Johnny UnitasThe pennant races may just be heating up in Major League Baseball, but many are beginning to turn their attention to the gridiron as training camps are in full swing for college and pro teams.

The National Football League began life as the American Professional Football Association on Sept. 17, 1920. Jim Thorpe was the first president of the APFA. The first teams included the Canton Bulldogs, Dayton Triangles and Decatur Staleys, who would late become the Chicago Bears. The organization changed its name to the National Football League in 1922.

Did you know?

  • The Indian Packing Co. donated $500 to Green Bay’s professional team, which adopted “Packers” as its nickname.
  • Helmets in the NFL were plain until 1948, when the Los Angeles Rams’ Fred Gehrke painted horns on his helmet. Other teams soon copied the idea using their own team emblems.
  • Gale Sayers was the youngest person to be inducted into the Football Hall of Fame.