Since 1920, just about every single American has fallen in love with football. American football, of course. For 17 weeks, fans tune in to watch their favorites battle it out in the hopes that their team will reach the coveted Super Bowl and emerge victorious. It is a game embedded deep in everyone’s hearts, a game filled with blood, sweat, determination, power, strength, and tears. This is why we took it upon ourselves and dug up 15 crazy facts that you might not know about the NFL, even if you’re a die-hard fan. Take a look!
The very first televised football game was back in 1939 and the total audience who tuned in was 500 large. Which is about 112,200,500 less than the amount of people who watched last year’s Super Bowl.
A Lot Of Dough
Did you know that the Superbowl Trophy costs $25,000? It stands at 22 inches (56 cm) tall, weighs 7 pounds (3.2 kg) and looks a football in a kicking position on a three concave sided stand. Plus it is made entirely of sterling silver. The original trophy was produced by Tiffany & Co. in Newark, New Jersey back in the day.
“The Kansas Comet” was inducted into the Hall of Fame when he was just 34 years old. So four years younger than Peyton Manning right now.
Crazy but Joe Gibbs is the only coach in the history of the NFL to average more than one playoff win in 10+ seasons of coaching. This former Redskins coach had 17 playoff wins in his 16 year career, and 17 in his first 12 with the Redskins.
The University of Georgia like the helmet logo of the Green Bay Packers so much so that Coach Vince Dooley “borrowed” that same look for the Bulldogs’ helmets. The University of Georgia used a black “G” with a white oval for the original design, and its stayed this way over the years, pretty much.
Despite the fact that the NFL can only play on the days of Sunday, Monday and Thursday, the league has actually played games on every day of the week. Back in 2010, there was the iconic snow game on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. There was the Wednesday night season opener in 2012 that was moved so that it didn’t interfere with Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. There are quite a few number of Friday games that were moved for weather purposes or were moved so that the league could showcase on a Christmas day, Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.
At the end of the 1985 NFL season, both Joe Namath and O.J. Simpson would be replaced, with critics noting their lack of journalistic skills.
That’s right, Carl Weathers, who played the legendary Apollo Creed in the Rocky franchise once played two seasons with the Oakland Raiders back in the 70s.
Back during the 1958 NFL Championship game, an NBC employee ran onto the field. The reason behind that was due to a TV cable going unplugged as the crowd went wild during Johnny Unitas leading the Colts on what would be the game-winning drive. The NBC employee was statistician Stan Rotkiewicz. He pretended to be a drunk disrupting the game so that NBC had enough time to fix the cable.
Bay State Patriots
The New England Patriots were once called the Bay State Patriots, for about a month. Way back when the Boston Patriots were in their first decade in the AFL, they played games at Fenway Park, Harvard Stadium, Braves Field and Boston College’s Alumni Stadium. When they eventually moved to Foxborough in 1971, the team owner, Billy Sullivan, wanted a new name to go with the new location. Fair enough. Finally he came up with the Bay State Patriots, to honor the entire region. A month later, the NFL decided they didn’t appreciate what the initials spelled out…just think about it. Ever since then, they were known as the New England Patriots.
The oldest record noted in the NFL record book is the story of Ernie Nevers. In a 1929 game, he managed to score 40 points, get six touchdowns and four extra points. He was not only a football fullback for the Duluth Eskimos and the Chicago Cardinals, but he was also a baseball pitcher for the St. Louis Browns. Nevers was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
Drinks with Nixon
Former President Richard Nixon told Roone Arledge that back when Frank Gifford was with the New York Giants, he would invite the President over to his apartment for some postgame cocktail parties. Now that would have been quite the sight.
Before Fred Dryer was a successful film and television actor, he actually played for 13 years in the NFL. He played in 176 games, starting in 1966, and rhad 104 career sacks with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams. He is also still the only NFL player to score two safeties in one game.
Today, if you signed up for the Green Bay Packers season ticket waiting list, you’d wait about 1,000 to get your tickets. The Packers list has about 86,000 people on it. And with something like just under 100 people giving up their tickets per year, if you do the math, that’s 955 years.
Wilson has been the exclusive maker of NFL footballs since 1941 and it produces 4,000 ball a day. A day! A single cowhide, which is from cows in the states of Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska, makes just 10 footballs. Also there are 16 lace holes on a football, but just one lace.