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The National Football League

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 4 (954 words)
Categories: Football, Nation
Downloads: 19
Views: 1

The National Football League (NFL) is arguably the most successful sports league in the United States, if not the world. It is currently comprised of 32 teams, which generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually for all of the team owners and for the cities that host them. Yet the NFL monolith has not always been a part of organized football. The large and powerful NFL known today is a relatively recent creation, starting less than 40 years ago.

Prior to that date, the NFL was one of only two, relatively small, rival football leagues.

Today’s NFL has done more than just grow. It has also developed strict policies for community involvement, player ethics, and player salaries. Despite some recent issues with professional football players and the law, the new commissioner has begun to rein in some abuses by setting real penalties for improper behavior, taking steps to assure a brighter future for the league as it moves into this century.

League Origins The American game of football grew out of the sport of rugby. The first official American football rules were written in 1892 (NFL. om, 2007, History). Football in its modern form began in 1920 with the formation of the American Professional Football Conference (APFC), although the rules at that time were considerably different. The oldest still-existing team, the Arizona Cardinals, was formed in 1899. In 1922, the APFC reorganized and became the National Football League (NFL. com, 2007, History). The original 18 teams that comprised the NFL included the Ohio-based all-(American) Indian, the Oorang Indians, sponsored by the Oorang dog kennel, and the Chicago Bears.

The Bears were owned by Curly Lambeau, now immortalized by Lambeau Field, who had bought the franchise from the APFC for $50. The current two-conference league formed in 1969 with the merger of the NFL and the American Football League (NFL. com, 2007, History). The following year the owners, the Players Negotiating Committee, and the NFL Players Association all agreed to make contributions to player pension and insurance benefits, disability payments, widows’ benefits, maternity benefits, and dental benefits. In addition, the organizations agreed also provided for increased preseason game and per diem payments (NFL. om, 2007, History). Current Policies Football is a violent game; therefore, it is very easy to perceive of football players as violent people. It is perhaps for that reason that the NFL has a policy requiring teams to be active in the communities in which they are located, during something called “NFL Tuesdays. ” The New Orleans Saints, who were themselves affected by the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, participate in this kind of outreach. They have many community programs including an annual charity auction, the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, and a Coaching Academy (NFL. com, 2007, Join the Team).

In addition to local involvement, the NFL at large is involved with the United Way and the One World educational program (NFL. com, 2007, Join the Team). Part of the NFL’s success rests with money management. Salary caps have kept player parity between teams and revenue sharing and collective bargaining agreements have kept owners and players relatively happy. Revenue sharing has been in place since the beginning of the league. That policy was challenged, however, in 2005 when large-market teams protested sharing their revenues with smaller market teams (Yost, 2006, p. 2).

Because of that challenge, the NFL Players Union announced that without the revenue sharing, there would be no collective bargaining–a policy that was also at issue that year. After realizing the NFL could lose everything that had made it great, in particular its distribution of talent among all teams no matter how large or small the market, the owners eventually backed down and agreed to a revenue sharing agreement that will last until 2011 (Yost, 2006, pp. 2-3). The NFL has had some trouble with player ethics in recent years. Football players have been arrested–and in some cases tried and convicted–for drugs, rape, and even murder.

The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell has, however, made the announcement that the league will be taking a hard line on players that break the rules, as well as an even harder line on those that break the laws. In addition to being fined or suspended for uniform violations, the news has recently covered an incident in which a player was suspended for being an “embarrassment” to the team and to the league. One rule that has been recently implemented is the “Shawne Merriman Rule,” which forbids a player that has violated the banned substance policy from being recognized in the post-season for his achievements on the field (Robinson, 2007, par. ). Discussion The NFL is making an effort to be more than simply a sports organization; rather, it appears that the NFL is attempting to become part of the American culture. In addition to these efforts, the NFL appears to be attempting to make more of an effort to reach the players, both as law-maker and as arbiter, as opposed to being an unapproachable office filled with policy-making suits. However, the organization finds some of its funds overwhelmed by the needs of a league that is no longer young.

For example, the G3 Fund that helps fund new stadiums, has been drained by facilities being built in Kansas City and in New York (Robinson, 2007, par. 15). The NFL is a vibrant organization, even as it fast approaches its first century mark. Improvements are being made to drug testing policies and there have been efforts made to bring American football to other countries. Without doubt, the NFL has changed from the original organization; however, most of those changes have been positive ones that make the future seem quite attractive for the NFL and its fans.

Cite this essay

The National Football League. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/national-football-league-new-essay

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