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Longest Standing NFL Franchises

american football training camps to open

The NFL Playoffs are almost upon us and soon we will be watching the half-time show at the Super Bowl. You can find NFL betting odds on the rest of the season and postseason here. 

With the interest in football only growing at this time of year, we thought it would be a good idea to write a piece about the history of football and the NFL – in particular, the history of the oldest franchises in the league. We will also be looking at the newest team in the NFL. 

The Newest Franchise in the NFL 

This year will mark 20 years since the latest addition to the NFL. 

It was in 2002 that the Huston Texans joined the league – making them the third Texan team in the NFL. 

Do we think there will be any new teams joining the NFL soon? 

Well, we do not think there will be a new American team in a long time as so many teams went bust in the 90s and early 00s. 

However, since before the pandemic, the NFL has been seriously considering starting an NFL team based in London. The NFL is huge in the UK, and the matches that have been held over there have sold out in minutes. 

#5 – Detroit Lions – 1938

Sometimes it’s hard to be a Lions fan (it has been especially hard this season). 

While the Lions are the oldest team never to play in the Super Bowl, the only team to have existed for the whole of the Super Bowl era never to play in the Super Bowl, and the only team in the NFC never to have played in the Super Bowl – the franchise does have a long and rich history. 

It was originally brought by a radio tycoon for $8,000. 

#4  – New York Giants -1925 

New York City now has two teams – but the Giants were the original New York franchise. 

Many franchise licenses have been bought in New York over the years, but the Giants are one of the few teams to survive. The original owners of the Giants paid $500 for their franchise license in 1924. 

They won the NFL Championship in 1927, 1934, 1938, and 1956, as well as winning the Super Bowl in 1986, 1990, 2007, and 2011. 

If you ask a Giants fan about their team’s history – they will be sure to tell you that they are the oldest and most successful in the city. 

#3  – Chicago Bears -1920 

The Bears are one of only 2 original NFL franchises, however, they are only the third oldest. 

The Bears began their life as the Decatur Staleys when they played in the very first season of the NFL. They spent 1921 as the Chicago Staleys and finally changed their name to the Chicago bears in 1921. 

The Bears played their first season in Illinois before moving to Chicago. 

The Bears won the NFL championship 8 times before the Super Bowl was introduced and they have won the Super Bowl once (1985). 

Their four main rivals are the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings, the Detroit Lions, and the New York Giants. 

#2 – Green Bay Packers – 1919 

For some reason, the Packers were not invited to join the NFL during its inaugural season in 1920. However, they did join it a year later. 

Before the Super Bowl was introduced, the Packers won 11 NFL championships and they have also won 4 Super Bowl titles. Most recently they won the 2020-21 Super Bowl with help from their quarterback Tom Brady. 

The Packers are a pretty unique franchise in that they haven’t ever changed their name or moved. 

#1 – Arizona Cardinals – 1898

The Arizona Cardinals have gone by several different names since they were first formed. More than most franchises in the NFL. However, they are officially the oldest team in the league. 

In fact, the team that we now know as the Arizona Cardinals was first formed in 1898, over 20 years before the NFL began. They were originally an amateur team based in Chicago.  

Alongside the Chicago Bears, they are the only remaining franchise from the first year of the NFL. 

They have been based in 7 different stadiums in the last 120 years, as well as using many different temporary stadiums. They have won the Super Bowl once (2008) and before the Super Bowl was introduced they won 2 NFL championships. 

The Cardinals currently play in the NFC West, which they have been champions of 3 times. 

Can you believe that there are over 120 years of an age difference between the newest and oldest franchises in the NFL? That fact blows our minds. The Arizona Cardinals formed 20 years before the NFL started and the Huston Texans started 20 years ago.