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23 Fun Facts About the NFL

Ready for some football? From the greatest teams, iconic players and memorable Super Bowls, check out the best facts about the NFL!

facts about the nfl

Football is a uniquely American sport. I mean, it’s called American football after all. We’re definitely not talking about soccer here! 

The rough and tumble game was popular in US colleges and universities before it expanded into the professional realm in 1920.

With this expansion the game grew in popularity to become the most watched sport in American history. 

The culminating event of the NFL every year is, of course, the Super Bowl. Not only does the Super Bowl decide the NFL champion, it has become an iconic event in American culture.

With these fun facts about the NFL, we’ll look into some of the storied careers of the NFL’s greatest players, the records for attendance and viewership, the most successful NFL teams, and the Super Bowl lore that makes the NFL so intriguing.

greatest nfl player of all time
How much do you know about NFL?

With charismatic stars like Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Peyton Manning and legends of the game like Joe Montana, Vince Lombardi and Jim Brown, the NFL has not only defined American sports it has bred the most passionate fans in the world.

Whether you’re a Green Bay cheesehead, a proud Patriot, or a long-suffering Bills fan, the promise of a new NFL season always brings hope that your chosen team will achieve sporting immortality.

Whether you want to impress your father-in-law or test your superior football knowledge, let’s get rolling with these NFL facts!

nfl information
It’s time to dive into the history of the NFL

23 Fun Facts About the NFL

1. When was the NFL first established?

The American Professional Football Association (AFPA) was founded in 1920 in Canton, Ohio, and would become the National Football League (NFL) in 1922.

The league’s first president was Jim Thorpe, a star player for the Canton Bulldogs. The winners of the league’s first season were the Akron Pros with a record of 8-0-3.

2. What were the original NFL teams?

There were 14 original teams in the AFPA. Akron Pros, Buffalo All-Americans, Canton Bulldogs, Racine Cardinals, Chicago Tigers, Cleveland Tigers, Columbus Panhandles, Dayton Triangles, Decatur Staleys, Detroit Heralds, Hammond Pros, Muncie Flyers, Rock Island Independents and Rochester Jeffersons.

The two teams still in existence today are the Decatur Staleys (Chicago Bears) and the Racine Cardinals (Arizona Cardinals).

who won the first ever super bowl
The Green Bay Packers won the first ever Super Bowl

3. Who won the first Super Bowl?

Let’s turn back the clocks over 55 years to the first Super Bowl on January 15, 1967. The matchup saw the National League champions the Green Bay Packers take on the American League champions Kansas City Chiefs.

The Packers won the game 35-10 in front of 61,946 fans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

4. What was the closest Super Bowl in NFL history?

Super Bowl XXV in 1991 between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills is the only championship game to be decided by one point.

The final score saw the Giants stealing a 20-19 victory after Scott Norwood, the Bills kicker, missed a field goal to win the game with 8 seconds left. Ouch!

5. Have any NFL teams gone undefeated in a season?

The only team to go undefeated, including the playoffs, were the 1972 Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins’ 17-0 perfect season culminated in a 14-7 Super Bowl VII win over the Washington Redskins.

history of the nfl
The Miami Dolphins recorded a perfect season in 1972

6. Some teams couldn’t even win once

Let’s take a look at the other side of the coin – what teams have the dubious distinction of not winning a game all season?

The most recent winless season is the Cleveland Browns who went 0-16 in 2017. The Detroit Lions also went 0-16 in 2008.

7. Who are some of the best quarterbacks of all-time?

This is always a hotly debated topic, so we thought we’d wade in too.

4-time Super Bowl champion and 3-time Super Bowl MVP Joe Montana is widely considered the best offensive quarterback in NFL history.

However, on stats alone Tom Brady is the GOAT. He has won seven Super Bowl championships, the most by any player in NFL history. Brady has also received numerous individual accolades, including multiple Super Bowl MVP awards and league MVP honors.

Another of the great all-time quarterbacks is Peyton Manning. Manning led two teams to Super Bowl glory and won the NFL Most Valuable Player 5 times.

8. What NFL team is the most profitable?

The Dallas Cowboys are far and away the most valuable NFL franchise in history. In 2022, they were valued at $8 billion and have held the distinction of most valuable club since 2007. However, despite the profits, the Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1995.

nfl facts and history
Joe Montana is one of the greatest quarterbacks ever

9. What NFL team has won the most championships?

Two teams share the honor of the most championship wins. First, the Pittsburgh Steelers lifted the Vince Lombardi trophy in 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005 and 2008.

The New England Patriots tied the Steelers with their Super Bowl win in 2018, after winning in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014 and 2016.

10. Who was Vince Lombardi?

Vince Lombardi is considered one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. He was the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during their NFL dominance in the 1960s. 

Amazingly, Lombardi never had a losing season as a head coach amassing a 73.8% win percentage. No wonder the Super Bowl trophy is named after him!

11. The largest stadium in the NFL

Here is one of the NFL facts that will blow your mind – Did you know the largest NFL stadium can hold over 100,000 spectators?

Opened in 2009, AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys, not only has an astonishing number of seats, it also has a retractable roof!

what is the biggest stadium in nfl
This stadium holds over 100,000 people

12. The incredible Tom Brady

What hasn’t been said about Tom Brady? The quarterback is undeniably the greatest NFL player of all-time. 

Aside from being a seven-time Super Bowl champion, he is also the record holder for most passing yards, completions, touchdown passes and games started. Brady is an absolute legend.

13. The celebrity owners of NFL teams

The minority owners of the Miami Dolphins include an impressive list of star singers and athletes. Marc Anthony, Fergie, Gloria Estefan, Venus Williams and Serena Williams all own a small stake in the Florida NFL team.

14. The bird is the word

How about a quick round of NFL trivia? Can you name all of the NFL teams that are named after birds? We’ll give you a hint: there’s 5 teams with this distinction.

Ready with your answers? The teams are the Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons.

nfl history facts
Jim Brown was one of the all-time greats

15. The greatest running back of all-time?

Throughout these fun facts about the NFL we’ve been talking a lot about the quarterbacks, but what about the running backs?

Jim Brown and Walter Peyton are often considered the GOAT running backs. Brown led the league in rushing yards an incredible 8-times in his career. Peyton was a 9-time Pro Bowl selection.

16. Who has kicked the most field goals in the NFL?

It may be the kickers of the NFL who are the most underappreciated. They’re constantly under pressure, sometimes kicking to win the game. One miss and you go down in infamy, one completion you’re hailed as a hero.

Adam Vinatieri is considered the greatest kicker of all-time with a record 599 field goals made.

17. NFL teams who have never won the Super Bowl

Incredibly, there are 12 teams who have never won the Super Bowl. The Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills have the terrible distinction of playing in the Super Bowl 4-times and never winning.

4 teams have never even made it to the championship game: The Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans.

super bowl trophy
This is the Super Bowl trophy everyone is trying to win

18. Possible NFL expansion into Canada or Mexico?

Did you know that the NFL is the only big-4 sports league (MLB, NHL, NBA) to not have at least one Canadian team?

An international NFL team may not be far off though as expansion plans have been discussed to possibly begin new franchises in Canada, Mexico, Germany, Brazil, UK and China.

19. The highest rated NFL broadcast of all-time

Where were you during Super Bowl XLIX between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots? Chances are you were watching the game on television. The broadcast shattered viewing records with an immense 114 million viewers!

20. The greatest Super Bowl halftime shows ever

How can we have fun facts about the NFL without mentioning the Super Bowl halftime show? The biggest musical spectacle in sports has seen some legendary performances over the years. 

Some of the performances often considered the greatest include Prince, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, and U2.

super bowl facts
Beyonce had one of the best Super Bowl half-time shows ever

21. The biggest blowout in NFL history

Believe it or not, there have been two NFL games that have ended in a score of 59-0. First the Los Angeles Rams pummeled the Atlanta Falcons by this score in 1976.

Then in 2009 it happened again, with the New England Patriots thumping the Tennessee Titans 59-0. This may be an NFL record that never gets broken!

22. Wait… it’s a tie?

Actually ties aren’t that uncommon in the history of the NFL. That’s because before 1974 there was no overtime. 

Once the sudden death overtime rule was implemented there have only been 29 tied games since. 

nfl stadiums
We hope you’ve enjoyed all our fun NFL facts!

23. The 2024 Super Bowl

Super Bowl LVIII will be held on February 11th, 2024 at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada. It will be the first time Nevada has hosted the Super Bowl. 

Who do you think will make the championship game? Can the Kansas City Chiefs do it again? Let us know in the comments!

Who wants more fun facts?

fact books

If you’re looking for some recommendations, these are a few of our favorite fact books to buy. We use these when planning fun trivia nights with family and friends!

  1. Interesting Facts for Curious Minds
  2. 1,144 Random, Interesting & Fun Facts You Need To Know
  3. The Intriguingly Interesting Book of 555 Fascinating Facts

We really hope you enjoyed all our fun facts about the NFL! Did you learn something new? 

If there’s any NFL facts we missed, you can let us know in the comments below and we’ll add them to this article! 

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