Anyone, who watches football, has their favorite team. But the history of those teams almost goes unknown because we are caught up in what the team is doing today. Here are a few fun facts about NFL teams that we may have forgotten or not known.
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After convincing Rankin Smith not to purchase the Miami Dolphins franchise, the NFL awarded him a new franchise in 1965 in Atlanta. The teams first season was plagued by losses until they met the New York Giants and gained their first win.
The Baltimore Ravens know the importance of playing with home field advantage. The problem is, they are known as the “Road Warriors”. The Ravens have played in nine playoff games, with one being played at home.
With a population of only 261,000 people living in the Buffalo region, the Bills are considered a small market team. What many do not realize, is that the Bills have a mega-region audience. With that audience, it makes their fan base the fourth largest in North America, reaching from buffalo to Toronto.
The Carolina Panthers play at the Bank of America Stadium. Located at the east end of the upper level is a display of football helmets paying tribute to the footballs teams located in the Carolina’s. There are over 400 different football helmets.
There is no question that Walter Payton was one of the best running backs the NFL has ever seen. But being the best only led to one rushing title, received in 1977. Unfortunately for Payton, other men by the name of Simpson, Campbell and Dickerson also played during the same time he did.
When talks emerged about the AFL joining the NFL, Bengals owner Paul Brown was not interested in having his team be a part of the merger. Brown wanted to start an expansion team in the NFL, but was assured the Bengals would become a member of the NFL. The Bengals went 3-11 in their first year.
We know the wins from the Steeler’s and Patriots and the dynasties they have created. But in the 1950’s, it was the Cleveland Browns that stole the show. They created their own dynasty when they appeared in six-straight NFL Championship games from 1950-1955.
Having the same quarterback return year after year is supposed to bring a foundation to any football team. But the Dallas Cowboys decided to go against this theory and had three quarterback pass for over 3,000 yards in three years. In 2003, Quincy Carter passed for 3,302 yards. Vinny Testaverde threw for 3,532 yard the next year and Drew Bledsoe tossed for 3,639 yards. They almost went four for four with Tony Romo, but he fell short the fourth year.
Are you a Denver Broncos fan? Let’s test your memory. Who did the Bronco’s receive in return for Tim Tebow from the New York Jets? How about Philip Blake and Danny Trevathan. Who?
What is know today as the Detroit Lions started out as the Portsmouth Spartans and played on the field above. The Spartans were one of the original teams to join the NFL. A a 1932 game against the Packers, all eleven Spartan players played both offense and defense, never bringing in a substitute. The Spartans won that game 19-0.
The Green Bay Packers have the most loyal fans in the NFL. Lambeau has been sold out since 1960 and there are 81,000 fans on the waiting list for season tickets. It would take an estimated 900 years for everyone to receive season tickets.
When the NFL wanted to expand to 32 teams, they looked at Los Angeles for the home of their next franchise. But when LA was unable to create a solid ownership team, the NFL by-passed and awarded the franchise to Houston. The Houston fans were still upset about the Oilers being moved to Tennessee, so the new franchise was appreciated. The Texans beat the Cowboys in their first game in an upset.
Between 1967 to the present, there was only one NFL draft in which a quarterback was not chosen in the first or second round. The Indianapolis Colts broke this when they drafted Chris Chandler in the third round. Chandler went on to lead the Falcons to their Super Bowl appearance.
In the history of the NFL draft, only four teams have not chosen the Heisman trophy winner. The Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks and the Jacksonville Jaguars hold that distinction. The Jaguars passed on Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos picked him up.
While the Patriot’s can boast that their owner owns Kraft Mac n’ Cheese, the Miami Dolphins are owned by the most interesting group of people. Jennifer Lopez, her ex-husband Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Emilio Estefan, Fergie, Jimmy Buffet, Venus Williams and Serena Williams all claim ownership of the Dolphins.
Jarius Wright and Greg Childs knew each other in elementary school. They attended the same college together and played the same position in college. And they were drafted in the same round by the Minnesota Vikings. Beat those odds.
The New England Patriots began their career by playing games at Fenway Park and were called the Boston Patriots. In 1971, their name was going to be changed to the Bay State Patriots. Cooler heads emerged and the name was changed to the New England Patriots.
They New Orleans Saints joined the NFL in 1967. And their fans had to be saints to endure 13 long years before the team found themselves at .500. It took the Saints 21 years to have a winning record but had three straight winning seasons after breaking the ice.
If you have ever heard Chris Berman from ESPN call the New York Giants the “New York Football Giants”, that is because that is their corporate name. Before the baseball giants left for San Francisco, New York had to professional teams named the Giants. So the football team included that in their name to differentiate between the two teams.
Three coaches have coached both the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. Bill Parcells, Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick. But Coach Belichick only stayed with the Jets for one day before leaving to coach the Patriots. The Jets received the Patriots first-round pick in 2000 and the fourth-round and seventh-round pick in 2001 but Belichick led the Patriot’s to the Super Bowl in 2002.
The Oakland Raiders are the only NFL team to win a Championship in the 60’s, 70’s and the 80’s. Three decades and three Championships, the Raiders didn’t win anything close in the 90’s.
With today’s players being groomed to play one particular position, it is rare that a player plays offense and defense full-time. Chuck Bednarik was the last player to do just that. Bednarik was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1967.
In 1961, the Pittsburgh Steelers were the first NFL team to have cheerleaders. In 1969, the cheerleaders were unemployed. Today, the Steeler’s are the only team in the NFL to not have cheerleaders on the sidelines.
Dan Fout’s is arguably the best quarterback the Charger’s have ever had. Fout’s as quarterback and Don Coryell teamed together to create such a strong passing offense, that the Chargers led the NFL in passing yards for six consecutive years, something that no other NFL team has ever done before.
What do you get when you put Joe Montana and Jerry Rice together? An amazing league record with 18 consecutive road victories.
Follow Brent McAllister on Twitter @brentonmutually