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Football Trivia

(Answers at the bottom of the page)

How well do you know your Gridiron History?

1. Who was the first Associated Press National Champion in college football?

2. What was the first college bowl game ever played?

3. In what year was the forward pass added to the college football rulebook?

4. In what year did the World Football League debut?

5. How many teams were there in the Arena Football League when it debuted in 1987?

6. What color were penalty flags in the NFL prior to 1965?

7. When did the American Professional Football Association become the National Football League?

8. What NFL team was the first to have an emblem painted on their helmets?

9. In what year did the NFL and the AFL merge?

10. Who played in the first ever Monday Night Football game?

11. Who came up with the name Super Bowl?

12. What television network broadcast the first Super Bowl?

13. Who was the first college quarterback to throw for 10,000 yards in his career?

14. When was the first college football game played?

15. Which NFL team was the first to play its home games in a domed stadium?

16. What geometric shape is a football?

17. Which NFL teams do not have cheerleading squads?

18. Who was the first person inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame?

19. In what year did the NFL web site, NFL.COM, debut?

20. In what year did the NFL season go from 14 regular season games to 16?

21. Who's names are on the trophies presented to the NFC and AFC champions each year?

22. What city was awarded the first team franchise by the XFL in 2000?

23. In what year did the Canadian Football League go from a 16 to an 18 game regular season schedule?

24. What city can boast having 4 different football teams win championships in 3 different leagues?

25. How wide are the fields in the NFL, CFL and Arena Football Leagues?

26. Who was the first woman to play college football?

27. What is the longest game ever played in pro football history?

28. What is the name of the design on the helmet of the New Orleans Saints?

29. Who was the leading rusher in the XFL?

30. Who was the first black quarterback to play in the Big Ten and also in the NFL?

31. What American Football League team was the first to ever beat an NFL team?

32. Who was the first African-American referee in the NFL?

33. Can you name the only U.S. city to have pro football teams in the WFL, USFL, WLAF, CFL  and the XFL, but has never had a team in the NFL?

34. Who was the first African-American to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton?

35. In what year did the NFL add a 15-yard penalty for roughing the passer to the rule book?

36. What is a Virginia Tech Hokie?

37. What is a Penn State Nittany Lion?

38. Who is the only running back to rush for 2,000 yards in college and in the NFL?

39. In what year was the NFL Draft reduced from 12 rounds to the current 7 rounds?

40. Who was the first player in the NFL to rush for 1,000 yards in a season?

41. When the NFL and the AFL merged in 1970, what three NFL teams joined the AFC?

42. In what year did the Pro Bowl move from the mainland to Hawaii?

43. In what year did the NFL require headgear to be worn?

44. In what year did ESPN begin televising NFL games?

45. In what year was the value of a field goal dropped from four points to three?

46. In what year was the value of a touchdown increased from five points to six?  

47. In what year did the NFL and AFL hold their first combined college draft? Who was the first person selected?

48. How many rounds were there in the first American Football League draft on November 22, 1959?

49. How many footballs can be made from the hide of one cow?

50. Who was the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy?

51. When was the famous Heidi game played?

52. When did the Boston Patriots become the New England Patriots?


Did You Know...

In the movie, See Spot Run, (2001) starring David Arquette, there are two scenes at the beginning where the lead characters are watching a football game on TV. Both scenes are of USFL games between the Boston Breakers and the Denver Gold. However, in the first scene, the Breakers are wearing their blue, home jerseys and in the second, the Gold are wearing their home jerseys, black . The footage was supplied by Sekani, Inc. 

The next time you are watching the TV show Everybody Loves Raymond, see if you don't notice a box of Flutie Flakes on top of the refrigerator in the kitchen. I have seen it there in several episodes.

In the episode "Band Geeks" of the cartoon show Sponge Bob Square Pants, there are two pieces of footage from the USFL. An aerial shot of the Memphis Showboats stadium as well as a crowd scene showing a woman wearing a Tampa Bay Bandits T-Shirt. The episode has the gang forming a marching band and performing a halftime show at the Bubble Bowl.

On The Drew Carey Show, look for a white mini helmet with the Pro Football Hall of Fame logo on it in Drew's kitchen. It can be seen on a shelf behind the kitchen table, sometimes directly under the window.


Trivia Answers

1. Who was the first Associated Press National Champion in college football? Answer:  Minnesota in 1936

2. What was the first college bowl game ever played? Answer:  1902 Pasadena Bowl. Michigan over Stanford 49-0. ( In 1917, the game's name was changed to the Rose Bowl) 

3. In what year was the forward pass added to the college football rulebook? Answer : 1906

4. In what year did the World Football League debut? Answer : 1974, the league folded mid way through its second season in 1975

5. How many teams were there in the Arena Football League when it debuted in 1987? Answer : 4, Chicago Bruisers, Washington Commandos, Pittsburgh Gladiators, Denver Dynamite

6. What color were penalty flags in the NFL prior to 1965? Answer : White

7. When did the American Professional Football Association become the National Football League? Answer : June 24, 1922.

8. What NFL team was the first to have an emblem painted on their helmets? Answer : The Los Angeles Rams in 1948.

9. In what year did the NFL and the AFL merge? Answer : 1966, but they were not fully merged until 1970.

10. Who played in the first ever Monday Night Football game? Answer :  The Cleveland Browns defeated the  New York Jets 31-21 on September 21, 1970

11. Who came up with the name Super Bowl? Answer : Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt.

12. What television network broadcast the first Super Bowl? Answer : Both CBS and NBC.

13. Who was the first college quarterback to throw for 10,000 yards in his career? Answer : Doug Flutie, Boston College, 1984.

14. When was the first college football game played? Answer : November 6, 1869. Rutgers beat Princeton 6-4.

15. Which NFL team was the first to play its home games in a domed stadium? Answer : The Houston Oilers, who began playing their home games in the Astrodome in 1968.

16. What geometric shape is a football? Answer : A prolate spheroid.

17. Which NFL teams do not have cheerleading squads? Answer : Green Bay, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, NY Jets and NY Giants.

18. Who was the first person inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame? Answer : Legendary college football coach Amos Alonzo Stagg.

19. In what year did the NFL web site, NFL.COM, debut? Answer : April 10, 1995.

20. In what year did the NFL season go from 14 regular season games to 16? Answer : 1978.

21. Who's names are on the trophies presented to the NFC and AFC champions each year? Answer : Since 1984, the NFC Champion receives the George S. Halas Trophy and the AFC Champion receives the Lamar Hunt Trophy.

22. What city was awarded the first team franchise by the XFL in 2000? Answer : The Chicago Enforcers.

23. In what year did the Canadian Football League go from a 16 to an 18 game regular season schedule? Answer : 1986. (The CFL went to a 16 game schedule in 1974)

24. What city can boast having 4 different football teams win championships in 3 different leagues? Answer : Baltimore. 1971 Baltimore Colts (Super Bowl V), 1985 Baltimore Stars (USFL), 1995 Baltimore Stallions (CFL), 2001 Baltimore Ravens (Super Bowl XXXV).

25. How wide are the fields in the NFL, CFL and Arena Football Leagues? Answer : NFL fields are 53.5 yards wide, CFL fields are 65 yards wide and Arena Football fields are 85 feet wide.

26. Who was the first woman to play college football? Answer : Liz Heaston of the Willamette University Bearcats in Salem, Oregon, a Division III NCAA School . In 1997, Liz was recruited from the schools soccer team to fill in for the football team's injured place kicker. She converted two extra points.

27. What is the longest game ever played in pro football history? Answer : June 30, 1984. A USFL playoff game between the Michigan Panthers and the Los Angeles Express. LA won the game with 3:33 left in the third overtime when Mel Gray ran 24 yards for a touchdown. He broke his left arm diving into the endzone. It was the last game ever for the Panthers who merged with the Oakland Invaders the following season.

28. What is the name of the design on the helmet of the New Orleans Saints? Answer : Fleur-de-lis. (pronounced flur-dee-lee)

29. Who was the leading rusher in the XFL? Answer : Running back John Avery, Chicago Enforcers finished the 10 game regular season with 800 yards rushing.

30. Who was the first black quarterback to play in the Big Ten and also in the NFL? Answer : Willie Thrower, Chicago Bears. He replaced QB George Blanda in a game against San Francisco on October 18, 1953 at Soldier Field. He completed 3 of 8 passes for 27 yards with one interception in a 35-28 loss. Thrower never played in another game for the Bears and was cut from the team at the end of the season. He played the next three years in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He was also the first black quarterback to play in the Big Ten helping to lead Michigan State to the 1952 National Championship.

31. What American Football League team was the first to ever beat an NFL team? Answer : The Denver Broncos defeated the Detroit Lions in a pre-season game 13-7 on August 5, 1967.

32. Who was the first African-American referee in the NFL? Answer : Johnny Grier, 1988.

33. Can you name the only U.S. city to have pro football teams in the WFL, USFL, WLAF, CFL  and the XFL, but has never had a team in the NFL? Answer : Birmingham, Alabama. WFL - Birmingham Americans (1974) and Birmingham Vulcans (1975), USFL - Birmingham Stallions (1983-85), WLAF - Birmingham Fire (1991-92), CFL - Birmingham Barracudas (1995), XFL - Birmingham Bolts (2001). 

34. Who was the first African-American to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton? Answer : Safety Emlen Tunnell, inducted in 1967. Played for the NY Giants from 1948-1958 and for the Green Bay Packers from 1959-1961. In 1952, he had a combined 924 yards in interception, kickoff and punt returns, that was more than the league's leading rusher, Dan Towler of the Los Angeles Rams who had 894 yards. Tunnell also had 79 career interceptions.

35. In what year did the NFL add a 15-yard penalty for roughing the passer to the rule book? Answer : 1938.

36. What is a Virginia Tech Hokie? The name Hokie comes from a school spirit yell that dates back to around 1896. Read the whole story at http://www.unirel.vt.edu/vthistory/hokie-explained.html.

37. What is a Penn State Nittany Lion? The word Nittany comes from Mount Nittany which is near the school . Read more at http://www.psu.edu/ur/about/nittany.html.

38. Who is the only running back to rush for 2,000 yards in college and in the NFL? Barry Sanders (1988 Oklahoma State – 2,628 and 1997 Detroit Lions – 2,053)

39. In what year was the NFL Draft reduced from 12 rounds to the current 7 rounds? 1994

40. Who was the first player in the NFL to rush for 1,000 yards in a season? Beattie Feathers, 1934, Chicago Bears

41. When the NFL and the AFL merged in 1970, what three NFL teams joined the AFC? The Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers

42. In what year did the Pro Bowl move from the mainland to Hawaii? 1980

43. In what year did the NFL require headgear to be worn? 1943

44. In what year did ESPN begin televising NFL games? 1987

45. In what year was the value of a field goal dropped from four points to three? 1909

46. In what year was the value of a touchdown increased from five points to six? 1912

47. In what year did the NFL and AFL hold their first combined college draft? Who was the first person selected? 1967. Baltimore Colts selected Bubba Smith, DT from Michigan State

48. How many rounds were there in the first American Football League draft on November 22, 1959? Thirty-three

49. How many footballs can be made from the hide of one cow? 20 footballs (or 144 baseballs)

50. Who was the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy? Halfback Ernie Davis, Syracuse, 1961

51. When was the famous Heidi game played? November 17, 1968 - New York Jets at Oakland Raiders. NBC-TV coverage ended with 1:05 left in the fourth quarter with the Jets leading 32-29 to show the movie, Heidi. Oakland scored 13 points and won the game 42-32. This was an AFL game played two years before the merger with the NFL.  

52. When did the Boston Patriots become the New England Patriots? Boston Patriots (1960-1970), New England Patriots (1971-Today)