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NFL History Images

The Catch

In 1982, Dwight Clark's "The Catch" put the San Francisco 49ers in their first Super Bowl.

Green Bay Legend

Legendary coach Vince Lombardi led the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships in the 1960s.

The Commissioner

NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who led the league from 1960 to 1989, oversaw the NFL's rise into a sports-business juggernaut.

Fritz Pollard

A black man, Fritz Pollard, was the star player for the 1920 Akron Pros, leading the team to win the NFL's very first championship.

Paul Robeson in the NFL

Paul Robeson, a world-famous actor, singer, civil rights advocate, and radical political activist, also played three years in the NFL in the 1920s, earning money to pay his way through Columbia University Law School.

Backfield Racial Pioneers

Kenny Washington (13) and Woody Strode (34) starred together in the UCLA backfield before becoming the first black players to play in the modern NFL when they joined the LA Rams in 1946.

Woody Strode

Woody Strode, the first African-American to play in the modern NFL, later became a successful Hollywood film actor, most famously portraying a fearsome gladiator opposite Kirk Douglass in 1960's Spartacus.

The Galloping Ghost

Red Grange, "The Galloping Ghost," became the NFL's biggest star when he joined the league in the 1920s.

Jackie Robinson on the Gridiron

Jackie Robinson (28) became an American hero as a baseball player, but those who saw him play said he was even more talented on the gridiron. In 1939, while playing for UCLA, Robinson led the nation in yards per carry.

Inspiring the Super Bowl

The Super Ball, a children's toy that provided Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt with the inspiration for the name "Super Bowl" in 1966.

George P. Marshall

George Preston Marshall, owner of the Washington Redskins, refused to allow black players on his team until 1962.

Ice Bowl

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys in 1967's famous "Ice Bowl" NFL Championship Game, played in subzero temperatures on the "frozen tundra of Lambeau Field." The Packers would go on to beat the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl two weeks later.

Fog Bowl

In 1988, the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles played each other in a game remembered as the "Fog Bowl." Fans watching the Monday Night Football game on television could see virtually nothing through the impenetrable gray fog that had descended upon Chicago's Soldier Field.

Jim Brown

Cleveland's Jim Brown broke virtually all NFL rushing records during his nine-year pro career, which lasted from 1957 to 1965.

Broadway Joe

Quarterback Joe Namath led the New York Jets to a shocking victory in 1969's Super Bowl III.

Steel Curtain

The Pittsburgh Steelers rode their fearsome "Steel Curtain" defense to four Super Bowl titles in the late 1970s.

Joe Cool

San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana led the best offensive team of the 1980s to a perfect 4-0 record in Super Bowls.

Brett Favre

In 1997, quarterback Brett Favre led the Green Bay Packers to their first Super Bowl since legendary coach Vince Lombardi retired nearly three decades earlier.

Pats Dynasty

The New England Patriots, led by fiery coach Bill Belichick, became the first NFL dynasty of the twenty-first century by winning three out of four Super Bowls starting in 2002.


NFL Properties has generated billions of dollars for the league by licensing the sale of NFL-themed clothing and paraphernalia of every possible description. The early 1990s witnessed perhaps the most unfortunate NFL-related fashion trend of all time: the brief popularity of Zubaz pants, tiger-print parachute pants offered in team colors. (If you look carefully here, you can see a New Orleans Saints logo hidden amidst the hideousness.)

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