The origin of professional football can be traced back to 1892, with William "Pudge" Heffelfinger's $500 contract to play in a game for the Allegheny Athletic Association against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. In 1920 the American Professional Football Association was formed. This league changed its name to the National Football League (NFL) two years later, and eventually became the major league of American football. Primarily a sport of Midwestern industrial towns in the United States, professional football eventually became a national phenomenon. Football's increasing popularity is usually traced to the 1958 NFL Championship Game , a contest that has been dubbed the "Greatest Game Ever Played". A rival league to the NFL, the American Football League (AFL), began play in 1960; the pressure it put on the senior league led to a merger between the two leagues and the creation of the Super Bowl , which has become the most watched television event in the United States on an annual basis.
In 2015, the exclusion of Marvin Harrison from the yearly induction caused some to question the effect politics [ clarification needed ] has on the induction process. Harrison ranks 3rd all-time in receptions, was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times among many other individual records. He was also named as the hardest receiver to cover by veteran corner backs Champ Bailey and Charles Tillman . The duo of Harrison and quarterback Peyton Manning also hold the record for most receptions, touchdowns, and yards between any quarterback and wide receiver combo. Critics argue the induction committee is allowing age and wait time to overshadow production.  [ better source needed ] Harrison was inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2016.