team that played from 1954 to 1968. The team was established by the American League as one of two new expansion teams (along with the Chicago White Sox) and replaced the Boston Braves who moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers. Before the Orioles, there was no other team in Maryland so they are considered the first modern-day franchise in Maryland.
The Cleveland Indians were a major league baseball team that played from 1901 to 1948. The team was established by the American League as one of two new expansion teams (along with the Chicago White Sox) and replaced the Buffalo Bisons who had only existed for one season.
The NFL did not have a defined number of games for clubs to play from 1920 through 1934, instead establishing a minimum. Beginning in 1935, the league imposed a 12-game regular season for each team, which was eventually reduced to 11 games in 1937 and 10 games in 1943, owing mostly to World War II.
Franchises in the National Football League have a long history. From the National Football League's inception with 14 members in 1920 to the present 32 clubs, here's an overview of every franchise that has belonged to the NFL over the years.
The NFL bounced back and forth between fourteen and twenty-one franchises for numerous years. They finally reached a pinnacle of twenty-two teams in 1926, a figure they would not surpass until the 1960s. Many NFL clubs were forced to close due to the challenges created by the Great Depression. The Cleveland Indians of the American League even moved to Houston during this time period so that their owner could keep his baseball team afloat.
The NFL began the 1926 season with twelve teams but had to reduce its roster from ninety players to eighty-nine due to a ban on substitutions in the last quarter of each game. This rule was put into place to prevent defensive players from being removed from games with no penalty while also preserving the competitive balance of the league.
By the end of the 1926 season only six teams remained, and four of those teams had shared stadiums throughout the year. The New York Giants and Chicago Bears played all of their home games at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan while the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions played all of theirs at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. These are the only teams that remain today; the others have either merged or relocated.
There were two major factors that led to the expansion of the NFL in the early 1930s: the Great Depression and the advent of television. As mentioned earlier, many teams closed down during this time period so that their owners could keep their organizations alive.
1920 The National Football League was created in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association; two years later, it was renamed the National Football League. The Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears) and the Racine Cardinals are two of its ten original clubs that still exist, albeit in different locales (now the Arizona Cardinals). The Rock Island Independents were the first team from Illinois when they began play in 1930.
The first season consisted of a 16-game schedule with each club playing both other members of the division twice and all others once. The Giants and Redskins tied for first place with 7-1 records, but the Giants had beaten the Redskins so they got the top spot by default because there was no playoff system at the time. The second season had a four-team league split into a northern and southern division with the winner going to the NFL Championship game. The Chicago Bears won their first title in 1952 over the Washington Redskins.
In 1958, the number of teams increased to 14 as the Pittsburgh Steelers joined the NFL. Before this point, only the Giants and Redskins played for the championship. In 1964, the format changed again with two new divisions being added: East and West. This lasted until 1970 when another change took place and now there are three geographical divisions: North, South, and West. Each team plays every other team within their division twice and all others once. The 1972 season was the last one with the current format, as next year the league expanded to 16 teams.