In 1965, Homer Jones of the Giants became the first NFL player to spike a football. Ironically, the receiver did it to avoid being fined by the league for throwing the ball into the stands. He inspired a host of imitators, including Washington's Darryl Grant (pictured).
2 of 15Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
The gooey substance that Lester Hayes lathered on his arms and hands helped the cornerback become a perennial Pro Bowl selection and a Raiders legend.
3 of 15Marvin E. Newman/SI, Peter Read Miller/SI
NFL Football in Los Angeles
Los Angeles has been without an NFL team for nearly 15 years since Al Davis and the Raiders left town in 1995. The Rams played in the city from Sept. 29, 1946, to Dec. 24, 1994. They moved to St. Louis in 1995.
4 of 15Fred Kaplan/SI
The single-bar facemask was once a staple for NFL players. Free-agent kicker Scott Player was the last pro to wear this uniform classic; the single-bar was banned in 2004.
5 of 15AP, Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Over-the-top touchdown/sack dances
Sure, it's obnoxious, but we like the individualism of Chargers linebacker Shawn Merriman's "Lights Out" sack dance and the classics such as "The Ickey (Woods) Shuffle."
6 of 15Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
College All-Stars vs. defending Super Bowl champs game
A group of College All-Stars played against the defending NFL champions or Super Bowl champions every year except 1935 (when the Bears represented the pros). The series was cancelled in 1977, with the NFL champs holding a commanding lead (31-9-2).
7 of 15Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Once upon a time coaches actually dressed for work. Cowboys coach Tom Landry famously wore a suit before the NFL mandated (in 1993) that coaches wear team-issued clothing.
8 of 15Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Famed Nicknames within teams
NFL defenses from yesteryear featured some lyrical nicknames, from The Steel Curtain (Steelers) to The Purple People Eaters (Vikings) to Doomsday (Cowboys).
9 of 15Manny Millan/SI, Andy Hayt/SI, Lane Stewart/SI, Chuck Solomon/SI, Ronald C. Modra/SI
The USFL featured free-wheeling offense and plenty of future NFL stars, including (from clockwise left) Reggie White, Steve Young, Jim Kelly and Herschel Walker. It was also home to Doug Flutie (bottom left).
10 of 15John Iacono/SI, Tony Tomsic/SI
Tony Franklin (left) and Rich Karlis were the NFL's most famed barefoot kickers.
11 of 15AP
Al Davis...when he was a genius
We swear: Al Davis was once the most respected man in football. His Raiders won 13 division championships, an AFL title, three Super Bowl championships and 15 playoffs appearances in a 19-year stretch.
12 of 15AP, David Maxwell/Getty Images
Jack Buck and Hank Stram calling Monday Night Fooball games
For nearly 20 years (1978-1995), Buck and Stram entertained and informed millions of football fans as the radio voice of Monday Night Football.
13 of 15AP
For as wealthy and famous as college coaches are today, Bryant (pictured here with Joe Namath before the Orange Bowl, in 1964) remains the stndard-bearer of the profession. The Sporting News recently named him the third greatest coach of all-time behind John Wooden and Vince Lombardi.
14 of 15Al Bello/Getty Images
The Drop Kick
Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie converted the league's last drop kick in New England's season finale against the Dolphins in 2006. His point-after attempt was the first successful drop kick in 64 years.
15 of 15AP
Statue of Liberty play
The schoolyard favorite is hardly used in the NFL but was famously pulled off in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl by Boise State, and the magic of quarterback Jared Zabransky and running back Ian Johnson (whose two-point conversion sealed the upset victory).
You May Like
More More Sports
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!