The 2015 NFL season is still about three months away, so pigskin junkies have to do all we can to keep the fires stoked. To that end, here's a little gem from the pre-merger days that I hope you'll all enjoy. This is the opening theme/bumper to The NFL Today on CBS, as used during at least the 1969 NFL season. This particular version aired during the NFL Championship between the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings, played on January 4, 1970. Let's all soak this in: This has just about everything a fan of old-school NFL could want. Those tasty late-'60s era team logos, the crude (by our modern standards) TV graphics, and that unmistakable martial music that made you want to strap a helmet on and go hit someone. And all narrated by Don Criqui. Simply glorious. And if you want
Forget the NFL Combine and pre-draft hype, or even the "who will move to Los Angeles?" rumor mill -- the juiciest piece of NFL news this month is the unveiling of the new Cleveland Browns logo. The visual identity of the Browns really hasn't changed in a substantial way since the team's inception (in the AAFC) in 1946. Sure, they've dabbled with different mascots and even rolled out a few alternate logos in 2003, but by and large the Browns have always been the Browns. An orange-ish helmet with no logo is as much an NFL trademark as is the Raiders' iconic pirate or the Cowboys' star. (As a subtle reminder, you can check out my rankings of all NFL logos on my Sports Lists page.) So now the big day is finally here, and here is what the Browns have ushered in for their new logo (from
It's hard to believe now, but in the early '70s the National Football League wasn't nearly as stifled and humorless as it is now. As proof of that, I present these pieces of original, commissioned artwork drawn by the legendary Jack Kirby for the NFL in 1973. These fantastic illustrations were included as part of the October 21, 1973 issue of Pro!, the official magazine of the National Football League that was sold at every game, in a piece entitled "Out of Mind's Reach." They depict, among other things, futuristic versions of NFL players in action. I think my favorite one is for the Packers, who have somehow adopted an aquatic theme. Perhaps Wisconsin has warmed enough in the future to make that a practical move.
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 North — the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers. Previous galleries: AFC East, NFC East Baltimore Ravens (0) The Ravens, who have only been in existence since 1996, have not yet retired any jersey numbers. Much like the Cowboys, the team has its own Ring of Honor for former players and personnel. So like Dallas, Baltimore gets no football cards here. The list, in order of induction: #19 -- Johnny Unitas #24 -- Lenny Moore #70 -- Art Donovan #
(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
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…)
With the 2012 National Football League season nearly upon us, now is as good a time as any to obsess once again on one of my favorite topics — logos. So I’m going to offer up my choices for the best and worst team logos for all 32 current NFL franchises. Primary, alternate, and helmet logos listed on Chris Creamer’s outstanding logo website are all under consideration. Today I look at the four squads of the AFC’s North division. Previous entries: AFC East, NFC East Baltimore Ravens Best I'm not in love with any of Baltimore's logos to be honest -- and they sure have had quite a few for a team not yet 20 years old. But if you have to go with the rather unoriginal angry bird look, this is their best one. Worst The B stands for Blech. But it also stands for burglarized, since
First, big site news. My latest project -- a comprehensive gallery of every American Football League program ever -- is underway. So far I only have cover images from the 1960 season up, but more will follow before too long. Check it out here. In searching for more cover images for the project, I stumbled across a very cool piece of 1960s ephemera from the NFL. The Packerville blog posted scans from a 1964 NFL publication called The NFL and You. The purpose of the booklet was to convince up-and-coming football players (and perhaps league veterans) that the NFL was the way to go, and not the "inferior" AFL. The whole post is worth reading but two pages caught my eye. The cover image is a very cool snapshot of the helmets from all 14 NFL franchises in '64. Many of them have changed ver...
Browns punter Horace Gillom was ejected after punching Wayne Hansen of the Bears in retaliation for an earlier hit. Today marks the 60th anniversary of one of the more ignominious contests in the annals of the NFL. On November 25, 1951 the Chicago Bears met the defending NFL champion Cleveland Browns at venerable Cleveland Municipal Stadium and made league history. The Browns crushed the Bears 42-21 thanks in part to an amazing six Dub Jones touchdowns, but the stat that is even more eye-popping is the penalty line. Here are the game totals: Chicago Bears -- 16 penalties, 165 yards Cleveland Browns -- 21 penalties, 209 yards As a Raiders fan I'm familiar with penalties, and 37 of them are a lot. There was one flag thrown every 96 seconds on average on that day. During one driv...