With Super Bowl LV fast approaching, it’s time to start brushing up on your pro football knowledge. You can use these fun facts to impress your friends during the game, keep them in your back pocket for trivia night, or learn them just for the sake of knowing more about your favorite sport. Let’s check out some things you might not know about pro football, including how the Super Bowl came to be.
There Are Special Balls for Kicking
Punters don’t use a conventional game ball. Instead, they use “K-Balls”. These balls are brand-new and slicker than regular balls. The slickness prevents the kickers from making any modifications to them. In earlier games, players would microwave the footballs to soften the leather, which made them easier to punt.
Taunting Isn’t Allowed
Another thing you might not know about pro football is that taunting isn’t allowed. The pro leagues have rules in place that make verbal taunting a penalty-worthy offense. Other ways to rack up the penalties include, but aren’t limited to, helmet-to-helmet collisions, intentionally tripping another player, and spiking or spinning a ball at another player.
How the Super Bowl Came To Be
The NFL never had much trouble with rival leagues—until the AFL, or American Football League came along. In 1960, AFL commission Joe Foss wanted to schedule a “World Playoff” game between the two leagues’ champions. This led to the formation of the AFL-NFL World Championship game. When the two leagues merged in 1970, they decided to rename this once-a-year event to the “Super Bowl” we know and love today. To date, the NFL has hosted 54 Super Bowls, each with their own memorable players and moments.
The Huddle Wasn’t Invented Until the 1890s
The huddle was invented by quarterback Paul Hubbard in the 1890s. Hubbard was legally deaf and concerned that the other team couldn’t interpret his hand signals. As a solution to this issue, he brought his teammates into a round formation to call plays.
The History of the Forward Pass
In the earliest days of football, the forward pass was illegal. Most plays involved the ball carrier smashing into the line of scrimmage. This led to a lot of injuries, and, eventually, presidential interference. Teddy Roosevelt threatened to ban football unless new safety standards were put in place. The revised rules introduced the forward pass as an acceptable game move.