The NFL is America’s most popular sport with tens of thousands of dedicated fans showing up every Sunday, Monday or Thursday to watch their favorite teams play. The league has a long history, with lots of rule changes and team changes along the way. Many NFL fans pride themselves on knowing obscure facts about the league and there are plenty of them to go around. Check out this list of 10 interesting and fairly obscure NFL facts:
- The Green Bay Packers have a notoriously enthusiastic fan base and it shows in the lengthy wait time for a ticket. If you signed up for the season ticket waiting list today, you’d probably end up waiting close to 1,000 years to get a spot.
- The New England Patriots were almost known as the BS Patriots, or Bay State Patriots. They started out as the Boston Patriots, but once they moved to their current home in Foxborough, the owner wanted a name more representative of the region. However, his name didn’t last long as the NFL wasn’t fond of the initials.
- If you’ve ever wondered why the Pro Football Hall of Fame is in Canton, Ohio, it’s because of the Canton Bulldogs who did not lose for 25 straight games between 1921 and 1923. Jim Thorpe also played for the Bulldogs at that time.
- Only one team has ever won three NFL championships in a row and it wasn’t during the Super Bowl era. That team was the Vince Lombardi-coached Green Bay Packers between 1966 and 1968.
- Kickers and punters tend to play a long time in the NFL and the only players not at these positions to play in over 300 games are wide receiver Jerry Rice and quarterback Brett Favre.
- The Dolphins and Patriots are known for their undefeated regular seasons, but the Chicago Bears also did it twice in 1934 and 1942. However, the Dolphins have the distinction of taking it through the postseason.
- The team with the most retired jersey numbers in the NFL is the Chicago Bears with 13. The Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders have a prolific history, but no retired numbers because they don’t believe in it.
- The youngest Hall of Fame inductee is Gale Sayers at 34 and the oldest is Ed Sabol, who was 94 upon being inducted.
- Back to back championships are rare and there have only been eight in NFL history. Only one team has pulled it off twice, and that was the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Most NFL fans know about the Buffalo Bills going to the Super Bowl four straight times in the 1990s and then losing each one. However, they aren’t the only team to go to four Super Bowls and lose. The Minnesota Vikings did it as well, only it wasn’t four straight, just four within eight years.
As previously stated, thanks the the immense popularity of the NFL, the league can provide us with some very interesting stats. Take the Green Bay Packers for example, who knew their wait for season ticket was 1,000 years?! Also, did you know that every player on the New England Patriots took home an extra $107,000 just for winning the SUper Bowl this year?! That’s more than most of us would hope to make outside of winning the lottery! The NFL is a monster of a company and will only continue to grow, but it’s only right to keep everything in perspective. Fans should always be aware of how young Gale Sayers was when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame or why the Hall of Fame is in Canton.