The sport of American football initially arrived on the scene in the nineteenth century. Since then, it has begun to draw the media’s attention and garner support from various sources. The American Professional Football Association (APFA), which would oversee and arrange the competition, was established in 1920. As a result, it served as a predecessor of the National Football League (NFL).
So, which team in the National Football League is the oldest? The Arizona Cardinals and the Chicago Bears (now known as the Chicago Bears) are the only two teams still active in the league today.
In addition to the two clubs stated above, there are numerous other teams in the NFL that have played an essential role in the formation and development of the league as a whole. In this essay, we’ll learn more about them through TSC.
The Oldest NFL Team List: Top 10 Of The Oldest Teams In The NFL
The American Professional Football Association (APFA) has had two clubs from its inception: the Chicago Cardinals (now the Arizona Cardinals) and the Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears). The number of units climbed progressively until it reached ten.
The American Professional Football Association (APFA) officially changed its name to the National Football League (NFL) in 1922. The league continues to attract a great deal of interest and new participants. One of the most notable of these is the Green Bay Packers’ long history of continuous operation at the same facility.
It is hoped that this section will assist you in learning more about NFL history and the tales behind the teams that have been around the longest. Let’s go on an exploration together.
1. Arizona Cardinals (1898)
- First year in NFL: 1920
- Previous names: Chicago Cardinals, Card-Pitt, St. Louis Cardinals, Phoenix Cardinals, and Arizona Cardinals.
- Home arena: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
The Arizona Cardinals are one of only two teams to make the first roster of the National Football League, the other being the Chicago Bears. Remarkably, they’ve maintained their level of activity till today.
With the original name of Morgan Athletic Club, they have a history that dates back more than a century, making them even older than the National Football League itself. The Arizona Cardinals, the world’s most senior football team, opted to establish its headquarters there in 1988.
Chris O’Brien, the team’s owner, is primarily responsible for the official name and colors of the group. He dubbed the team’s previous uniforms “Cardinal red.” That name was later adopted as the team’s official trademarked moniker.
2. Chicago Bears (1920)
- First year in NFL: 1920
- Previous names: Decatur Staleys, Chicago Staleys, and Chicago Bears.
- Home arena: Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.
The Chicago Bears, a conventional football team from Windy City, are the second-oldest NFL franchise in the league, having been founded in 1939.
Their first stop was the city of Decatur, Illinois. The city of Chicago was formally designated as the team’s headquarters in 1922, and the team continues to operate under its current identity today.
It was the Staley Starch Company that provided the team’s first sponsorship. Later, it was purchased for $5000 by famed trainer George Halas. He is on the right track with his progress. There is little doubt that the Chicago Bears are the most successful sports organization in the country in today’s world.
Fun fact about the Chicago Bears: they have won eight NFL championships before their appearance in the Super Bowl. The Bears have only won one Super Bowl, which came in 1967.
3. Green Bay Packers (1919)
- First year in NFL: 1921
- Previous names: Green Bay Packers.
- Home arena: Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The Green Bay Packers were only admitted to the National Football League during their sophomore season. In this case, the team finished third on the list of NFL teams at publication.
Despite this, the Green Bay Packers deserve to be the team with the most extended history of neither changing its name nor headquarters location. The Packers were founded by George Whitney Calhoun and Earl Curly Lambeau, who are still alive. Lambeau’s contribution to the squad was so significant that his name was included in the name of the home field.
The Indian Packing Company provided financial support for the team’s efforts.
4. New York Giants (1925)
- First year in NFL: 1925
- Previous names: New York Giants.
- Home arena: Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Like its predecessors, the Green Bay Packers, the New York Giants are a team that has maintained its original headquarters and name.
When up to 70,000 fans attended the first game, this team proved that it is indeed an NFL behemoth. When it comes to raising the squad to the pinnacle of success, we can’t help but praise the clever management of the Mara family.
5. Detroit Lions (1929)
- First year in NFL: 1930
- Previous names: Portsmouth Spartans and Detroit Lions.
- Home arena: Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.
The forerunner of the Detroit Lions, the Spartans, was born in 1929. The team changed owners to George A. Richards for $8000. An awe-inspiring amount at the time.
The final match between the Spartans and the Bears has gone down in history. Soon after, the NFL rolled out three significant format changes.
6. Washington Redskins (1932)
- First year in NFL: 1932
- Previous names: Boston Braves, Boston Redskins, and Washington Redskins.
- Home arena: FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.
The Washington Redskins were created in 1932 by George Preston Marshall, the team’s initial owner. After numerous rebranding attempts, he settled on the moniker Redskins, used since 1933.
Marshall was dissatisfied with the frosty reception the team received in Boston and decided to relocate the team’s headquarters to Washington, D.C. The Washington Redskins were also the first team to use a cheering squad and the marching band introduced by the franchise.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers (1933)
- First year in NFL: 1933
- Previous names: Pittsburgh Pirates, Phil-Pitt Steagles, Card-Pitt, and Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Home arena: Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Rooney family has owned the Pittsburgh Steelers since the team’s founding in 1919. Even though the team’s headquarters have always been in Pittsburgh, the team has gone by several different names.
In the 1970s, the Pittsburgh Steelers were at the height of their powers. They’ve won four Super Bowls, and they’re the only franchise to have won two consecutive championships.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (1933)
- First year in NFL: 1933
- Previous names: Philadelphia Eagles and Phil-Pitt Steagles.
- Home arena: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Philadelphia Eagles have played a vital role in the history of the city of Philadelphia ever since their inception in 1933.
After losing to the Yellowjackets in a game in 1926, the Eagles were forced to disband. Fortunately, Bert Bell and Lud Wray brought it back to life and gave it the moniker Philadelphia Eagles, which it has retained today.
It took the Eagles until 1940 to recover their stride and become competitive again. It would be pretty risky if you were to judge the Philadelphia Eagles’ form. When they won the Super Bowl in 2017, things turned around.
9. Los Angeles Rams (1936)
- First year in NFL: 1937
- Previous names: Cleveland Rams, St. Louis Rams, and Los Angeles Rams.
- Home arena: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.
Cleveland was the site of the Rams’ first headquarters, which opened in 1936. As a result of the team’s constant relocation from St. Louis to Los Angeles, the team has shifted locations.
The Rams’ dominance during the first six seasons is alarming to contemplate. They were only brought to a halt in 1943 when there was a scarcity of workforce due to the war’s impacts.
The Rams’ final season in Cleveland in 1945 was a tremendous success, culminating in the team winning the NFL championship. Later, they relocated to Los Angeles.
The signing of Kenny Washington and Woody Strode makes this the first NFL team to sign a full-time contract with an athlete, marking a historic milestone for the league.
10. Cleveland Browns (1944)
- First year in NFL: 1950
- Previous name: Cleveland Browns.
- Home arena: FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Cleveland Browns were created in 1944 by Arthur B. McBride, who purchased the team from the American Association of Football Clubs (AAFC). The first coach he chose was Paul Brown, well-known for his accomplishments as a military and college coach in the United States.
The Cleveland Browns demonstrated their superiority in the AAFC until the game was called off. They then went on to play in the National Football League (NFL). As they proceeded to win championships and NFL titles, the team’s strength only grew stronger and stronger.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can get the answers to any questions regarding the oldest franchise in the NFL right here.
1. Is the Arizona Cardinals the oldest team in the National Football League (NFL)?
Yes, you are correct. Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals are the oldest team still competing in the NFL season.
Because they are also one of the organizations with the fewest NFL championships, they haven’t been as successful. In 1925 and 1947, the Cardinals only held two championship rings in their possession.
2. Who are the most successful NFL teams?
Based on the number of NFL rings earned by each team, it’s clear that the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots are the two most successful NFL franchises in history. Both teams have won six titles, the same as the other.
3. When Was The American Professional Football Association (Apfa) Founded?
The American Professional Football Association (APFA) was founded in 1920 and played its debut season in that year.
4. How Many Teams Are Currently Participating In The National Football League (Nfl)?
The National Football League now has 32 clubs that compete in the league’s regular season.
5. How Long Is The National Football League?
According to tradition, the NFL season begins on the first Thursday in September and concludes on the first Sunday in February.
6. The Apfa And The Nfl Are The Same, Right?
Yes, they are the same.
7. Of The Ten Oldest Teams In The National Football League, Which Team Do They Still Join The Nfl Now?
The Chicago Cardinals (also known as the Arizona Cardinals) and the Decatur Staleys are the teams in question (the Chicago Bears).
The essay should have provided you with a better understanding of the history and stories of the earliest teams in the National Football League. Each NFL football team contributes significantly to the excitement and drama that characterizes this professional league.
TSC still has many exciting stories about the NFL tournament available. If you’re interested, take a look at their website. We hope to see you in other publications in the future.
Thank you for taking the time to read this!