49 Interesting Facts About American Football

Last updated on September 28th, 2020

21. Gale Sayers

Gale Sayers played only 68 games in six seasons from 1965 to 1971, but he gained 6,213 yards and set six records during his short career. Sayers was inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first eligible year, 1977. He was also recognized by the NFL as the greatest running back of the first 50 years of league play.[28]

22. Sammy Baugh

Sammy Baugh injured a knee in baseball at Washington State University, so he switched his skills to football quarterback. The Hall of Famer played for Washington from 1937 to 1952 and later coached. He passed for 21,886 yards during his career and connected for 187 touchdowns.[29]

23. Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis spent his 17-year career as a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. During that time, he was named Defensive Player of the Year twice and won the Super Bowl MVP award. One of the interesting facts American football players: Ray Lewis was born Ray Jenkins, but he changed his name because he didn’t want to use the name of his absentee father.[30]

24. Randy Moss

Randy Moss set the record for scoring the most touchdown receptions in 2007 with 23 receptions while playing for the New England Patriots. The legendary wide receiver spent 7 years with the Minnesota Vikings, where he won the NFC Player of the Year award in 2003.[31]

25. Don Hutson

Don Hutson blazed a trail for many receivers. Huyson was an All-American twice while playing college football at Alabama, but he started out with a small baseball scholarship. He became a walk-on in football, but he grew in the sport to become one of the greatest players of all time. In 1934, college players were free agents who could sign with any team, and Green Bay Packers coach crashed a secret Alabama practice, where he was incredibly impressed with Hutson.[32]

26. Brett Favre

Brett Favre, after a great college career at the University of Southern Mississippi, was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons and traded to the Green Bay Packers. Favre became the franchise’s legendary quarterback who earned a Super Bowl victory and multiple league MVP awards before retiring as the leader in passing yardage and touchdowns. [33]

27. Alan Page

Alan Page, who was the first defensive player to win the MVP award, became an associate justice in later years before ascending to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1993. He played for the University of Notre Dame between 1963 and 1967, and he was later drafted by the Minnesota Vikings, where he was named Rookie of the Year in 1967.[34]

28. Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith played at Virginia Tech and won the Outland Trophy as a senior, which recognizes the best lineman in collegiate football. Drafted by the Buffalo Bills, Smith made 15 sacks in his second season and recorded at least 10 sacks for 13 seasons.[35]

29. Jack Lambert

Jack Lambert captured the hearts of Pittsburgh Steelers fans as one of the original “golden era” players during the 1970s. His speech during his induction to the Hall of Fame mentioned that he would do it all again as a Steeler. Lambert was drafted during the strike of 1974 as an inside linebacker, but he took over as middle linebacker for an injured player, where he made history.[36]

30. John Hannah

John Hannah won some of the most impressive awards of any football player. He was awarded recognition 10 consecutive times between 1976 through 1985 as a member of the All-Pro team, but the greatest distinction Hannah received was being named to All-Decade teams for the 1970s and 1980s.[37]