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...
I stumbled across this beautiful set of six NFL team pennants recently, and had to share. The listing states that these are from the 1940s and '50s, but I suspect they all probably date from either 1950 or 1951. I say this because of the pennant for the New York Yanks, a now-defunct franchise that played as the New York Yanks, New York Bulldogs, and Dallas Texans (not the same as the AFL Texans of the '60s). The Yanks only existed under that moniker for the 1950 and '51 seasons, so no way the pennant was made before then. Likewise, the San Francisco 49ers didn't join the NFL until 1950. And while it's possible the pennants for the Rams, Steelers, Packers, and Lions pre-date 1950 I don't think they do. Click on the image for the full-size version, and enjoy some vintage mid-centur...
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 NFC North — the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings. Previous galleries: AFC East, NFC East, AFC North Chicago Bears (13) #3 -- Bronko Nagurski #5 -- George McAfee #7 -- George Halas I couldn't find a card from Halas's playing days, but how could I leave off Papa Bear? #28 -- Willie Galimore Galimore was killed in an automobile accident on July 27, 1964 in Rensselaer, Indiana at the age of 29 with teammate Bo Farrington. #34 -- Walter Payton
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
Former NFL great and all-around media star Alex Karras died earlier this week from complications due to kidney failure. He had been in extremely poor health the last few years of his life. While most of my generation knows him best as Mongo in Blazing Saddles or George Papadapolis from Webster, Karras was first and foremost an outstanding defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions. Karras racked up four Pro Bowl selections in his Detroit career (1958 - 1970) -- which was interrupted by a season-long suspension for gambling in 1963 -- and was later named to the NFL's 1960s All-Decade Team at defensive tackle. As a small tribute to Karras, here is a gallery of football cards representing nearly each of his 12 NFL seasons. (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 NFC’s North division. Previous entries: AFC East, NFC East, AFC North Chicago Bears Best This a slightly modified version of the alternate logo used from 1963 - 1992. I was surprised to learn that Chicago went so many years without a logo at all, but they nailed it with this one. Worst I'm gonna cut the Bears some slack for their cutesy early logos, but there's no excuse