In 1966, after the NFL and AFL had begun an ever more expensive bidding war for talent, they came to an agreement to merge.

The two leagues agreed to:

  • Keep separate schedules through the 1969 season.
  • Run a unified draft of college players
  • Play a world championship game beginning at the end of the 1966 season
  • Make the merger official in 1970 with the leagues forming two conferences.

They also agreed to incorporate the history and records of both leagues into the new NFL but the AFL name and logo would be retired.

From that point, league championship games became conference championships to decide the Super Bowl participants.  Even though the conference championships games are overshadowed by the Super Bowl and don’t hold the same prestige, there still have been a number of hard-fought games in the AFC and NFC.