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Top 10 things that changed the game

  • By NFL.com
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Once upon a time, kickers were linemen who kicked straight on. Then, it all changed when Hungarian-born Pete Gogolak discovered football.

What became known as the "West Coast Offense" started in Cincinnati, was carried by Bill Walsh to San Francisco, and then spread like wildfire.

With John Facenda's voice, Sam Spence's music and visionary filmmakers Ed and Steve Sabol, NFL Films has helped build NFL mythology.

Scoring was low. There were too few touchdowns and too many field goals. The league stepped in and made an attempt to open up the game.

So long, three yards and a cloud of dust. Hello, rug burn. For better or worse, artificial turf has altered how football is played and viewed.

After further review ... instant replay has made a profound effect on how fans, coaches, players, referees and TV networks view the game.

Need evidence of Paul Brown's impact? How about facemasks on helmets, playbooks and film study as just a few of his innovations?

Helping further level the playing field and create parity in the NFL is free agency, which came into full effect following the 1992 season.

The impact of television on the NFL goes beyond watching games from the comfort of your living room during autumn Sundays and Monday nights.

When two competing leagues -- the AFL and NFL -- merged into one, the result was the Super Bowl, the greatest innovation in NFL history.


NFL's Top 10 is a fast-paced weekly series that provides an irreverent look at some of the most intriguing subjects in the NFL. To watch NFL's Top on NFL Network, check out the latest listings. Still getting shutout of the NFL Network? See what you can do.

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