October 8, 2011

NFL, NFC North: map, with a brief team and league history, and titles list.

Filed under: NFL>NFC North,NFL, divisions,NFL/ Gridiron Football — admin @ 8:59 pm

NFC North map

To see the full map of NFL, 1920-1960 click on this address,

Chicago Bears
Est. 1919 as the Independent semi-pro team the Decatur Staleys (of the A.E. Staley Co.) of Decatur, IL./ Joined NFL [APFA] in 1920 as the Decatur Staleys (NFL, 1920)/ in 1921 moved to Chicago, IL: Chicago Staleys (NFL, 1921)/ in 1922 their name changed to Chicago Bears (NFL, 1922-2012):
Chicago Bears Helmet History -
Chicago Bears Helmet History
Image credits above –

The Chicago Bears’ franchise began as the Decatur Staleys, a semi-pro team that started up in 1919. The team was sponsored by the A.E. Staley Co. of Decatur, IL, a corn and food starch processor. The Decatur Staleys were a charter member of the NFL [APFA] in 1920. In 1919-20, the team played at Staley Field, which was on the company property in Decatur. After the 1920 season, AE Staley sold the team to player/coach George Halas and his partners, and the team moved to Chicago and to Wrigley Field [the home of the National League baseball team the Chicago Cubs]. In 1921, the Chicago Staleys won the APFA title in their first season in the Windy City. As per an agreement Halas had made with AE Staley, the team had kept the Staleys name (and their colors) for that first year after moving, then changed their name to the Chicago Bears in 1922. The Decatur Staleys originally wore red jerseys in 1919 and 1920, and the Chicago Staleys also wore red jerseys in 1921 {see this article from the Gridiron Uniforms Database blog, by Bill Schaeffer, from June 8 2014, Say It Ain’t So, Joe…er, George!, where it basically is proven that the Decatur Staleys, the team that became the Chicago Bears, originally wore red, before George Halas bought the team after the 1920 season and, in 1922 {see this}, changed their colors to navy blue and orange, a color scheme that was similar to that of Halas’ alma mater, the University of Illinois.} The Bears were renters at Wrigley Field from 1921 to 1970. In 1971, the Bears began playing at Soldier Field (which opened in 1924). This U-shaped stadium featured Doric columns rising from behind the stands, yet the seats were just planks until 1978, when individual seats were installed. In 2002, because of stadium renovations, the Bears played 124 miles south of Chicago in Champaign, IL, at Illinois University’s Memorial Stadium. The Bears moved into the futuristic and totally re-built Soldier Field (II) in 2003.
Chicago Bears’ first NFL title was in 1921 (as the Chicago Staleys). The Chicago Bears won 8 NFL Championship titles (1921, 1932, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1963).
Chicago Bears: 1 Super Bowl title (1985).
The Bears are 1-1 in Super Bowl appearances [lost to Indianapolis in the 2006 season].

Green Bay Packers
Est. 1919 as the Independent semi-pro team the Green Bay Packers (of the Indian Packing Co.) of Green Bay, WI. [2 seasons, 1919 and 1920, as an Independent team]/ Joined NFL [APFA] in 1921, Green Bay Packers (NFL, 1921-2012):
Green Bay Packers Helmet History –
Green Bay Packers Helmet History
Image credits above –

The Green Bay Packers began as a semi-pro team sponsored by the Indian Packing Company of Green Bay, WI. The Green Bay Packers joined the NFL [APFA] in 1921. The Packers are the last vestige of the small-own teams that were common in the NFL in it’s early years (1920s and 1930s). The Green Bay Packers are the only major-league team in the US that is non-profit and 100% fan-owned. The Green Bay Packers original colors of navy blue and gold were inspired by Notre Dame football. The Packers, with ACME PACKERS emblazoned across their navy blue jerseys in big gold letters, started out playing at Hagemeister Park (1919-22), which at first had no gates, no stands, and no clubhouse (a single stand was built in 1920). A hat was passed around for donations, at halftime, while the two teams would go to opposite end zones to discuss tactics, with the fans crowded around and joining in on the discussion [now the Packers players show their bond with the fans by jumping into the end zone stands to celebrate touchdowns]. Their next venue was Bellevue Park (1923-24), which could hold about 5,000. City Stadium was their next home, from 1925 to 1956. Its capacity was initially 6,000, and by the 1950s, it held 25,000. During this time, and all the way into the 1990s, the Packers played 3 home games per season in Milwaukee, WI – first at Borchert Field (1933), then for 18 years at the Wisconsin State Fair Park (1934-51), then briefly at Marquette Stadium (1952), then for 42 years at Milwaukee County Stadium (1953 to 1994). The Packers moved into their current home in Green Bay in 1956. Originally called New City Stadium, its name was changed to Lambeau Field in 1965 to honor the team’s founder, first star player, and long-time coach Curly Lambeau.
Green Bay Packers’ first NFL title was in 1929.
The Green Bay Packers won 9 NFL Championship titles (1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1939, 1944, 1961, 1962, 1965) [note: for 1966 and 1967, see note at bottom of this post].
Green Bay Packers: 4 Super Bowl titles, (1966, 1967, 1996, 2010).
The Packers are 4-1 in Super Bowl appearances [lost to Denver in the 1997 season].

Detroit Lions
Est. 1929 as the Independent semi-pro team the Portsmouth Spartans of Portsmouth, OH./ Joined NFL in 1930 as the Portsmouth Spartans (NFL, 1930-33)/ in 1934 moved to Detroit, MI as the Detroit Lions (NFL, 1934-2012):
Detroit Lions Helmet History -
Detroit Lions Helmet History
Image credits above –

The Detroit Lions’ franchise was originally located in Portsmouth, OH, which is in southern Ohio on the north shore of the Ohio River. The Portsmouth Spartans, established in 1929 as an Independent semi-pro team, wore purple and gold and played for 4 seasons in the NFL (1930-33), at the 8,200-capacity Universal Stadium in Portsmouth, Ohio. The Portsmouth Spartans just missed out on an NFL title in 1932. The 1932 season had ended tied between the Spartans and the Bears, so an extra game was arranged in Chicago. Due to a blizzard, the game was moved indoors to Chicago Stadium, and was played on an 80-yard field. The Bears won 9-0. This led the NFL to adopt a divisional structure, a balanced schedule, and a championship game the next season (1933). The Portsmouth Spartans moved to Detroit, MI after the 1933 season. In their second season in Detroit (1935), the Lions won the title. They first played at the University of Detroit Stadium (1934-40; ’47); then played at Tiger Stadium (1938-39; 1941 to 1979). In 1975, the Lions moved 21 miles north to Pontiac, MI, and played at the Pontiac Silverdome for 27 seasons. In 2002, the Lions returned to downtown Detroit, to the indoor stadium Ford Field, which incorporates a 6-story former warehouse.
Detroit Lions’ first NFL title was won in 1935. The Detroit Lions won 4 NFL Championship titles (1935, 1952, 1953, 1957).
The Lions are the NFL team with the most seasons played without making a Super Bowl appearance [streak is at 45 seasons without a Super Bowl appearance as of the 2011 season].

Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings are the second NFL franchise from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The first was the Minneapolis Marines, who were originally an Independent pro team (est. 1905), who were in the APFA/NFL from 1921-24 {here are the 1923 Minneapolis Marines’ 1923 uniforms (}. In 1929, the franchise was re-started as the Minneapolis Red Jackets, but folded in 1930. The Minnesota Vikings began in 1961, as the NFL’s 14th team. The Vikings were so named in honor of the large population of ethnic Scandinavians living in the state. The Vikings played at Metropolitan Stadium in suburban Bloomington, MN (about 10 mi. south of the Twin Cities), from 1961 to 1981 (they shared the stadium with the Minnesota Twins ball club). Since 1982, the Vikings have played at the drab Metrodome in Minneapolis.
The Vikings are 0-4 in 4 Super Bowl appearances, losing in the 1969 season to the Chiefs, in the 1973 season to the Dolphins, in the 1974 season to the Steelers, and in the 1976 season to the Raiders.

My illustrated thumbnail histories from 2008 (with NFL, 1920-1960 map)…
Spartans/Lions old logos and helmets
Packers, Bears old logos and helmets

[note: 1966 and 1967 NFL Championship wins by Green Bay are not identified as titles, because of the Super Bowl. Green Bay won those first 2 Super Bowls (which were officially known as AFL-NFL Championship Games). The same also applies to the 1968 NFL Championship win (by the Baltimore Colts), with the title going to Super Bowl III winners the New York Jets; and to the 1969 NFL Championship win (by the Minnesota Vikings), with the title going to the Super Bowl IV winners the Kansas City Chiefs.]
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at, ‘NFC North‘.
Thanks to , aka Helmets, Helmets, Helmets site. At that site I got most of the helmet illustrations for the 8 maps in this series. There are two problems with this set of helmet illustrations at the HelmetsX3 site – the metallic helmets are shown too dark, and the site hasn’t been updated since 2009 or so. So all the helmet illustrations in this series are from the HelmetsX3 site except for the helmet illustrations of all the silver or gold (or pewter) helmeted teams – Carolina, Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, New England, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Tampa Bay; as well as new Buffalo, recently new Arizona, recently new Indy, and also Tennessee helmet illustrations, all of which I found at each team’s page at… ‘National Football League‘.
Thanks to, for the photo of the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Thanks to The Wearing Of the Green (and Gold) A (hopefully) comprehensive look at the uniforms of the Green Bay Packers, 1919 to today.
Thanks to

Special thanks to Tim Brulia, Bill Schaefer and Rob Holecko of The Gridiron Uniform Database, for giving the permission to use the football uniforms illustrations at

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