Intro to the NFL – NFL for Dummies or Beginners!

Welcome to The Play Reaction! I’m Cory Draper, and this is your intro
to the NFL. Think of this as your cliff notes on what
the NFL is all about. So you can land that sports-obsessed client,
participate in those awkward break room conversations, or impress that guy or girl by pretending
to be totally into football, even though you actually don’t care but they’re super
hot. In this video I’ll give you all the info
you need to have a foundational knowledge of the most popular sports league in America. We’ll go over basic history, rules, and
big dates on the calendar to help you carry a conversation with an actual NFL fan year-round. So let’s get started! NFL stands for “National Football League.” You may hear friends call it the “No Fun
League” because of its rules against touchdown celebrations or hard hits, or “Not For Long,”
which is reference to the short average career in the league (three years, by the way). Here’s where it all began: The NFL was established in 1920 and began
as the APFA, the American Professional Football Association. It only consisted of 14 teams, and the league
– and the game of football – looked entirely different than it does today. Players wore leather helmets, they ran the
ball on every down, and the teams consisted of a bunch of white dudes with dad bods…a
lot like Tom Brady in his combine photo, or Chris Pratt before he was Star-Lord, or Val Kilmer
after… well, after he just gave up. Only two of the original franchises still
exist: The Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears), and the Chicago Cardinals…now the
Arizona Cardinals. Fast forward to 1960 when a bunch of disgruntled,
old, rich guys decided to band together. They were denied bids for their own NFL franchise,
and in typical millionaire fashion, they decided to just go and start their own league. They called it the American Football League,
and after just a few years, became a big competitor for the NFL. The NFL had no choice. This is America, after all, so when Capitalism
did what it does best and caused player salaries to skyrocket because of so much competition,
the two leagues decided to merge into one happy, unopposed pro football giant. (sigh) America… (Star Spangled Banner) So began what is referred to as the “common
era” of the NFL in 1966, when they announced the merger. While the merger didn’t become official
until 1970, they decided to have the best teams of the two leagues play each other every
year in an end-all, be-all championship game…a BOWL of sorts…that may or may not become
“Super.” You know…that bowl? We call it The Big Game because we’re afraid
of lawyers? You know? They know. So now we’re all caught up to the NFL as
we know it. The league is now broken up into two “conferences”:
The NFC and the AFC. There are 16 teams in each conference. For those of you who black out when math is
present, that’s 32 teams total. Each of those two conferences are evenly broken
up into four divisions, which are named and organized by region: North, South, East, and
West. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not exactly. Some teams are in a division that makes no
sense for their location. For instance, the Cowboys are in the NFC East
when they play in Dallas, and the Chiefs play in Kansas City, but were placed in the AFC
West. This has been done to keep old rivalries alive,
when NFL added expansion teams and had to reorganize divisions. So you have all these teams, and they go through
a 17-week regular season with only one week off for each team. Most games are on Sundays, Thursdays, and
Mondays, and sometimes Saturdays late in the season. We then have four rounds of playoffs, all
leading to the Super Bowl championship. But football doesn’t just end there, no
way. Not in this country. Because just weeks after the Super Bowl, you
begin the NFL offseason. First, you have the NFL Free Agency period
in March, which is when players, whose contracts have ended and did not re-sign with their
teams, are declared available to the highest bidder. Think of it as if your favorite TV show had
a contract with a network, and the network decided not to renew after the 4th season…and
then other networks started calling and offering big money to be able to play the show on their
station. It’s kind of like when Buffy went to UPN
after leaving the WB. Or when Cougartown went from ABC to TBS…or
when Family Guy was cancelled by FOX, picked up by Cartoon Network, and then renewed back
on FOX when they realized they’re terrible at making decisions. I mean…Firefly? Really? You’re gonna cancel that and pump out shows
like CELEBRITY BOXING? Anyway, after Free Agency, the next big thing
is the NFL Draft in late April/early May. This is perhaps the biggest event on the NFL
offseason calendar. This is when all NFL teams get to choose the
top players from college to join their team. Once those college kids are drafted and signed,
they officially become rookies, and the top picks become instant millionaires. Seems like a great idea. After the draft, you have rookie camps, minicamps,
and Organized Team Activities, or OTAs. Basically these are workout and conditioning
programs, where we get to have our first look at the new free agents and draft picks. But there are no pads and no hitting. Just a lot of jogging and catching. Yeah…it’s really exciting. In June we hit a dark period when there’s
noting going on for weeks and I weep openly in the fetal position. It’s also the time when a lot of players
get arrested, however, so there’s still no shortage of news. And just when we feel like we can no longer
live and consider ending it all, NFL Training camps begin in late July. This is when practice ramps up and the pads
come on. Guys start to separate themselves and win
positions. Soon after that, the NFL Preseason begins
and you start to see poor souls like me glued to a TV just to see that 4th string defensive
tackle our team drafted in the 7th round. Pulling for ya, Stevie T! This goes on for four weeks, and then BAM! Early September hits, the glorious NFL regular
season begins, and I find joy in life again. Until my team loses in week one, which inevitably happens So what about the rules of football? Well, I could stand here and give you the basics of football, but there honestly are already some great videos on this that are
fun to watch and give you a great foundation. I will link to my favorite one below, from
Cub Studio. Be sure to check it out! So there you have it. Your intro to the NFL. You now have a foundational knowledge as to
what the heck the NFL is all about. My goal is to do videos like this weekly,
each one either giving you some history, or breaking down major NFL news as it hits, so
you can be up to date and in the know without having to do any research. Think of The Play Reaction as your TL;DR of
the NFL. Whether you’re not interested in the football,
you’re thinking about dabbling, or you’re a hardcore fan, there will be something for
you! So if you liked this video and want to see
more, be sure to click subscribe as well as that little bell icon next to it, so you’ll
be informed as soon as another one is posted. Also, let me know in the comments what you
would like to see me cover! Thanks for watching.

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