Pre-Merger History of the national football league
First NFL Headquarters (Columbus, OH)
When football started becoming a popular sport in the late 1910's, businessmen and athletes such as Jim Thorpe began proposing ideas to create the first professional football league. Originally beginning as a recreational league exclusive to the state of Ohio, the league became official on August 20, 1920 and became known as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) . That year, the Akron Pro's won the first championship game. In 1922, the APFA was reorganized into a new league, the National Football League (NFL). Slowly but surely, the NFL gained popularity and began to prosper as one of America's greatest sporting leagues. Throughout the years before the emergence of the AFL, the NFL battled several rivals, the most threatening being the All-American Football Conference. After absorbing three teams from the AAFC, the NFL was unchallenged until the AFL.