From Rugby to Wrigley
1869 Rutgers and Princeton played a college soccer football game, the first ever, November 6. The game used modified London Football Association rules. During the next seven years, rugby gained favor with the major eastern schools over soccer, and modern football began to develop from rugby.
Fast forward to 1939 when 939 The New York Giants defeated the Pro All-Stars 13-10 in the first Pro Bowl, at Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, January 15.
Football in Motion
A six-team rival league, the third to call itself the American Football League, was formed in 1940, and the Columbus Bullies won its championship. By 1959 there were seven franchises.
Super Bowl Time
The Pro Football Hall of Fame was dedicated at Canton, Ohio, September 7 1963. Green Bay defeated Oakland 33-14 in Super Bowl II at Miami, January 14. The game had the first $3-million gate in pro football history.
Making TV History
In 1980 Pittsburgh defeated the Los Angeles Rams 31-19 in Super Bowl XIV at Pasadena to become the first team to win four Super Bowls, January 20. The game was viewed in a record 35,330,000 homes. By 1999 the game was viewed by 127.5 million viewers, the sixth most-watched program in U.S. television history, January 31.
Paid attendance for all NFL games increased in 1999 for the third year in a row and was the highest ever in the 80-year history of the league. It marked the first time in league history that the 20-million paid attendance mark was reached for all games in a season, March 27.