Football is the most popular sport in America and for a good reason. Not only is it fast-paced and exciting to watch, but it is a social sport.
You can make friends through football, host Super Bowl parties for the whole family, and feel a sense of pride for your state. You can casually watch football or engage in NFL lines and engross yourself in the culture surrounding it.
No matter how you watch football, it is always nice to know extra about this fantastic sport. Not just the surface-level facts like who won the latest Super Bowl or what players play for which team.
So, we have curated a list of 10 facts about the NFL that you probably haven’t heard of before so that you can become an NFL pro.
1. The Chicago Bears have the most retired numbers
In total, the Chicago Bears have retired 14 numbers, the most out of any NFL league team. Below are the retired numbers and who they belonged to.
- 3 - Bronko Nagurski
- 5 - George McAfee
- 7 - George Halas
- 28 - Willie Galimore
- 34 - Walter Payton
- 40 - Gale Sayers
- 41 - Brian Piccolo
- 42 - Sid Luckman
- 51 - Dick Butkus
- 56 - Bill Hewitt
- 61 - Bill George
- 66 - Clyde Turner
- 77 - Red Grange
- 89 - Mike Ditka
In contrast, the Las Vegas Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys don’t retire numbers as they don’t believe in it.
2. In the 1960s the NFL had third-place matches
In the 1960s the Bert Bell Benefit Bowl was put in place to honor Bert Bell who passed away in 1959. Bell was responsible for helping the NFL gain popularity and help make it one of the most financially sound sports enterprises in the world.
The Bert Benefit Bowl was held to award people third place and it was originally known as the Runner-Up Bowl. Despite some high-profile names playing these matches, the teams generally hated them.
3. The hottest Super Bowl took place 1 year after the coldest
In 1972, the Super Bowl was held in Los Angeles and the temperature reached an impressive 84 degrees Fahrenheit. One year prior the Super Bowl had its coldest temperature in New Orleans, it only got to about 39 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. The season ticket waitlist for Green Bay is over 1,000 years
That’s right, if you don’t already own a season ticket it is probably not worth the wait unless you are planning on passing it down as a family heirloom.
On a related note, the Green Bay Packers are the only non-profit community-owned team in the NFL.
5. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is in Canton Ohio because of the Canton Bulldogs
While this may sound a bit odd considering they were only a team in the NFL for 7 years, those 7 years were very impressive.
For starters, the Bulldogs is where Jim Thorpe started out and between 1921 and 1923 they won 25 games in a row.
When deciding where to build the Hall of Fame, Canton made a great case for why it should be built there and the ground was broken in 1962.
6. The Average NFL career length is 3.3 years
On average a running back only has a 2.5-year career and a kicker has 5. Morten Anderson has the longest career with 26 years as a kicker. He played a record 382 regular season games.
7. It wasn’t until 1990 that college juniors could be eligible for the NFL draft
This decision completely changed the way the NFL was played. Barry Sanders was the first junior eligible and was actually drafted in the 1989 season.
8. There is a 60-year age gap between the youngest player and oldest player inducted into the Hall of Fame
The youngest person was Gale Sayers who was inducted in 1977 at the age of 34, whereas the oldest was Ed Sabol at 94 in 2011.
9. There have been 217 sets of father and son playing in the NFL
One popular generation of players was Payton and Eli Manning with their dad Archie Manning.
The Matthews family is also a popular name in the NFL spanning across 3 generations. Clay Matthew Sr had 2 sons that played in the NFL and they each had 2 sons who played in the NFL.
10. The 1988 NFL Divisional playoff goal was impossible to watch in person
This match was later known as the Fog Bowl because of the thick fog that covered the field.
It was between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chicago Bears. In the end, the Bears won 20-12 but the announcers had the tedious job of reading out every play for the people who couldn’t see the match.
Since its founding in 1920, the NFL has become a beloved sports league across the whole of America.
Not only do you get to experience great matches every week, but you get to surround yourself with the world of football. Hopefully, these facts have allowed you to do that better.
You can also use your newfound knowledge to impress your friends at the next game.