The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league, headquartered in New York City. The NFL has been dubbed the “No Fun League” by those who believe that NFL rules stifle personal expression (such as rules against a quarterback sack dance or a touchdown dance), making the league “no fun” to watch. “No Fun League” has been cited in print since at least September 1985.
Other NFL backronyms (back-acronyms) include “National Felons League,” “Not For Long” and “No Fan Loyalty.”
Wikipedia: National Football League
The National Football League (NFL) is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing its name to the National Football League in 1922. The league currently consists of thirty-two teams from the United States. The league is divided evenly into two conferences—the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC), and each conference has four divisions that have four teams each, for a total of 16 teams in each conference. The NFL is an unincorporated 501(c)(6) association, a federal nonprofit designation, comprising its 32 teams.
What does NFL stand for?
No Fun League
29 September 1985, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “Pro Football: Hey, Rozelle, let the players enjoy their victories” by Dave Lagarde, pg. E4, col. 1:
Welcome to the NFL. That’s No Fun League for all you conservative fuddy-duddies up there in the league office.
Face it. The NFL can be boring and bland simply because it makes no allowances for individualism, creativity or non-conformity.
Case in point: The No Fun League’s no taunting rule.
3 September 1989, The Telegraph (Alton, IL), ‘The NFL’s new crowd-noise rule is plain ol’ dumb” by Woody Woodburn (Scripps Howard News Service), pg. D7, col. 1:
You see, the NFL—No Fun League—has rules against noise.
12 September 1990, Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution, “Falcons Notebook: Settle advised to try special teams,” pg. E6:
“In some offices,” said Glanville, “NFL means `no fun league.’ They try to knock all the fun out that they can.”
New York (NY) Times
FOOTBALL; League of Laughs Says It’s No Joke
By TIMOTHY W. SMITH
Published: May 05, 1991
Just when bans on the Icky Shuffle and fraternization among players has led some to call the National Football League the “No Fun League,” along comes its springtime offspring: the World League of American Football, which has become known as the “Laugh League.
NFL referee Corrente steps away to continue cancer treatment
By Dan Hanzus
Published: Jan. 10, 2012 at 05:36 p.m. Updated: Jan. 10, 2012 at 07:29 p.m.
The 17th season of Tony Corrente’s career began with a painful thud. It also might have saved the NFL referee’s life.
“You hear it’s the No Fun League, or it’s Not For Long,” Corrente told King. “I’ll tell you what the league is—it’s the National Family League. I’ve learned my glass isn’t half-full. It’s been full my whole life, and it’s full now.”