Thanksgiving turkey and the National Football League -- one of the finest traditions in all of American sports. And, as it turns out, one of the longest-lived as well. Since the NFL's inception in 1920, at least one game has been played every Thanksgiving, and since 2006 three are played. Most fans associate the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys with the now-dubbed Thanksgiving Classic series, and for good reason. The Lions and Cowboys have played the most Thanksgiving games ever, with 72 and 44 respectively through the 2012 season. Following behind are the Green Bay Packers (34), Chicago Bears (31), and Arizona Cardinals (23). Of these five teams, however, only the Cowboys and Bears sport a winning Thanksgiving record. Here are the ten NFL teams with the most wins and highest win...
Since it's the off-season I thought I'd start a fun project involving NFL history. So I'm going to go division by division and post football card galleries (when available) featuring all NFL players who have had their jersey numbers retired by their teams. This week it's the four squads of the AFC East -- the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, and New York Jets. Buffalo Bills (1) #12 -- Jim Kelly Believe it or not, #12 is the only jersey number officially retired by the Bills. There are three other numbers that aren't issued anymore -- #32, #34, and #78 -- but they have not been retired. It's unlikely that OJ Simpson's number ever will be at this point. Miami Dolphins (3) #12 -- Bob Griese #13 -- Dan Marino #39 -- Larry Csonka New England Patriots (7)
Another trip to the Life photo archives has yielded another great set of classic NFL photographs. These were snapped by Robert W. Kelley at a game played between the Green Bay Packers and the visiting Baltimore Colts at Lambeau Field -- then known as New City Stadium -- on October 8, 1961. Tracking down the date for this game was a little tricky, as the Life photo pages provide no details. How I figured it out was by using the visual clues. Weeb Ewbank is pictured on the Baltimore sideline. He coached the Colts from 1954-1962. One of the Baltimore players pictured is wearing jersey #34, and he appears to be a back of some kind. Only one player from this era was a back and wore #34 -- Joe "The Jet" Perry. Perry was a fullback in Baltimore for the '61 and '62 seasons only. One
I've got a special off-season edition of Football Friday for you today! I get daily email alerts from eBay for just about anything tagged as being from the AFL, which I use to find many of the excellent AFL game programs I share. But on occasion I find other neat things too. Take, for example, this set of vintage NFL/AFL team mascot decals from 1969. These are some fantastic stickers.
(Note: Totals are accurate through the end of the 2014 NFL regular season.) It seems like training camp just opened, and we've already put another NFL regular season in the books. But now I want to turn my attention to the unfortunates -- the teams that haven't won a National Football League title since I've even been alive. While there are some pretty good franchises on this list, it's mostly a collection of clubs that have come to represent football futility for most. Unlike the other major American sports leagues, the NFL has seen fit to establish a clear distinction between the pre- and post-Super Bowl eras. I have never bought into that line of thinking, and so I count Super Bowls, NFL championships, and AFL championships equally. If you think that's bunk, I'm not going to try t
I've been doing a lot of housecleaning of my American Football League game program section, and I was inspired to showcase some more of my favorites from the collection. So here's a half dozen more AFL covers that help make the case that we did lose something when they merged with the NFL. If you want to check out the first cover gallery, go here. (more…)
Sorry, not a ton of time this week to put together something too involved. So it's back to the YouTube vaults for some more vintage game highlight films. Specifically, the San Diego Chargers/Denver Broncos contest from week 11 of the 1975 regular season. On November 30, 1975, winless San Diego traveled to Denver to play the Broncos on a brisk, 19-degree afternoon. Despite racking up a meager three first downs and 123 yards on offense, the Bolts managed to bring the game to overtime. Of course, it stands that the Chargers' only TD was a 42-yard punt return by rookie Mike Fuller. But all was for naught as Jim Turner booted a 25-yard field goal in the extra period.
After a lengthy break, it's time for another retro football card designed by yours truly. I didn't intend for this series to be so quarterback-heavy, but I can't overlook the great performance turned in by rookie Colts QB Andrew Luck last weekend. Against the Miami Dolphins in Week 9, Luck passed for an NFL rookie record 433 yards. It was his fourth 300-yard-plus passing performance this season, only the second time a rookie QB has done that. The first? Peyton Manning. So yeah, I think #12 deserves this. This card is based on a 1989 Pro Set card for former Colts quarterback Chris Chandler. I picked '89 since Luck was born that year. I had some trouble finding the right typeface for the name, and ended up using Haettenschweiler. If anyone reading this can think of a better choice, le
Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, there almost wasn't a Football Friday post this week. But I couldn't let that happen to you, my faithful fans and readers. But I will compromise and just give you a gallery of some classic NFL team media guide/yearbook covers. Consider this a preview of the next permanent section of the main site; a sister gallery to my AFL game program exhibit if you will. (more…)