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When ten teams from the American Football League (AFL) joined the National Football League (NFL) in 1970, the NFL changed its Eastern and Western Conference to respectively American and National Conference (AFC and NFC). Each conference included five teams in the Eastern Division (ED) and four each in the Central Division (CD) and Western Division (WD). In addition, the NFL expanded to an eight-team playoff, which consisted of three division champions from each conference and a wild-card team who finished in second place with the highest winning percentage in the regular season.
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Some rule changes were, for example, adding a sudden-death overtime period for preseason and regular season games, moving goal posts from the goal line to end lines, eliminating roll blocking and cutting of wide receivers, and reducing penalties from 15 to 10 yards for players’ offensive holding, illegal use of hands, and tripping.
The USFL had no entry fee. Each team was required to post a $ 1.5 million letter of credit with the league office and agree to spend at least $ 6 million on operating expenses during their first 2 years of operation. For the ownership history of USFL franchises, see Quirk and Fort 1992, pp. 442–446.
References for this chapter’s contents include such books as: Jozsa and Guthrie 1999; Jozsa 2010; Peterson 1997; King 1994. For recent histories including financial data of NFL franchises, see Badenhausen et al. 2013, http://www.forbes.com. The league’s history is in the Official 2013 NFL Record & Fact Book (New York, NY: National Football League, 2013); History of NFL Franchises 1920–Present at http://www.profootballhof.com cited 19 November 2013, and National Football League at http://www.nfl.com cited 21 November 2013.
According to Table A6 in Appendix A, three NFL teams moved from smaller to larger metropolitan areas and the other six from larger to smaller areas. The Rams left Los Angeles twice while relocations of teams in 1988 and 1998 were to areas with similar populations.
- After 1970
Frank P. Jozsa Jr.
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