I have a friend from college named Connor Raabe and whenever he introduces me to people, he tells them that I know everything about sports including the starting left tackle for the 2015 Tennessee Titans. While I do not know everything, I do know a lot of obscure and random facts like Taylor Lewan, who is one of my favorite players, was the starting left tackle in 2015. I have spent a lot of time on Wikipedia and other sites to learn about random players and facts because I find it interesting. Just last week, I found out that the New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl win in the 2009 season came before their first road playoff win in the 2013 season. It got me down another Wikipedia binge and I figured out fun facts about each team that the Kansas City Chiefs play in 2018.
Los Angeles Chargers: Back when the team was located in San Diego, the Chargers had an official fight song, “San Diego Super Chargers”, and it was a disco song originally written and released in 1979. It was replaced with a non-disco version in 1989, but the original returned in 2002. Sadly, this was retired when the team moved to Los Angeles.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers were one of the NFL teams hit the hardest during World War II. The 1943 and 1944 Steelers teams had to merge with others due to the players lost to military service. The 1943 team merged with the Philadelphia Eagles, unofficially nicknamed the “Steagles.” The 1944 team joined with the Chicago (now Arizona) Cardinals, and was unofficially called the “Card-Pitt” or “carpet” due to the team’s 0-10 record.
San Fransisco 49ers: In 1991, the 49ers were planning on a new logo. Instead of the iconic “SF” in the oval shape that the team just won four Super Bowls with, the new logo was going to put more emphasis on the team’s nickname. The logo was hated so much that the phone lines were flooded and the logo was scrapped the next day. The design was already submitted to some of the NFL’s corporate partners and licensed materials like a cake decorating kit had the scrapped helmet design.
Denver Broncos: In 2013, it was revealed that a Neil Smith’s jersey was buried in Denver’s stadium. Similar to what was seen in 2008 with a Boston Red Sox jersey buried in Yankee Stadium, the jersey was meant to curse the team, but Denver fans got the last laugh with the Super Bowl 50 victory. The choice of Smith was also odd since he was on the Broncos when they won the Super Bowl in the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
Jacksonville Jaguars: When the Jaguars initially revealed the prototypes for their uniforms before entering the league in 1995, the uniforms featured a leaping jaguar on the jersey and helmet. This created a controversy as the Ford Motor Company, then-parent of the automaker Jaguar, thought the logo was too similar to their car company. The two different Jaguars’ lawyers negotiated a deal where the car company was the official vehicle of the team and the uniforms would be redesigned.
New England Patriots: The new uniforms introduced by the Patriots in 1995 featured a new element to NFL uniforms – the fabric in the jersey was embedded with light and dark vertical stripes. The stripes were not always visible, but when they were, it was hard to miss them. The pattern was dropped in 2000 when the team adopted the uniforms that are still used today.
Cincinnati Bengals: Although Bill Walsh’s 49ers success is credited with creating the West Coast offense, the schemes that were used came from a modified version of the offense Walsh created with the Bengals to help Virgil Carter’s abilities. By the time that the 49ers turned into a consistent contender in the 1980s, the offense got its name thanks to Bill Parcels.
Cleveland Browns: Today, the Browns are known as one of the most abysmal franchises in all of sports, but that was not always the case. The Browns went to every championship game in their first 10 seasons and won seven. The team won four straight in the All-America Football Conference from 1946-49 and then joined the San Fransisco 49ers and Baltimore Colts (different from the Baltimore Colts that later moved to Indianapolis) to the NFL after the AAFC dissolved. The Browns won the NFL title in their first season, and then again in 1954 and 1955. The team would win another championship in 1964, which was the city of Cleveland’s last until the NBA’s Cavaliers championship in 2016.
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals and the Chicago Bears are the only two remaining charter members from the NFL’s first season in 1920. The Cardinals were originally in Chicago before moving to St. Louis in 1960 and then Phoenix in 1988. The Cardinals are also the oldest professional football club in the country, originally forming in 1898. During their run in Chicago, the Cardinals won two championships in 1925 and 1946. The 1925 championship is a controversial title as the Pottsville Maroons beat the Cardinals, but the Maroons were suspended by the NFL after playing a Notre Dame all-star team, thus giving the title to the Cardinals.
Los Angeles Rams: In 1972, the Rams were bought by Robert Irsay, but Irsay would trade ownership of the Rams with the Baltimore Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom. Rosenbloom would run the team until he died in a drowning accident in 1979. His widow, Georgia Frontiere, took majority ownership and became the first female majority owner in the four major professional sports leagues. After Frontiere died in 2008, her children gained control before offering their majority shares up for sale in 2009. Shahid Khan intended to buy the Rams, but at the last second, Stan Kroenke invoked his right to first refusal to buy the 60 percent of the team. Khan would later buy the Jacksonville Jaguars. As a loophole over the NFL’s cross-ownership rule, Kroenke transferred ownership of the franchises he owned in Denver to his son.
Oakland Raiders: The team was originally going to be called the Oakland Señors after the name won a fan vote, but after it was the target of jokes in the area, the team would adopt the Raiders name. The Raiders uniforms originally featured black, white and gold, but when Al Davis took over as general manager in 1963, he would change the color scheme to silver and black. Other than minor tweaks, the uniforms have remained virtually the same since Davis adopted the colors that are now associated with the Raiders.
Baltimore Ravens: Before Art Modell moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore in 1996, the city of Baltimore had spent more than a decade trying to get an NFL team back after the Colts moved. In 1993, the NFL was going to award two new franchises that would begin play in 1995. St. Louis and Baltimore were thought to be the two favorites over Jacksonville, Charlotte and Memphis, however, Jacksonville and Carolina were awarded the teams, but in 1995, Modell announced he would move the team to Baltimore. The city of Cleveland and season ticket holders would take legal action and the NFL created a compromise. The Browns history, records and name would remain in Cleveland and the team could move to Baltimore technically as an expansion team. The city of Cleveland had to build a new stadium and the Browns would return by 1999 either by expansion or relocation.
Seattle Seahawks: When the AFL-NFL merger was agreed upon, one of the terms was the league would expand to 28 teams soon after the official merger in 1970. The two expansion teams to get the league up to 28 would be the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976. The expansion plan had the two teams in separate conferences. The teams would play the 13 other conference opponents and each other. The first season, Seattle was in the NFC West and played the NFC teams and Tampa in the AFC West and played the AFC teams. The next season, Tampa switched to the NFC Central and Seattle went to the AFC West. The teams flipped schedules and Tampa played NFC teams while Seattle played AFC. In 1978, the teams played under the regular schedule format as the rest of the league that just was increased to 16. When the Houston Texans joined in 2002, the Seahawks would switch conferences again back to the NFC West in the new four-division alignment still used today.
Luke Peterson is the sports editor of the Leavenworth Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org