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NFL History Terms

Antitrust Exemption

A special permission, granted by Congress, for a business to operate in a fashion that would otherwise violate the terms of the antitrust laws passed early in the twentieth century to prevent the establishment of monopolies.

Broadcast Rights, TV Rights

The exclusive rights of a TV network to broadcast a particular event. In the 1960s, the NFL began selling its broadcast rights as a package to the major TV networks; the huge revenues from the league's TV deals have underwritten much of the NFL's subsequent economic growth.


Removing barriers according to race. Public schools were ordered desegregated by the Supreme Court in 1955.

The process of racial integration of previously segregated social organizations.

Economic Parity

Equality in financial resources.

Franchise Fee

A payment made by a team to a sports league for the privilege of joining that league. When the NFL was organized in 1920, none of its founding teams could afford to pay the nominal $100 franchise fee.

Gate Revenues

Proceeds earned from selling tickets to a sporting event.


A long-defunct American automobile company that produced cars from 1909 to 1940.


The combination of two businesses into a single entity.


A company that lacks meaningful competition in its market, thus achieving such a degree of control over its market that it has the power to manipulate prices.

When an individual or single company dominates a particular industry or controls virtually the entire market for a particular good or service, a monopoly exists.

Domination over a particular area of business or trade.

Nosebleed Seats

Seats located at the very top of a stadium. The name derives from the symptoms of altitude sickness, which include nosebleed; the "nosebleed seats" are located so high in the stands that spectators there are jokingly said to suffer altitude sickness.

Pop Culture, Popular Culture

Popular culture, typically transmitted through modern mass media (television, radio, cinema). Pop culture is often contrasted to the "high culture" of museums and symphonies.

Postmodern Turn

A shift in the social sciences and humanities toward a postmodernist paradigm of social and cultural analysis.

Underdog, Underdogs

In a sporting event, the team that gamblers believe is going to lose.

West Coast Offense

A new style of offense, popularized in the 1980s by the San Francisco 49ers, that was built upon short, controlled passes.

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