The National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC) were created in 1970 when the two professional football leagues, National football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL), merged together. The AFL was established in 1959 but the NFL has happened since 1920. Both leagues existed as direct competitors for 10 years until they merged together to give a unified League that was split into the conferences NFC and AFC. After their merging, the 1970s was dominated by AFC who won a stretch of SuperBowls but NFC picked up throughout the 1980s and 1990s by winning 13 SuperBowls in a row. During the last decade both conferences have evenly matched in performance with occasional rebalancing and shifts in both to welcome new teams.
Emergence of NFC-
Initially in 1960, at the time AFL began playing with 8 teams, 13 clubs constituted NFL. By 1969, NFL had expanded to contain 16 clubs and AFL to 10 teams. In 1970, the merged league needed to be balanced and therefore all the former 10 teams of AFL and three from NFL- Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns made up AFC while the rest of the NFL teams formed NFC.
Alignment of NFC-
The proprietors of NFC teams were not able to consent to one plan for the NFC club alignment. On 16th of January, 1970, out of the five final alignment proposals one plan was eventually picked out by the then NFL Commisioner’s secretary and it was as follows-
Central: Detroit, Chicago, Minnesota, Green Bay
Eastern: New York Giants, Dallas, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia, Washington
Western: Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta, San Franciso, New Orleans
Since the merging three more teams have been accommodated in the NFC. The Seattle Seahawks joined the Conference in 1976, played for one season and switched to AFC after that. During the realignment in 2002 the team returned to NFC.
Detroit Lions is the only team in NFC that has never appeared in Super Bowl. During 2000-2014 NFC sent 11 teams to Super Bowl and in 2015, Seattle Seahawks was the first team in NFC history to make consecutive appearances in Super Bowl since the realignment.
Currently, NFC, is constituted by 16 teams with four divisions having four teams in each and the same goes for its counterpart AFC making a total of 32 teams of the National Football League.