National Football League Century Division
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The NFL Century Division was one of the four divisions of the National Football League that was created prior to the 1967 season when the league realigned its existing Eastern and Western Conferences. The division existed for three seasons until 1970 when the National Football League and American Football League merged.
The NFL Century Division had four teams in any given year. However, in the three year period of its existence it had five different members: Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, and St. Louis Cardinals. In 1967 and 1969 the four teams were: Cleveland, New York, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis. In 1968 New York and New Orleans switched divisions with New York spending the year in the NFL Capitol Division.
During the 1960s, the NFL labeled all of its divisions with the first letter "C"; each division's name also contained seven letters. The other three divisions were all based upon their geographic locations: the Capitol division centered around Washington, DC, the Central in the upper Midwest, and the Coastal had two teams on each coast. The Century's name, however, appeared not to have any association to geography, although it has been speculated that the name was a reference to the named train, the 20th Century Limited which connected the division's original four cities. Its host cities varied widely: Cleveland in the Midwest and Great Lakes, Pittsburgh in the Appalachians, St. Louis in the Great Plains (also part of the Midwest), New York in the Northeast, and New Orleans on the Gulf Coast.
After the AFL–NFL Merger in 1970, the division was disbanded; New York joined the NFC East; St. Louis also joined the NFC East before moving to the NFC West in 2002. New Orleans became a member of the NFC West, moving to the newly-formed NFC South in 2002. Cleveland and Pittsburgh joined the AFC Central (later the AFC North), with the Cincinnati Bengals (from the AFL West) and Houston Oilers (from the AFL East).
Two teams from the Century Division, the Steelers and Cardinals, played in Super Bowl XLIII. The Cleveland Browns were the only team to win a division title in the Century Division.
|1967||Cleveland Browns||9-5-0||Lost NFL Divisional Playoffs|
|1968||Cleveland Browns||10-4-0||Lost NFL Championship|
|1969||Cleveland Browns||10-3-1||Lost NFL Championship|
- Browns–Steelers rivalry, the strongest one between any two former Century Division teams.