American Football in History

Events in Sport

  • 1899-01-07 Walter Camp publishes his 1st All-American football team in Collier's
  • 1906-09-05 St. Louis University quarterback Bradbury Robinson throws first legal forward pass in the history of American football for a TD to Jack Schneider at Carroll College, Waukesha, Wisconsin; St. Louis wins, 22-0
  • 1937-09-10 2nd American Football League plays 1st game (LA 21, Pittsburgh 0)
  • 1940-09-15 3rd American Football League plays 1st game (Milw 14, Columbus 2)

AgreementAgreement of Interest

1945-02-08 Paul Brown agrees to coach the new American football expansion team in Cleveland, which would later be named the Cleveland Browns after their coach

American Football Coach Paul Brown
American Football Coach
Paul Brown
  • 1950-03-03 National-American Football League reverts back to calling itself the NFL after 3 months
  • 1959-10-28 American Football League awards Buffalo Bills franchise to Ralph C Wilson
  • 1960-01-26 Oakland Raiders enter the American Football League
  • 1960-09-09 Denver Broncos beat Boston Patriots, 13-10 in the American Football League's first game before 21,597 fans at Nickerson Field in Boston
  • 1960-09-09 Denver beats Boston 13-10 in the American Football League's first game before 21,597 fans in Boston.
  • 1988-11-20 Boston College beats Army 38-24 in the 'Emerald isle Classic' at Dublin's Lansdowne Road Stadium, the first NCAA American Football game to be played in Europe
  • 1989-07-19 NFL owners vote unanimously to form World League of American Football - operated 1991-2007
  • 1991-02-24 End of World League of American Football's (WLAF) 1st draft
  • 1991-03-23 1st World League of American Football games, London beats Frankfurt 24-11, Sacramento beats Raleigh-Dur 9-3 & Mont beats Birmingham 20-5
  • 1998-01-22 World League of American Football renamed as NFL Europe
  • 2019-02-10 The eight centrally owned and operated team Alliance of American Football gets underway; Orlando Apollos beat Atlanta Legends, 40-6 at Spectrum Stadium, Orlando, FL
  • 2019-02-18 NHL hockey team Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon agrees to invest $250 million into the Alliance of American Football; named new chairman of the AAF

Birthdays in Sport

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 277

  • 1859-04-07 Walter Camp, father of American football (Yale), born in New Britain, Connecticut (d. 1925)
  • 1884-02-01 Bradbury Robinson Jr., American football pioneer (threw first legal forward pass in the history of American football 1906), born in Bellevue, Ohio (d. 1949)
  • 1899-03-28 Buck Shaw, American football player and coach, born in Mitchellville, Iowa (d. 1977)
  • 1903-04-24 Mike Michalske, American football NFL guard (NY Yankees, Green Bay Packers), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 1983)
  • 1909-08-02 Ace Gutowsky, Russian/American football fullback (Portsmouth Spartans, Brooklyn Dodgers; NFL C'ship 1935, Detroit Lions), born in Komolty, Russian Empire (d. 1976)
  • 1911-09-30 Ed Danowski, American football quarterback and halfback (NFL Championship 1934, 38; New York Giants; Pro Bowl 1938), born in Jamesport, New York (d. 1997)

Person of interestVince Lombardi

1913-06-11 Vince Lombardi, American football coach (Green Bay Packers), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1970)

NFL Coach Vince Lombardi
NFL Coach
Vince Lombardi
  • 1915-04-17 Joe Foss, American fighter ace, football executive (Medal of Honor-1943; first commissioner American Football League) and politician, born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (d. 2003)
  • 1916-04-11 Dan Fortmann, American football guard (Chicago Bears), born in Pearl River, New York (d. 1995)
  • 1920-06-02 Tex Schramm, American football team president and general manager (d. 2003)
  • 1924-01-25 Lou Groza, American football placekicker & offensive tackle (Cleveland Browns), born in Martins Ferry, Ohio (d. 2000)
  • 1925-07-01 Art McNally, American football referee and administrator (NFL Head of Officiating 1968-91), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Person of interestPete Rozelle

1926-03-01 Pete Rozelle, American football executive (NFL Commissioner 1960-89), born in South Gate, California (d. 1996)

NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle
NFL Commissioner
Pete Rozelle
  • 1926-12-21 Joe Paterno, American college hall of football coach (Penn State) and Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of 1986, born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2012)
  • 1927-01-01 Doak Walker, American College and Pro Football Hall of Fame halfback (Heisman Trophy 1948; Pro Bowl 1950-51, 53–55; First-team All-Pro 1950–51, 53–54; Detroit Lions), born Dallas, Texas (d. 1998)
  • 1929-02-03 Ken Shipp, American football coach
  • 1929-02-28 Hayden Fry, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (SMU 1962-72, North Texas State University 1973-78, University of Iowa 1979-98), born in Eastland, Texas (d. 2019)
  • 1929-04-01 Bo Schembechler Jr., American College Football Hall of Fame tackle (Miami U), coach (Miami U 1963-68, University of Michigan 1969-89; career record 234–65–8), and administrator (Michigan), born in Barberton, Ohio (d. 2006)
  • 1929-11-08 Bobby Bowden, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (Florida State 1976-2009; National C'ship 1993, 99), born in Birmingham, Alabama
  • 1930-09-01 Pete Brewster, American football end and coach (NFL Pro Bowl 1955, 56; Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Portland, Indiana (d. 2020)
  • 1931-10-18 Ed Biles, American football coach (College: Xavier 1962-68; NFL: Houston Oilers 1981-83), born in Reading, Ohio (d. 2020)
  • 1932-04-27 Chuck Knox, American NFL coach (Rams, Bills, Seahawks), born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania (d. 2018)
  • 1933-06-10 Chuck Fairbanks, American football coach (New England Patriots 1973-78; University of Oklahoma 1967-72, University of Colorado 1979-81), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2013)
  • 1934-07-16 George Perles, American football coach (Michigan State University 1983-94; Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2020)
  • 1937-01-25 Don Maynard, American football wide receiver (NY Jets: 633 receptions, 11,834 yards, 88 TDs), born in Crosbyton, Texas
  • 1937-07-09 Clemon Daniels, American football halfback and AFL player of year 1963 (Oak, Dallas, San Francisco), born in McKinney, Texas
  • 1938-02-20 Jack Bicknell, American football coach (Boston College, Barcelona Dragons), born in North Plainfield, New Jersey
  • 1938-08-22 Paul Maguire, American football commentator, born in Youngstown, Ohio
  • 1939-06-22 Don Matthews, American football coach in the CFL
  • 1939-07-18 Jerry Moore, American football player and coach, born in Bonham, Texas
  • 1940-01-22 George Seifert, American football coach
  • 1940-02-02 Wayne Fontes, American football coach
  • 1940-02-22 Larry Eisenhauer, American football defensive end (AFL All-Star 1962, 63, 64, 66; Boston Patriots), born in Hicksville, New York (d. 2020)
  • 1940-08-14 Galen Hall, American Football Coach (University of Florida, Orlando Thunder, Rhein Fire), born in Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • 1940-09-26 Frank Maloney, American football coach (Syracuse University 1974-1980), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2020)

Person of interestJoe Gibbs

1940-11-25 Joe Gibbs, American football coach (Washington Redskins), born in Mocksville, North Carolina

NFL Head Coach and NASCAR Team Owner Joe Gibbs
NFL Head Coach and NASCAR Team Owner
Joe Gibbs
  • 1941-08-18 Dennis Claridge, American football quarterback (NFL C'ship 1965, Green Bay Packers; Atlantic Falcons), born in Phoenix, Arizona (d. 2018)
  • 1941-08-20 Rich Brooks, American football player and coach (University of Oregon 1977-94; St. Louis Rams 1995-96), born in Forest, California

Person of interestMarty Schottenheimer

1943-09-23 Marty Schottenheimer, American football coach (Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers), born in McDonald, Pennsylvania

  • 1946-05-03 Norm Chow, American football coach, born in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • 1946-10-14 James Robert "Radio" Kennedy, American football coach, born in Anderson, South Carolina
  • 1946-11-13 Al Luginbill, American football coach (Amsterdam Admirals), born in Pomona, California
  • 1947-08-19 Terry Hoeppner, American football coach (d. 2007)
  • 1950-02-11 Clarence Ellis, American football safety, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 1950-03-01 Nick Mike-Mayer, American football placekicker (NFL Pro Bowl 1973; Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Buffalo Bills), born in Bologna, Italy
  • 1950-03-01 Riley Odoms, American football tight end (NFL Pro Bowl 1973–75, 78; First-Team All-Pro 1974, 75; Denver Broncos), born in Luling, Texas
  • 1950-09-01 Phillip Fulmer, American College Football Hall of Fame coach (Tennessee 152-52) and CBS analyst, born in Winchester, Tennessee
  • 1951-11-17 Butch Davis, American football coach

Person of interestBill Belichick

1952-04-16 Bill Belichick, American NFL coach (Super Bowl 2002, 04, 05, 14, 17, 18; most SB wins; NFL Coach of the Year 2003, 07, 10; New England Patriots), born in Nashville, Tennessee

NFL Coach Bill Belichick
NFL Coach
Bill Belichick

Person of interestMike Shanahan

1952-08-24 Mike Shanahan, American football coach (Denver Broncos), born in Oak Park, Illinois

NFL Head Coach Mike Shanahan
NFL Head Coach
Mike Shanahan
  • 1952-11-10 Gerry DiNardo, American football player (Notre Dame Fighting Irish) and coach (Colorado), born in Queens, New York
  • 1954-02-28 Brian Billick, American football coach
  • 1954-04-24 Vince Ferragamo, American football quarterback (LA Rams, Montreal Alouettes), born in Torrance, California
  • 1954-04-28 Ron Zook, American Football Coach
  • 1954-05-29 Randy Walker, American football fullback (Miami University) and coach (Miami University 1990-98, Northwestern University 1999-2005), born in Troy, Ohio (d. 2006)
  • 1954-09-18 Tommy Tuberville, American football coach, born in Camden, Arkansas
  • 1955-10-06 Tony Dungy, American football coach
  • 1956-03-09 Mark Dantonio, American football coach for Michigan State University, born in El Paso, Texas
  • 1956-06-27 Brad Childress, American football coach, born in Aurora, Illinois
  • 1956-07-31 Bill Callahan, American football coach, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1956-08-26 Mark Mangino, American football coach
  • 1956-10-16 Johnny Chavis, American football coach
  • 1957-01-25 Jeff Gossett, American football punter (Oakland Raiders), born in Charleston, Illinois

Person of interestBill Cowher

1957-05-08 Bill Cowher, American football coach (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Crafton, Pennsylvania

NFL Head Coach Bill Cowher
NFL Head Coach
Bill Cowher
  • 1958-05-08 Lovie Smith, American football coach
  • 1958-09-23 Marvin Lewis, American NFL coach (DC Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl 2000; Cincinnati Bengals 2003-18), born in McDonald, Pennsylvania
  • 1959-05-04 Rohn Stark, American football NFL punter (Pittsburgh Steelers), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 1960-02-13 Gary Patterson, American football coach and player, born in Rozel, Kansas
  • 1960-04-20 Rodney Holman, American football tight end (Detroit Lions), born in Ypsilanti, Michigan
  • 1960-07-10 Roger Craig, American NFL receiver (4-time Pro Bowl; 3-time Super Bowl; SF 49ers), born in Davenport, Iowa
  • 1960-09-09 Bob Stoops, American football coach
  • 1960-10-13 Tim Brewster, American football coach, born in Phillipsburg, New Jersey
  • 1960-12-13 Richard Dent, American football defensive end (Philadelphia Eagles), born in Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1961-01-23 Trey Junkin, American football tight end (Arizona Cardinals), born in Conway, Arkansas
  • 1961-03-10 Bobby Petrino, American football coach
  • 1961-05-04 Eugene Daniel, American football NFL center (Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens), born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • 1961-06-06 Bill Bates, American football safety (Dallas Cowboys), born in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
  • 1961-08-15 Gary Kubiak, American football coach
  • 1961-11-02 Jim Tedford, American football coach (Fresno State; BC Lions [CFL]), born in Lynwood, California
  • 1963-02-10 Bennie Thompson, American football safety (Saints, Chiefs, Cleveland Browns/Ravens), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1963-04-10 Kirk Lowdermilk, American football NFL center (Indianapolis Colts), born in Canton, Ohio
  • 1963-05-24 Rich Rodriguez, American football coach, born in Grant Town, West Virginia
  • 1963-11-10 Mike McCarthy, American football coach (Super Bowl 2010, Green Bay Packers 2006-18; Dallas Cowboys 2020), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 1963-12-18 Karl Dorrell, American football coach
  • 1963-12-29 Sean Payton, American NFL coach (Super Bowl 2009, New Orleans Saints; AP Coach of the Year 2006; 'Bountygate'), born in San Mateo, California
  • 1964-04-20 John Carney, American football placekicker (San Diego Chargers), born in Hartford, Connecticut
  • 1964-07-10 Urban Meyer, American football coach

Person of interestBarry Bonds

1964-07-24 Barry Bonds, American baseball left fielder (MLB home-run record [762], 7 x NL MVP), born in Riverside, California

MLB Legend Barry Bonds
MLB Legend
Barry Bonds
  • 1965-01-26 Tim McDonald, American football safety (San Francisco 49ers), born in Fresno, California
  • 1966-01-09 Jimmie Jones, American football defensive tackle (Philadelphia Eagles), born in Lakeland, Florida
  • 1966-01-20 Rich Gannon, American football quarterback (KC Chiefs), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1966-01-31 Charles Dimry, American football cornerback (Tampa Bay Bucs, Philadelphia Eagles), born in San Diego, California
  • 1966-02-06 Tom Tupa, American football punter & quarterback (Cleveland Browns, NE Patriots), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • 1966-04-10 Neil Smith, American football defensive end (KC Chiefs, Den Broncos-Super Bowl 32), born in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 1966-04-24 Theo Adams, American football tackle (Frankfurt Galaxy), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1966-06-01 Greg Schiano, American football coach (College: Rutgers; NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers), born in Wyckoff, New Jersey
  • 1967-04-11 Mark Seay, American football wide receiver (San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles), born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1967-04-12 Bobby Abrams, American football outside linebacker (NE Patriots), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1967-08-18 John Jurkovic, American football defensive tackle (Jacksonville Jaguars), born in Friedrichshafen, Germany
  • 1967-10-10 Frank Wainright, American football tight end (Miami Dolphins), born in Peoria, Illinois

Deaths in Sport

  • 1925-03-14 Walter Camp, American, father of American football, dies at 65

Person of interestJohn Heisman

1936-10-03 John Heisman, American football coach who legalized the forward pass, originated the center snap and for which the Heisman Trophy is named, dies of pneumonia at 66

American Football Coach John Heisman
American Football Coach
John Heisman
  • 1949-03-07 Bradbury Robinson Jr., American football pioneer (threw first legal forward pass in the history of American football 1906), dies from complications following routine surgery at 65
  • 1971-04-15 Dan Reeves, American NFL team owner (Cleveland, LA Rams), dies at 58
  • 1976-12-04 Ace Gutowsky, Russian/American football fullback (Portsmouth Spartans, Brooklyn Dodgers; NFL C'ship 1935, Detroit Lions), dies of cancer at 67
  • 1977-10-17 [Robert] Cal Hubbard, American football and baseball player and umpire (only person in football and baseball Hall of Fame), dies at 77
  • 1983-05-02 Norm Van Brocklin, American football star (b. 1926)
  • 1983-10-26 Mike Michalske, American football NFL guard (NY Yankees, Green Bay Packers), dies at 80

Person of interestPete Rozelle

1996-12-06 Pete Rozelle, American football executive (NFL Commissioner 1960-89), dies of brain cancer at 70

NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle
NFL Commissioner
Pete Rozelle
  • 1997-02-01 Ed Danowski, American football quarterback and halfback (NFL Championship 1934, 38; New York Giants; Pro Bowl 1938), dies at 85
NFL Head Coach Tom Landry
NFL Head Coach
Tom Landry
  • 2001-06-10 John McKay, American football coach (USC, Tampa Bay, 5X Rose Bowl champ), dies at 77
  • 2002-05-09 Dan Devine, American football coach, dies at 77
  • 2003-01-01 Joe Foss, American fighter ace, football executive (Medal of Honor-1943; first commissioner American Football League) and politician, dies at 87
  • 2003-01-03 Sid Gillman, Pro & College Football Hall of Fame end (Ohio State U) and coach (U of Cincinnati, LA Rams, Houston Oilers), dies at 91
  • 2003-07-15 Tex Schramm, American football team president and general manager (b. 1920)
  • 2003-08-26 Jim Wacker, American football coach (b. 1937)
  • 2005-07-04 Hank Stram, American Pro Football Hall of Fame coach (KC Chiefs Super Bowl 1970), dies of diabetes complications at 82
  • 2005-08-05 Jim O'Hora, American football coach (b. 1915)
  • 2005-11-16 Preston Robert Tisch, American NFL co-owner (NY Giants), dies at 79
  • 2006-03-30 Red Hickey, American football coach (b. 1917)
  • 2006-06-29 Randy Walker, American football fullback (Miami University) and coach (Miami University 1990-98, Northwestern University 1999-2005), dies of a heart attack at 52
  • 2006-09-08 Erk Russell, American football coach (b. 1923)
  • 2006-11-07 Bryan Pata, American football defensive tackle (University of Miami) (murdered) (b. 1981)
  • 2006-11-17 Bo Schembechler Jr., American College Football Hall of Fame tackle (Miami U), coach (Miami U 1963-68, University of Michigan 1969-89; career record 234–65–8), and administrator (Michigan), dies at 77
  • 2007-04-03 Eddie Robinson, American football coach (b. 1919)
  • 2007-06-19 Terry Hoeppner, American football coach (b. 1947)

Person of interestBill Walsh

2007-07-30 Bill Walsh, American Pro Football Hall of Fame coach (San Fransisco 49ers), dies of leukemia at 75

American Football Coach Bill Walsh
American Football Coach
Bill Walsh
  • 2008-01-18 Georgia Frontiere, American businesswoman and co-owner of the St. Louis Rams, dies at 80
  • 2008-10-20 Gene Hickerson, American football Hall of Famer (b. 1935)
  • 2009-04-13 Bruce Snyder, American football coach, dies at 69
  • 2011-01-10 Cookie Gilchrist, American football fullback (AFL All Star 1962-65; AFL MVP 1962; CFL All Star 1956-60), dies of chronic traumatic encephalopathy at 75
  • 2011-04-10 Homer Smith, American football coach (b. 1931)

Person of interestAl Davis

2011-10-08 Al Davis, American football executive, dies at 82

American Football Coach and Executive Al Davis
American Football Coach and Executive
Al Davis
  • 2012-02-13 Freddie Solomon, American football wide receiver, dies from colon and liver cancer at 59
  • 2012-03-03 Alex Webster, American football coach (NY Giants), dies at 80
  • 2013-04-02 Chuck Fairbanks, American football coach (New England Patriots 1973-78; University of Oklahoma 1967-72, University of Colorado 1979-81), dies from brain cancer at 79
  • 2018-05-01 Dennis Claridge, American football quarterback (NFL C'ship 1965, Green Bay Packers; Atlantic Falcons), dies at 76 from bladder cancer
  • 2020-01-03 Pete Brewster, American football end & coach (NFL Pro Bowl 1955, 56; Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers), dies at 89
  • 2020-01-07 George Perles, American football coach (Michigan State University 1983-94; Pittsburgh Steelers), dies from Parkinson's disease at 85
  • 2020-01-29 Larry Eisenhauer, American football defensive end (AFL All-Star 1962, 63, 64, 66; Boston Patriots), dies at 79
  • 2020-03-30 Frank Maloney, American football coach (Syracuse University 1974-1980), dies from brain cancer at 79
  • 2020-04-05 Ed Biles, American football coach (College: Xavier 1962-68; NFL: Houston Oilers 1981-83), dies from leukemia at 88