Gridiron Glory: 60 Essential Facts About the NFL and Its Legacy

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11958 NFL Championship Game

1958 NFL Championship Game

During the 1958 NFL Championship Game, an NBC Employee posing as a fan ran onto the field to delay the game because the national television feed went dead.


2. The last starting white cornerback in the NFL was Jason Sehorn who retired in 2003.


3. The Centurylink Field of Seattle Seahawks is so loud that NFL investigated whether the team was broadcasting artificial crowd noise to disrupt the visiting teams.


4. It takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year’s supply of footballs.


5. NFL wide receiver Steve Smith leaves his cleats on the field after every game to raise awareness about homeless people without shoes


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6Pat McInally

Pat McInally

Cincinnati Bengals punter Pat McInally was the only player to ever score a perfect 50 on the NFL's Wonderlic Cognitive Ability test. His score actually hurt his draft stock because it was believed that players who were intelligent would "challenge authority too much".


7. If some NFL teams don't sell enough tickets for a home game, they won’t broadcast the game within a certain radius of the stadium, thereby forcing people nearby to buy tickets to see the game.


8. NFL Players have been fined up to $5000 for giving a game ball to a fan.


9. It is rumored that Minnesota Vikings are supposedly "cursed" for losing the NFL Championship trophy by the spirit of Ed Thorp.


10. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the first NFL team to have cheerleaders.


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11American Samoa ethnicity

American Samoa ethnicity

Men from American Samoan ethnicity are estimated to be 56 times more likely to become NFL players than other Americans


12. The NFL split $7.24 billion in revenue with 32 teams last season, and the one reason we know that is because the Green Bay Packers put out an annual financial report. They are the only non-profit team.


13. The NFL making more than $9 billion annually, projected to make more than $25 billion a year by 2027, pays its CEO more than $30 million a year, 68% of NFL stadium construction costs since 1923 coming from taxpayer money.


14. Jason Brown, the highest paid center in NFL in 2009, quit after making $25M to become a farmer and donates his crops to food pantries.


15. Alex Smith took so many AP tests in high school that he entered the university as a junior. The quarterback received his bachelor's degree in two years and began working on a master's degree, before becoming the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft.


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16Amobi Okoye

Amobi Okoye

NFL defensive tackle Amobi Okoye is the youngest player ever to play in the NFL. After testing into 9th grade at 12 and graduating at 16, he chose to play NCAA football at Louisville (though he was accepted to Harvard) before graduating early and being drafted by the Texans at the age of 19.


17. NFL quarterback Russell Wilson can trace his family lineage back to 524 A.D. to Arnulf of Metz, the patron saint of beer.


18. The shortest-lived team in NFL history was the Tonawanda Kardex Lumbermen, who played in one NFL game in 1921


19. In 2011, tens of thousands of Detroiters petitioned to prevent Nickelback from playing at the NFL Thanksgiving Day football game halftime show


20. John Matuszak known as Sloth from "The Goonies" was a #1 Overall Pick in the NFL Draft and won 2 Super Bowls with the Oakland Raiders.


21Top scorers

Top scorers

Although the NFL is 60% black, the top 33 scorers of all time are white (because they are kickers)


22. The NFL owns and enforces the trademark for the term "Super Bowl," almost all ads and commercial uses will instead reference "The Big Game" or something similar. Colbert even used "The Supurb Owl" in 2014.


23. There's a group called "Science Cheerleaders", made up of NBA and NFL cheerleaders who also work or study in STEM fields, that encourage girls to get into science studies


24. In the '60s and '70s, professional bowlers were international celebrities who made twice as much money as NFL stars.


25. The NFL owns the licensing rights to every team except the Cowboys. In 1995 Cowboy's owner Jerry Jones started to make his own deals, NFL sued him for 300 million, to make the league back down, Jerry counter-sued them for 750 million.

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