As a football enthusiast, you might be curious about the origins and stories behind the names of the 32 NFL teams. Let’s dive into some interesting details.
The Arizona Cardinals were named after the “cardinal red” color of their jerseys, which were originally purchased from the University of Chicago. The Atlanta Falcons were named in a contest by a schoolteacher, who associated the falcon with pride, dignity, courage, and a strong sporting tradition.
The Baltimore Ravens were named after Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem, as Poe is buried in Baltimore. The Buffalo Bills were named after frontiersman Buffalo Bill Cody when the team was initially part of the All-America Football Conference; this name later carried over to the AFL franchise.
The Carolina Panthers were given their name by team president Mark Richardson, who believed that a panther signified power, sleekness, and strength. The Chicago Bears got their name from playing at Wrigley Field, sharing its space with baseball’s Cubs, and thus sticking to an ursine theme.
The Cincinnati Bengals were named by team owner Paul Brown to honor a past football team in Cincinnati with the same name. The Cleveland Browns obtained their name from their first coach and general manager, Paul Brown.
The Dallas Cowboys were initially going to be named the “Steers” but settled on “Cowboys” to avoid the potential ridicule. The Denver Broncos were named in a contest with a 25-word essay, and they share their name with a Denver team from the Midwest Baseball League in 1921.
The Detroit Lions were named after their city’s already established baseball team, the Tigers. The Green Bay Packers got their name from their founder’s employer, the Indian Packing Company, which provided equipment and access to the field.
Finally, the Houston Texans gained their name after it emerged victorious in a fan contest. The people of Houston wanted a name that reflected their pride in being Texans.
As you explore the other NFL team names, you’ll find more fascinating stories and connections that celebrate the history and identity of each team.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the origin of each NFL team’s name?
Each NFL team has its own unique history behind its name. Some names were chosen through fan contests, like the Miami Dolphins name origin, while others reflect regional values or animals, like the Chicago Bears.
How did animals become inspirations for NFL team names?
Many NFL teams chose animal names to represent traits they wanted their team to embody, such as strength, swiftness, and fierceness. Animals like the Bengals, Eagles, and Lions are prime examples of these characteristics.
Why are some NFL teams named after cities and states?
NFL teams are often named after their location as it helps establish a connection with fans from that specific area. The geographical identifier gives fans a sense of pride and support for their local team.
Which NFL team names have unique origin stories?
Some team names have interesting backstories unrelated to the location or animal mascots, like the New York Jets, as their name change was influenced by their stadium’s proximity to LaGuardia Airport, and it also rhymed with the New York Mets.
How do NFL team names connect to their cities?
Team names often reflect the city’s culture, industry, or history. For example, the Green Bay Packers are named after their city’s longstanding association with the meatpacking industry, creating a bond between the team and its fans.
Has the naming process for NFL teams changed over the years?
Yes, the naming process for NFL teams has evolved over time. Many of the older franchises chose their name without much fan interaction, while newer franchises often involve their fans in naming contests or utilize social media to gather input and suggestions. This gives fans in newer cities a chance to become more engaged with their team from its inception.