Football in America began with two main leagues: the National Football League and the American Football League. The champion of each league played the other in an early form of the Super Bowl. These two leagues eventually combined to form the National Football League. The teams in the original NFL joined the National Football Conference. The teams that were in the original AFL (not the indoor kind) joined the Amercian Football Conference. I don't know dates or anything like that, but a good place to find them is in the World Almanac. The NFL has always been the predominant professional football league in America. Four leagues calling themselves the American Football League sprang up to compete against it, the first three in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s. They quickly folded. The fourth AFL, which began play in 1960, was the only league to ever pose a significant challenge to the NFL -- enough to force a merger in 1970 and create a championship game to be played between the two leagues. That game is what we now call the Super Bowl. The AFL of 1960-69 added the Bills, Patriots, Bengals, Dolphins, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders, Broncos, Jets, and Titans (then the Houston Oilers) to the NFL. The All-America Football Conference also challenged the NFL from 1946 through 1949. When that league folded, the NFL admitted three teams: the Browns, 49ers, and Colts -- although not the same Colts franchise that exists today.
They usually come through a youth academy, then reserves, then first team for lower leagues and move up to the top leagues, maybe get an international call up, some finish their careers at their club and others go to leagues where the football isn't as good such as USA and Australia. Some then do their coaching badges and become a manager or get tv work.
The first American football games were played by the IVY League schools Yale, Harvard and Princeton. By the early 20th century, there were many deaths, and the president, Teddy Roosevelt. was going to outlaw the game unless some chaneges were made. The schools formed the NCAA and made rules and regulations. These rules also introduced the first forward pass in American football. The rest is history.
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