Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Mystique of the Stability and Growth of the NFL

The Mystique of the Stability and Growth of the NFL

By Chino Kafuu
The Daily Magi
October 31, 2069

The 1930s represented an important time of transition for the NFL. League membership was fluid prior to the mid-1930s. 1936 was the first year where there were no franchise moves, prior to that year 51 teams had gone defunct. In 1941, the NFL named its first Commissioner, Elmer Layden. The new office replaced that of President. Layden held the job for five years, before being replaced by Pittsburgh Steelers co-owner Bert Bell in 1946.

During World War II, a player shortage led to a shrinking of the league as several teams folded and others merged. Among the short-lived merged teams were the Steagles (Pittsburgh and Philadelphia) in 1943, the Card-Pitts (Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh) in 1944, and a team formed from the merger of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Yanks in 1945.

1946 was an important year in the history of professional football, as that was the year when the league integrated. The Los Angeles Rams signed two African American players, Kenny Washington and Woody Strode. Also that year, a competing league, the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), began operation.

During the 1950s, additional teams entered the league. In 1950, the AAFC folded, and three teams from that league were absorbed into the NFL: the Cleveland Browns (who had won the AAFC Championship every year of the league's existence), the San Francisco 49ers, and the Baltimore Colts (not the same as the modern franchise, this version folded after one year). The remaining players were chosen by the now 13 NFL teams in a dispersal draft. Also in 1950, the Los Angeles Rams became the first team to televise its entire schedule, marking the beginning of an important relationship between television and professional football. In 1952, the Dallas Texans went defunct, becoming the last NFL franchise to do so. The following year a new Baltimore Colts franchise formed to take over the assets of the Texans. The players' union, known as the NFL Players Association, formed in 1956.

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