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Ninety-two years ago Tuesday, the APFA became the NFL

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NFL Logo


According to the NFL’s Record and Fact Book, today is the 92nd anniversary of the American Professional Football Association changing its name to something one word shorter — and a whole lot more memorable, as it turned out.

What, you’ve never heard of the American Professional Football Association — you know, the APFA?

We can see you furrowing your brows, wondering if you saw the name somewhere on an office park marquee. And it does sound like the overly serious governing body of a pro soccer league (motto: “No Biting In This League, Friends”).

But no, the American Professional Football Association isn’t a soccer league. Instead, it is the Quarrymen of sports league names, for the American Professional Football Association was the NFL before it was dubbed the NFL.

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, APFA clubs met in Cleveland on June 24 and June 25, 1922 to discuss league matters, including moving to stop teams from using players who were still in college.

That’s a change that ultimately has held up, for all intents and purposes. While players can forfeit their eligibility after their third collegiate season, NFL teams can’t enlist, say, college freshmen to come give Sunday football a try.

And at that meeting in Cleveland, the APFA also officially took the NFL as its name.

And that’s another change that has held up quite well.