History of the NFL Commissioner

commissionerNFL CommissionerCommissioner of FootballCommissioner of the NFLCommissioner postfirst presidentleague commissionerTemporary Secretary of the league
The Commissioner of the NFL is the chief executive of the National Football League (NFL).wikipedia
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Jim Thorpe

ThorpeThorpe, Jim
Hay chose his own running back, Jim Thorpe, as the league's inaugural President; Hay believed Thorpe's status and fame as an athlete would bring instant credibility to the league.
From 1920 to 1921, Thorpe was nominally the first president of the American Professional Football Association (APFA), which became the NFL in 1922.

Pete Rozelle

RozelleAlvin "Pete" RozelleRozelle Rule
In January 1960 at a meeting of NFL owners, he was the early frontrunner to retain the commissioner's job, but Los Angeles Rams general manager Pete Rozelle was ultimately elected to the post on January 26 after 23 ballots. After serving as a lawyer for the NFL, Tagliabue was selected by NFL owners to succeed Pete Rozelle as Commissioner of the NFL in 1989.
Rozelle served as the commissioner of the National Football League (NFL) for nearly thirty years, from January 1960 until his retirement in November 1989.

Paul Tagliabue

Paul "Tag" TagliabueCommissioner TagliabueTagliabue
After serving as a lawyer for the NFL, Tagliabue was selected by NFL owners to succeed Pete Rozelle as Commissioner of the NFL in 1989. In 1987, Goodell was appointed assistant to the president of the American Football Conference (Lamar Hunt), and under the tutelage of Commissioner Paul Tagliabue filled a variety of football and business operations roles, culminating with his appointment as the NFL's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in December 2001.
Paul John Tagliabue (born November 24, 1940) is a former Commissioner of the National Football League.

Joseph Carr

Joe CarrJoe F. Carr
At the same meeting where this dispute was resolved in favor of Ranney's own Akron Pros, Joseph Carr was named as the league's new president.

Roger Goodell

CommissionerCommissioner Roger GoodellGoodell
In 1987, Goodell was appointed assistant to the president of the American Football Conference (Lamar Hunt), and under the tutelage of Commissioner Paul Tagliabue filled a variety of football and business operations roles, culminating with his appointment as the NFL's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in December 2001.
Roger Stokoe Goodell (born February 19, 1959) is an American businessman who is currently the Commissioner of the National Football League (NFL).

Los Angeles Rams

RamsSt. Louis RamsLos Angeles/St. Louis Rams
In January 1960 at a meeting of NFL owners, he was the early frontrunner to retain the commissioner's job, but Los Angeles Rams general manager Pete Rozelle was ultimately elected to the post on January 26 after 23 ballots. He also embraced the idea of television blackouts for home teams, especially after watching the Los Angeles Rams lose money after they televised all of their 1950 season games.
Pete Rozelle, inducted as a contributor, served the Rams as public relations director and later general manager, but his induction was based mainly on his 29 years as NFL commissioner.

Spygate (NFL)

Spygate2007 New England Patriots videotaping controversy2007 National Football League videotaping controversy
On September 13, 2007, Goodell disciplined the New England Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick after New England attempted to videotape the defensive signals of the New York Jets on September 9.
Because the Patriots were instead videotaping the Jets' coaches from their own sideline during the game, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell deemed it to be in violation of league rules, stating that the act represented a calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid long-standing rules designed to encourage fair play and promote honest competition on the playing field.

Canton Bulldogs

Canton ProfessionalsCanton Athletic ClubBulldogs
In 1920, the Canton Bulldogs were one of 14 teams to form the American Professional Football Association (APFA), which would become the National Football League (NFL) two years later.

National Football League

NFLleagueNational Football League (NFL)
In 1920, the Canton Bulldogs were one of 14 teams to form the American Professional Football Association (APFA), which would become the National Football League (NFL) two years later. The Commissioner of the NFL is the chief executive of the National Football League (NFL).

Ralph Hay

Ralph Hay Award
Bulldogs owner Ralph Hay was named the first head of the league (the title was officially "Temporary Secretary") until a permanent president could be chosen.

Massillon Tigers

All-MassillonsMassillon, Ohio Tigersprofessional
Vernon Maginnis, who operated one of Akron's professional teams in 1919, wanted to field a team under the name of the Massillon Tigers in 1920.

Cleveland Tigers (NFL)

Cleveland TigersCleveland IndiansCleveland Tigers/Indians
Hay actively sought another investor for the Tigers, but because the Tigers of the 1910s had been operating at such major financial losses (Hay's primary reason for seeking a credible Tigers team was that Tigers games were major financial successes—for their opponents) and most of its players had defected to start the Cleveland Tigers, potential owners such as F.J. Griffiths and Cupid Black either balked at or ignored overtures to run the Tigers in 1920.

F.J. Griffiths

Hay actively sought another investor for the Tigers, but because the Tigers of the 1910s had been operating at such major financial losses (Hay's primary reason for seeking a credible Tigers team was that Tigers games were major financial successes—for their opponents) and most of its players had defected to start the Cleveland Tigers, potential owners such as F.J. Griffiths and Cupid Black either balked at or ignored overtures to run the Tigers in 1920.

Clinton Black

Hay actively sought another investor for the Tigers, but because the Tigers of the 1910s had been operating at such major financial losses (Hay's primary reason for seeking a credible Tigers team was that Tigers games were major financial successes—for their opponents) and most of its players had defected to start the Cleveland Tigers, potential owners such as F.J. Griffiths and Cupid Black either balked at or ignored overtures to run the Tigers in 1920.

Ohio League

Ohio League championsOLOhio League championship
Thorpe nominally oversaw what was in its first year a haphazard and somewhat informal league, not unlike the loose coalitions of squads such as the Ohio League, Western Pennsylvania League and New York League that had played prior to the APFA's formation.

Western Pennsylvania Professional Football Circuit

Western Pennsylvania CircuitWestern Pennsylvania championsW. Pennsylvania Champion
Thorpe nominally oversaw what was in its first year a haphazard and somewhat informal league, not unlike the loose coalitions of squads such as the Ohio League, Western Pennsylvania League and New York League that had played prior to the APFA's formation.

New York Pro Football League

New YorkNew York Pro ChampionshipNYPFL
Thorpe nominally oversaw what was in its first year a haphazard and somewhat informal league, not unlike the loose coalitions of squads such as the Ohio League, Western Pennsylvania League and New York League that had played prior to the APFA's formation.

Chicago Tigers

As a result, there is some dispute whether a handful of teams, including the Chicago Tigers and Buffalo All-Americans, ever actually joined the league at all.

Buffalo (NFL)

Buffalo BisonsBuffalo All-AmericansBuffalo Rangers
As a result, there is some dispute whether a handful of teams, including the Chicago Tigers and Buffalo All-Americans, ever actually joined the league at all.

New York City

New YorkNew York, New YorkNew York City, New York
His greatest personal achievement as league president was bringing his Bulldogs to New York City for a game against the All-Americans; this game, in which the All-Americans won 7–3, was played in front of approximately 20,000 fans at the Polo Grounds, a rousing success for the nascent league.

Polo Grounds

Manhattan FieldPolo Grounds (IV)Polo Grounds I
His greatest personal achievement as league president was bringing his Bulldogs to New York City for a game against the All-Americans; this game, in which the All-Americans won 7–3, was played in front of approximately 20,000 fans at the Polo Grounds, a rousing success for the nascent league.

Brunswick-Balke Collender Cup

By the April 1921 league meetings, the question of who had actually won the league championship (and thus the rights to the Brunswick-Balke Collender Cup) was still unresolved, as three teams (possibly four) laid claim to the title; there were even questions as to whether the league would survive beyond its first season, as the meeting had been postponed three months.

Stan Cofall

Thorpe was missing from that meeting, never to return to his post, as was vice-president Stan Cofall, leaving secretary Art Ranney to preside over the meeting (and future league president Carl Storck as secretary).

Art Ranney

Thorpe was missing from that meeting, never to return to his post, as was vice-president Stan Cofall, leaving secretary Art Ranney to preside over the meeting (and future league president Carl Storck as secretary).

Carl Storck

Thorpe was missing from that meeting, never to return to his post, as was vice-president Stan Cofall, leaving secretary Art Ranney to preside over the meeting (and future league president Carl Storck as secretary).