1898 A touchdown was changed from four points to five.
1904 A field goal was changed from five points to four.
1909 A field goal dropped from four points to three.
1912 A touchdown was increased from five points to six.
1948 Halfback Fred Gehrke of the Los Angeles Rams painted horns on the Rams' helmets, the first modern helmet emblems in pro football.
1950 Unlimited free substitution was restored, opening the way for the era of two platoons and specialization in pro football, January 20.
1956 Grabbing an opponent's facemask (other than the ball carrier) was made illegal. Using radio receivers to communicate with players on the field was prohibited.
1962 Both leagues prohibited grabbing any player's facemask. [meaning that for 6 years, you could only grab the ball carriers face mask...oh man o_O]
1968 The movie Heidi became a footnote in sports history when NBC didn't show the last :50 of the Jets-Raiders game in order to permit the children's special to begin on time. The Raiders scored two touchdowns in the last 42 seconds to win 43-32, November 17.
1969 Vince Lombardi became part owner, executive vice-president, and head coach of the Washington Redskins, February 7.
1970 The merged 26-team league adopted rules changes putting names on the backs of players' jerseys, making a point after touchdown worth only one point, and making the scoreboard clock the official timing device of the game, March 18.
Lombardi died of cancer at 57, September 3.
1972 The method of determining won-lost percentage in standings changed. Tie games, previously not counted in the standings, were made equal to a half-game won and a half-game lost, May 24.
1973 A jersey numbering system was adopted, April 5: 1-19 for quarterbacks and specialists, 20-49 for running backs and defensive backs, 50-59 for centers and linebackers, 60-79 for defensive linemen and interior offensive linemen other than centers, and 80-89 for wide receivers and tight ends. Players who had been in the NFL in 1972 could continue to use old numbers.
A rival league, the World Football League, was formed and was reported in operation, October 2. It had plans to start play in 1974.
1975 The World Football League folded, October 22. [and you thought it was just the XFL that couldn't hold interest]
1981 Oakland defeated Philadelphia 27-10 in Super Bowl XV at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, to become the first wild-card team to win a Super Bowl, January 25.
The owners adopted a disaster plan for re-stocking a team should the club be involved in a fatal accident, March 20.
1982 The 1982 season was reduced from a 16-game schedule to nine as the result of a 57-day players' strike.
The strike was called by the NFLPA at midnight on Monday, September 20, following the Green Bay at New York Giants game. Play resumed November 21-22 following ratification of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by NFL owners, November 17 in New York.
1984 The Los Angeles Raiders defeated Washington 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII at Tampa Stadium, January 22. The game achieved a 46.4 rating and 71.0 share.
1986 Chicago defeated New England 46-10 in Super Bowl XX at the Louisiana Superdome, January 26. The Patriots had earned the right to play the Bears by becoming the first wild-card team to win three consecutive games on the road. The NBC telecast replaced the final episode of M*A*S*H as the most-viewed television program in history, with an audience of 127 million viewers, according to A.C. Nielsen figures. In addition to drawing a 48.3 rating and a 70 percent share in the United States, Super Bowl XX was televised to 59 foreign countries and beamed via satellite to the QE II. An estimated 300 million Chinese viewed a tape delay of the game in March. NBC Radio figures indicated an audience of 10 million for the game.
After an 11-week trial, a jury in U.S. District Court in New York awarded the United States Football League one dollar in its $1.7 billion antitrust suit against the NFL. The jury rejected all of the USFL's television-related claims, which were the self-proclaimed heart of the USFL's case. The jury deliberated five days, July 29.
"You can't fire a gun in a confined space! What are you tring to do, make us deaf?!" "Just get out of the chopper." "What?" "Get out of the chopper!" "The crops!?" - Jack Lemmon and James Garner, "My Fellow Americans", and the reason I say "The crops?" instead of "Huh?"
1983 The USFL gets started with a bunch of teams, Donald Trump owning the New Jersey Generals(with HB Herschel Walker) and Jim Kelly playing for the Houston Gamblers.
1985 The Baltimore Stars win the last spring championship as the USFL announces plans to move to the fall.
1986 The USFL goes out of business before ever playing in the fall(they later sue the NFL for damages and unfair business practices and win: $3.)
The Arena Football League gets fired up(with zubaz pants)
1995 The last season the CFL has teams in the United States as San Antonio, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Shreveport, Birmingham and Memphis goes out of business after the season and Baltimore moves to Montreal because...
1996 The world is bettered as NFL football returns to Baltimore.
From everyone's favourite The Sports Guy: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/050909 "VIKINGS (-6) over Bucs How many people are going to be teasing this game... Rams (-5.5) over NINERS ...with this one?