As the strongest of the American professional sports leagues, it is difficult to imagine a time when the National Football League was not the behemoth we know today. Yet, when the NFL was founded in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, professional football was a peripheral concern of sports fans. Professional football was viewed as something of a mercenary version of the "purer" college game that garnered more interest from the public.
Despite its obscure beginnings, by the end of World War II, professional football was vying with college football for attention. And although the All-America Football Conference briefly rivaled the APFA, its demise contributed three teams to the NFL: the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts and San Francisco 49ers.
The most serious threat to the NFL came with the formation of the AFL in 1959. For its first few season, the AFL operated independently of the NFL, but in 1966 a partial merger with the NFL was achieved, with a full merger to come later on. The agreement between the AFL and NFL called for a championship to be played between the two leagues. The first two championship games - Super Bowls I and II - seemed to reinforce the notion that the NFL was by far the superior league. This was reversed the following two season as AFL teams defeated favored NFL teams; in Super Bowl III, the New York Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts, and in Super Bowl IV, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Minnesota Vikings.
The full merger between the leagues was completed in 1970, with all ten AFL teams and their statistics becoming part of the NFL. Since then there have been other rivals to the NFL such as the USFL, WFL and XFL, but none offered serious competition to the status of the NFL.
In addition to becoming the dominant professional football league, the NFL has created a huge market for sports paraphernalia. Hats, toys, footballs, jerseys and other NFL items are more popular than ever. The NFL experience even extends to fabric. At J&O Fabrics, we carry a large assortment of in NFL cotton, NFL flannel, NFL polar fleece and tailgate vinyl.
Regardless of what attracts you to the NFL, your Sunday experience will be all the better with our 100% cotton NFL Fabrics. With these exclusive NFL fabrics you'll be ready for every jarring tackle, acrobatic reception and laser pass.
The NFL Fabrics are not suitable for children's sleepwear. All patterns have been licensed by the National Football League (NFL), and are for individual consumption only. Any other use of the NFL fabric is prohibited and illegal.