It’s pretty safe to say that football is probably the US’ favorite sport. After all, look at how many people nationwide celebrate the Super Bowl each year! The NFL, or National Football League, is the hub of all the most exciting gridiron action across the states. But how much do you really know about how the league actually works? Here are some fascinating and fun facts about the NFL that could surprise you.
1. Why Canton?
The NFL Hall of Fame is a hugely important showcase of the greatest talents that have come from the gridiron over the decades since the NFL’s inception. But why is it based in Canton, Ohio? It’s here where the Bulldogs call home – between the years of 1921 and 1923, the legendary Jim Thorpe and his team didn’t lose for 25 straight games. It’s a feat that warranted a museum!
2. Kick and punt, you’ll be here a while!
It’s extremely rare for punters and kickers to serve fewer than 300 games in their careers. In fact, one of the few exceptions to this is the iconic Brett Favre, an ex-quarterback.
3. Charles Follis broke down barriers.
Charles Follis, who became a professional football player as early as 1904, broke a huge barrier in US sport. He was the first black athlete to participate in national football!
4. Only four teams celebrated the perfect season.
At the time of writing, there are only four different teams in the NFL, historically, who have completed seasons without a single defeat. The first to achieve this was the Chicago Bears back in 1934, followed by the 1942 Bears, then the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Most recently, the 2007 New England Patriots reached season’s end without a single loss.
5. That’s a lot of hide.
6. What’s in a name?
Believe it or not, it wasn’t always so easy to spot your favorite player on the gridiron from afar. It was only in the 1960s that the NFL finally brought in named jerseys – before then, you’d have to remember positions and numbers!
7. Double back-to-backs? It’s happened!
Back-to-back championships are rare but not unheard of. However, what about two back-to-back championship wins? While they did the double at two very separate moments in time, the only team to claim this feat is the Pittsburgh Steelers.
8. Have a heart for these plucky teams…
If you’re a fan of either the Minnesota Vikings or the Buffalo Bills, the thought of going to the Super Bowl might fill you with dread! That’s because both teams have had their fair share of bad luck. The Vikings lost four Super Bowls within eight years, while the Bills lost Super Bowls four times in a row. That’s gotta hurt.
9. Young and old alike!
The NFL Hall of Fame inducts people of all ages, whether mid-career, just retired, or decades after their final plays. For example, the oldest ex-player inducted was Ed Sabol, who gained recognition at 94, while the youngest was Gale Sayers, at the age of just 34.
10. BS Patriots?
The Boston Patriots changed their name after moving from Boston to Foxborough, with the name “Bay State Patriots” being considered. They’re now known as the New England Patriots – it’s thought the NFL didn’t like the idea of a team having “BS” in their initials (for reasons you’ll probably guess)!
FAQs about The NFL
Who is the oldest or first NFL team ever?
It’s thought the very first team to join the NFL was the Chicago Cardinals, who first formed in 1898. They wouldn’t join the NFL until the 1920s, but they’re still the oldest “franchise” on the books.
Who’s the newest NFL side?
The Houston Texans have only been NFL members since 2002, opening their NRG Stadium to crowds over 20 years ago. They joined around 80 years after the Cardinals!
Which NFL team has won the most?
At the time of writing, the NFL team with more wins than any other is the Green Bay Packers, while the Arizona Cardinals have lost the most.
Do you know any fun facts about the NFL? Share them in the comments below!