After a very disappointing season, at least the NFL Playoffs are exciting. And while the dominate ink is currently devoted to what the new GM will do next and filling coaching vacancies, let’s play a little trivia on the four clubs that remain in the Championship Weekend games. Answers below.
- Jacksonville has never played in a Super Bowl, although this marks their third appearance in an AFC Championship Game. What other three NFL teams have never played in a Super Bowl?
- How many combined NFL championships do the Vikings, Eagles, Jaguars, and Patriots currently hold?
- Which club out of the four remaining had a regular season game canceled due to a president being assassinated?
- Two of these franchises began in another league before becoming an NFL affiliate. Name them.
- The Patriots and Vikings both have territorial ties to their team names. What was the significance of the Eagles being called the Eagles?
- Which of the four cities were the league attendance champions two years straight in another pro football league?
- One of these franchises submitted a name change to the NFL league offices but canceled the change because of an abrupt newspaper headline. Which team?
- Which team was awarded the NFL championship trophy and then lost it?
9. A car company stopped which club from using their original logo?
10. Which team merged with another team for one season instead of closing down?
11. One of these four clubs had to use a college stadium for home games after their home field’s roof collapsed. Which team?
12. Jacksonville plays one home game a year in London. What is the name of their English fan base called?
13. Name the greatest QB from each team.
14. What future Pro Football Hall of Famer left his team and eventually played for the division-rival Vikings?
15. Which team was featured in the film “Invincible” starring Mark Wahlberg?
16. The NFL college draft was devised by the owner of which club?
17. The Patriots first-ever helmet featured what article of clothing on its side?
18. Which American city was the favorite to get the expansion team that went to Jacksonville instead?
19. All four remaining teams have a costumed mascot at every home game. Can you name each?
20. The current New England helmet has a name for the patriot design called the “Royal Patriot.” What is the popular nickname for this design?
- Cleveland, Detroit, and Houston
- Nine. New England has won five Super Bowls, Philadelphia three NFL titles and Minnesota won the NFL’s final championship in 1969 before the merger of 1970.
- New England, as the Boston Patriots in 1962. The AFL canceled all games during the weekend of November 23-24 whereas the NFL played a full schedule after President Kennedy was shot.
- New England and Minnesota were both original teams of the upstart American Football League in 1960. On the eve of that league’s first college draft, the Vikings bolted the AFL for an NFL expansion franchise.
- President Franklin Roosevelt devised a series of federal programs called the “New Deal” to get America out of the Great Depression. The New Deal symbol was the eagle, and the two owners wanted their new team to have a new start just like our country did.
- The Jacksonville Bulls of the United States Football League averaged 46,730 patrons in their maiden season of 1984 and 44,329 fans in 1985, topping all other larger USFL cities including Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix and New Jersey.
- New England, in 1970. The team looked at options other than downtown Boston and was given land in Foxborough, home of the Bay State Raceway (a horse racing track). Patriots’ officials already were wanting to get away from the Boston moniker, and in return wanted to rename their team to honor the land donors. Thus, they submitted to league offices to become the “Bay State Patriots.” Press releases were sent out, and later a morning newspaper headline stated, “BS Patriots to Hire Bell as Coach.” Shortly thereafter, the “New England Patriots” was submitted instead.
- Vikings. During this period, the NFL had a trophy that resided with the current champion until the following season with each champions’ name inscribed, similar to the Stanley Cup in hockey. The “Ed Thorp Memorial Trophy” was given to the Vikings when they captured the 1969 NFL Championship. Teams would make replicas of the trophy for their cases, but the whereabouts of the Thorpe Trophy is still missing today.
- The Jaguars first sported a silver helmet with a leaping gold/black jaguar cat as their very first helmet design. However, the Jaguar division of Ford Motors stated the logo was too similar to their own. No suit was ever filed, but Jacksonville developed the current Jaguar head logo with claw design shortly thereafter to avoid confusion and a possible lawsuit.
10. In 1943, the Steelers had only three players while the Eagles had 16 because of World War II. After the Rams closed completely down for the year, these two Pennsylvania sisters merged to form the “Steagles” for one year. Two home games were played in Pittsburgh while Philly got the other four.
11. Minnesota’s cozy heated home field, the Metrodome, had an inflatable roof which collapsed during a heavy snowstorm in 2010. For the week 15 game against the Bears, the Vikings were forced to use the University of Minnesota’s field, an outdoor facility.
12. Union Jax Fan Club, currently with more than 50,000 members.
13. Patriots: Tom Brady, Jaguars: Mark Brunnel, Vikings: Fran Tarkenton, Eagles: Norm Van Brocklin
14. Brett Favre. Left the Packers in 2007, played for the Jets one season, then signed with the Packers’ hated division foe Vikings from 2009-2010.
15. Eagles’ walk-on bartender turned wide receiver Vince Papale was the subject of this football movie. Papale did, however, play for the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League the two seasons prior to his successful try-out with the Eagles - an item omitted by the movie.
16. Again the Eagles. In the early 1930s, the Eagles were annual doormats and could not sign the high profile college graduates. Owner Bert Bell convinced the other owners that the league would never survive without the other teams having a shot at the better talent with the worst club selecting first. In 1932, the first NFL draft was conceived. Since then, every other major sport has devised a draft.
17. Everyone is familiar with “Pat Patriot” which adorned helmets from 1961-1992. In their first season, a minuteman hat was displayed along with the player’s jersey number underneath.
18. Everyone assumed that Baltimore would get the second of two expansion franchises in 1995. The Colts had left a few years earlier, and the city had promised to build a new stadium if another club was placed there. At one point, the Jacksonville ownership group dropped out of the process assuming one of three Baltimore ownership contingencies would prevail instead.
19. Jacksonville: Jaxson De Ville; Minnesota: Viktor; Patriots: Pat Patriot; Eagles: Swoop
20. The Flying Elvis