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Baltimore Ravens

Ravens franchise began in 1996 when the owner, Art Modell, made the controversial move of moving his team, the Browns of Cleaveland, to Baltimore. The team was renowned and all former records remained in Cleveland. In January 2001, the Ravens gave Cleveland fans a sour moment with the change when they defeated the New York Giants 34-7 to win the Super Bowl XXXV.

“Ravens” won over other names such as “Marauders” or “Americans”. The name alludes to the famous poem, “The Raven”, by Edgar Allan Poe who lived and died in Baltimore.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals played in the American Football League from 1968 to 1969 before the merger of the AFL-NFL leagues in 1970. Cincinnati reached the Super Bowl XVI in 1982 and the Super Bowl XXIII in 1989, and it was defeated by the San Franciso 49ers in both ocasions. After winning only 19 games in five seasons, between the 1998-2003 seasons, last season they were proclaimed champions of the AFC Northern Division.

Paul Brown, founder and coach of Cleveland Browns, picked this name because the city had, in the year 1937, another team called Bengals that played in the extinct AFL. This League had no connection whatsoever with the AFL that merged with NFL.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns were formed in 1946 and played in Cleveland until 1955 when the team owner, Art Modell, announced that the team was moving to Baltimore and was turning into the Ravens. Anyhow, Cleveland city and the NFL came to an agreement under which the Browns would return to the NFL in 1999 and so they did, as an expansion team under the new owner, Al Lerner. In 2002, the Browns reached the playoffs for the first time ever since the 1994 season. They stepped a little backwards in 2003, winning only 5 games.

The origin with most tales, one version ows the name to the relationship between the name and color of jerseys (brown), another to the way in which they called street dogs in Clevelnad and the last, the real one, to the first General Manager and Head Coach of the team: Paul Brown.

Pittsburg Steelers

The Steelers is one of the most long-standing and successful NFL teams. Founded in July, 1933, the Steelers have won four Super Bowls. Only the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers have won more (5 each). Besides winning four Super Bowls in 1975, 1976, 1979 and 1980, the Steelers have contested 8 out of the last 12 playoffs.

One of the most wellknown, after discarding “Pirates”, given that its baseball neighbours used this name, they picked “steelers” in honor of Pittsburgh’s heavy industry.

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Chicago Bears

The Bears is one of the most Long-standing NFL teams and it was founding member of the Professional American Football Association (later known as NFL). They played under the name of the “Decatur Staleys” in 1920 and later as the “Chicago Staleys” in 1921, to eventually become the “Chicago Bears” in 1922. One of the major NFL stars, Harold “Red” Grange, became known in Chicago. They won 9 NFL championships and became Super Bowl champions in 1986, something they could not attain since then, undergoing some problems in recent years, obtaining negative financial results in 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997 and 1996. The new coach, Lovie Smith, will focus in beginning a reconstruction process around the young quarterback Rex Grossman. Given that in 1921 Great Halas moved the “Decatur Staleys” to Chicago and at that time they used to play in the Cubs baseball field, he was proposed the adoption of this name but he suggested that of Bears because american football is more aggressive than baseball.

Detroit Lions

The Lions reached the NFL in 1934 and have remained in Detroit ever since their beginnings. The 50’s were Lions’ best years, when they were under the lead of quarterback Bobby Layne and running back Doak Walter, winning the league in 1952, 1953 and 1957. They have never played a Super Bowl.

When the Portsmouth Spartans moved to Detroit, they decided to change their name and given that in the automotive center there seemed to be a tradition for names of feline animals, they adopted that of Lions, given that Tigers was already used by the baseball team and Panthers by another football team in the city.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers began to play in 1919 and were founding members of the NFL in 1921. They have been a public limited company since 1923 and they still are, the only state owned team. Some of the best playes have been in this team (such as quarterback Bart Starr and running back Jim Taylor), while legendary coach, Vince Lombardi, was in charge of the team from 1959 to 1967. The Packers won 9 NFL championships and the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968. Twenty nine years later, they recovered glory by winning the 1997 Super Bowl. In 1998 they were defeated by the Broncos in the last Super Bowl they played.

In 1919, reading a local newspaper, Earl Curl Lambeau found out that the city had been awarded an american football team, he was the head of the Indian Packing Company and thus decided to provide the team with the uniform. Later, the team would not only adopt the name of the company but would also call the stadium Lambeau Field.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings were formed in 1960 and they began to play in the NFL a year later.

The best and most frustrating years of the team came in the 70´s, when they had an excellent defense called the “Purple People Eaters”and contested four Super Bowls in eight seasons. They lost in every ocassion to join the Buffalo Bills with a record of 0-4 games won – lost. Minnesota has not returned to a Super Bowl since 1977 but it was close in 1988 and 1999 when they fell in the conference final.

The name came out of the aggresiveness history had told about the vikings and of traditions rooted in the state, given that, originally, Minnesota was home to many scandinavians.

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