The NFL is split into two halves, called conferences: the AFC and the NFC.
Here’s how that works:
There is one league, the National Football League.
I feel like we’re about to say a pledge.
Ok, so one league. And as we just said above, there are two conferences within the National Football League: the AFC (American Football Conference) and the NFC (National Football Conference).
Quick history lesson: the NFC and the AFC used to be the NFL and the AFL (kind of, with different teams) – two separate leagues. True story. Long story short: the AFL joined the NFL in 1970 and the two become one, the NFL. (Now it really sounds like we’re at an official ceremony.) Though changes have been made to the teams and the divisions within each conference since the merger in 1970, the current setup has been in place since the 2002 realignment.
Ok, back to our regularly scheduled programming
Each conference (AFC and NFC) has four geographic divisions: North, South, East, and West. 4 teams x 4 divisions x 2 conferences = 32 teams.
Here’s a handy visual if you need one: