Change in Professional Football

Change in the NFL logo from 1980 and 2008

The many big names,plays, and moments in football history truly show what this sport is all about. Names like Bo Jackson, Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, and Vince Lombardi who every one knows as some of the greats. There are two plays that stand out to me as the most memorable plays in NFL history with the "helmet catch" by David Tyree to help the NY Giants win Super bowl XLII. Then the "immaculate reception" where the Pittsburgh Steelers had one play to get a touchdown and the quarter back threw it to a receiver who got the ball knocked away from him, but caught by running back Franco Harris who ran it in for an exciting unexpected touchdown. But even though all these things are great there are differences in the time period which have different rules, players, and even very different teams.

David Tyree's famous "helmet catch"

Rule Change

Over the span of the NFL's history, there have been many controversial calls and rule changes. There is a big difference between the first Super bowl of professional football and to now. In 1967 (year of first Super Bowl) when the "sling-shot" goal post was made standard around the NFL. It was positioned at the front of the end zone, until 1974 when the goal post was moved to the back, so they wouldn't interfere with play in a goal post collision. In 1978 a 16 game regular season instead of  14 was made, which it still is today, and a defender could only make contact with a receiver 5 yards from the line of scrimmage or until the ball is released from the quarterback's hand. No longer would you only be able to make just one point after a touchdown, a two point conversion was accepted into the league in 1994. In 1996 helmet to helmet contact by a defender would be flagged as a personal foul and possibly fined. Helmet to helmet contact is still a big deal today, if not a bigger problem. Players have gotten bigger and faster which have forced the tighter regulation of this rule because of all the concussions in football today. In fact just last month a judge approved a plan where the NFL will provide a fund of up to 1 billion dollars to assist players suffering from concussions after their playing days are over. Haloti Ngata (a starting defensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens) is a perfect example weighing in at 335 pounds with a 5 second 40 yard dash, and if hit by him it would be just under the force of a 30 mph car crash with out a seatbelt. A dramatic change in NFL  history will be the instant replay and a step into the new age of football in the 21st century.

Change in players over the years, showing the size increase
Referee reviews contreversial play during a regular season NFL game

From One Team to Another

In 1967 (year of the first Super Bowl) the league consisted of 16 teams which were Dallas, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Washington, Cleveland, New York, Pittsburgh, St. Louis Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Francisco. There are now twice as many teams. Also some of the teams have moved from their original city and some even changed their whole name. Most every team, except for some of the new ones, has had a logo design change too, some many times. The Washington Redskins have had 8 logo changes while the Houston Texans haven't had any during their franchise history. Teams like the Colts have moved from Baltimore to Indianapolis and the Rams from Los Angeles to St. Louis. The NFL's teams have moved and evolved a lot from when they started out. Most teams were forced to move from city to city in the beginning  because of economic reasons and to survive in the league. Now a days the sport is so high-in demand every team has enough money to not only stay in their city but sign top prospects for millions of dollars. Football wasn't as big a sport in the past. The first televised game had about 500 people watching. This past years Super Bowl had 114.4 million fans tuned in. The cost of attending a Super Bowl has increased dramatically with the first Super Bowl ticket costing no more than 12 dollars. This past year the average ticket cost around 4,600 dollars. This is a huge leap showing how popular the sport of football has become.

Average Super Bowl ticket price
Washington Redskins logo adaptation over 50 years
The Houston Oilers become the Tennessee Titans

The league's history has some of the best stories of triumph and success. The NFL has evolved and made changes to allocate the needs of the fans who truly love and know football. It brings people together to have a good time to enjoy football no matter the occasion, even if you have school or work the next day. The game of football is a sport of excitement, adrenaline rushing, anticipation for a huge hit, interception, or Hail Mary touchdown to win the game!