American Football

5 Lesser-Known Facts About The NFL

Despite the fact that it has shorter seasons compared to other sports, the NFL is a national pastime in the United States. While highly popular and watched by millions of fans, the history of the NFL is blurry and interesting at the same time. Let’s explore five of the less-known facts about National Football League.

1. The NFL started out in an automobile showroom

The history of the organized professional football can be traced back to 1920 when great former athletes like Jim Thorpe and George Halas used to meet in an automobile showroom for a few beers and sports discussions. One thing lead to another and after the legendary meeting in Canton, Ohio the American Professional Football Association announced it started to accept new members for the fee of $100.

2. Forfeiting a game grants the other team a 2-0 win

When a team refuses to play a match or doesn’t want to participate in a scheduled game, it means they are forfeiting the game. In this case, if the other team is willing and ready to play, then they are awarded with a 2-0 win. The 2-0 victory is not randomly chosen, but rather represents the league’s only scores that aren’t credited to any player.

3. There are no TV broadcast tapes of the first Super Bowl

The first official Super Bowl took place between Green Bay and Kansas City in 1967; it presented so little interest to the general public that the organizers barely managed to sell a few tickets. Even so, because NBC held the broadcast rights to AFL games, while the CBS that for the NFL games, the match was simulcast on two networks. However, due to the overall lack of interest, both televisions decided to destroy the televised tapes of the first Super Bowl. If only they knew about the Super Bowl’s increasing social importance and the fact that it attracts untold numbers of rabid football fans and casual viewers every year.

4. Nobody knows the meaning or origin of the 25 stars in the logo

Every football fan knows that the NFL logo features an iconic shield with 25 white stars against a blue background. Although the football league has utilized this logo since the 1940s, the truth is that no clue could be found regarding the stars’ origins or meaning. This is why the NFL’s management has decided to revamp the logo a few years ago. The new logo features a darker shade of blue for the top background, modified letters, a football image in the middle and only four large stars on each side.

5. Redskins were the NFL’s last segregated team

By 1961 almost all teams registered to the NFL have been desegregated to a certain extent and featured both white and black players. The Washington Redskins were the only exception, a team that ironically occupied the last position in the league for several years in a row. George Marshall, the owner of the Redskins, was force to change his unflinching position due to the upcoming presidential elections. After JFK won the elections, he appointed his Secretary of Interior to pressure Marshall into desegregating the team or else it would be evicted from the District of Columbia Stadium.

Original image courtesy: “Brent Grimes-Hamburg Sea Devils” by Torsten Bolten, – Own work (own photo). Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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