As you probably know, there is now no question of who holds the field goal record in the NFL. Prior to yesterday, four players were tied with 63-yard field goals each. Now, Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos stands alone at the top of the field goal podium with a 64-yard boot through the uprights. Congrats, Matt!
Which started me thinking about other interesting NFL facts. (For the record, there are more facts about football than I care to count. I’ve chosen just a few to share with you today. I know this has nothing to do with studying for college finals, but I thought you might need a quick break from cramming lots of information into your brain.)
Emmitt Smith had the same number of rushing yards in his last season as he did in his rookie season (937). I love symmetry.
My favorite score in football is the safety, mostly because the signal is so darn cute. Turns out that a safety is the only score that is not credited to a single player. Because of that, when a team forfeits a game, the score is recorded as 2-0.
Even more interestingly, the forfeit rule has never been applied because the only time there was a forfeit was December 4, 1921 when the Rochester Jeffersons forfeited to the Washington Pros. The problem was that the NFL (which was called the American Professional Football Association at the time) was just a baby (1 year old) and they hadn’t written that particular rule yet. So the score was recorded as 1-0.
The Colts were the first NFL team to have cheerleaders.
In 1932 the Chicago Bears and Portsmouth Spartans played in the first ever playoff game in NFL history. The game was to be played at Wrigley Field in Chicago. However, because of extremely cold weather, the game was played inside the Blackhawks’ hockey arena, Chicago Stadium. The dirt field was only 80 yards long so the ball was automatically moved 20 yards back every time a team crossed the 50-yard line.
In an act of Art-Meets-Sport, in 1948 the Ram’s halfback Fred Gehrke started the tradition of insignia decorated helmets by hand-painting the Ram’s helmets. Marketers ever since say silent thank-yous daily.
And finally, when Clint Murchison, Jr. was trying to get League approval for a team in Dallas, Redskins owner George Preston Marshall objected. Strenuously. So Murchison bought the rights for the team song “Hail to the Redskins”. Murchison basically gave Marshall the option of letting him establish his Dallas team or paying a royalty fee every time the team played their fight song.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled study schedule.