10 Fun Facts About The University of Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, aka Florida Field and The Swamp



The University of Florida is almost always one of the better football teams, if not in the nation, at least in their region. One thing the school is known for is putting on a memorable show when they host a game in their stadium. Here is a look at some fun facts about the University of Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, also known as The Swamp.

-Ben Hill Griffin Stadium was opened in November of 1930 after ground had been broken on the project just that previous April.

-From the time that it opened in 1930 through the 1989 football season, the stadium was known as Florida Field.

-Currently the playing surface is Bermuda Grass and has been since 1990. Earlier, from 1930 to 1970, it was also a natural grass field. From 1971 to 1989 though the field was AstroTurf.

-For many years the ship’s bell from the battleship USS Florida was mounted to the north end zone wall of the stadium and it was rung following a Florida Gators victory. When the stadium was expanded in 1991 the bell was relocated to the concourse where it is now just for display only.

-Florida Field was home to the Tangerine Bowl in 1973 as it had to be relocated for one year due to construction issues with the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

-The 1994 Gator Bowl was also played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium as the Gator Bowl had been demolished to make room for the construction of the stadium that would eventually become home to the NFL‘s 1995 expansion team, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

-Many big name comedians have performed at the stadium as part of Gator Growl, a student produced pep rally held the night before homecoming. Some of the popular comedians to perform there include Dennis Miller, George Burns, Bill Cosby, Dane Cook, Wayne Brady, Dave Chappelle, Rodney Dangerfield, Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, and Robin Williams.

-The playing field remained named Florida Field but the school renamed the stadium Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in late 1989. Griffin was a local citrus magnate, Florida state political office holder, and philanthropist. His granddaughter is Katherine Harris, a former state senator and Florida Secretary of State who is best known for her role in the disputed 2000 presidential election.

-The only regular home football game that the University of Florida does not play in the stadium is it’s big rivalry game with the University of Georgia. Regardless of who is the home team each year that game is played in Jacksonville, Florida. This has been done every year since 1933 except for in 1994 and 1995 when the stadium in Jacksonville was being rebuilt. Those two seasons saw the game played at the schools’ actual home stadiums.

-The architect for Florida field was Rudolph Weaver. Weaver held architectural positions at a few different schools before coming to the University of Florida and because of this he also designed university buildings on the campuses of what is now Washington State University and the University of Idaho.

The Favorite Receivers of Quarterback Kerry Collins



Kerry Collins came out of Penn State University in 1995 as the first player drafted by the expansion Carolina Panthers. He went on to also play for the Saints, Giants, Raiders, Titans, and Colts. Over the course of his career though, who was his favorite receiver?

The top five players who caught the most touchdown passes from Kerry Collins during his career:

Amani Toomer: 28
Ike Hilliard: 23
Jerry Porter: 13
Wesley Walls: 12
Mark Carrier: 9

In all, Kerry Collins threw TD passes to 49 different players during his career.


Who Had The Most 4,000 Yard Passing Seasons During The 1980’s?



When a quarterback breaks the 3,000 yard mark in a season, it’s generally said to be a very successful year. Some quarterbacks go the extra mile and take the next step, passing for over 4,000 yards in a season. During the 1980s, what quarterback had the most 4,000 yard seasons?

The 1980’s

Eight different quarterbacks managed to top the 4,000 yard passing mark one time during the 1980’s:

Lynn Dickey
Jim Everett
Bill Kenney
Neil Lomax
Don Majkowski
Jay Schroeder
Phil Simms
Brian Sipe

One quarterback though was able to top those eight and throw for over 4,000 yards twice:

Dan Fouts

Another quarterback topped all nine of them though by topping the 4,000 passing yard mark four times during the 1980’s:

Dan Marino


The Best Seasons Ever By A San Francisco 49ers Running Back



The San Francisco 49ers are one of the most successful teams in NFL history. They have had a number of great seasons over the years, although they have also had some down years too. They have also earned themselves a very loyal fan base too.

The 49ers seem to have enjoyed their most successful years on the strength of a great passing game. They have also had some very good running backs over the years too. Which ones have been the most prolific though in any particular season?

Here is a look at the top five one season performances by a San Francisco 49ers running back.

#5 – Charlie Garner – 1999

In 1999, Charlie Garner had one of his best years ever when he ran for 1,229 yards on 241 carries for San Francisco. Garner was able to score just four touchdowns that year, despite having one of the top five rushing performances in team history.

#4 – Wendell Tyler – 1984

The 49ers were not yet the 1980’s juggernaut they would become when Wendell Tyler ran for 1,262 yards on 246 carries in 1984. With seven touchdowns scored on the ground, Tyler was a contributor there too.

#3 – Roger Craig – 1988

Roger Craig was a fan favorite and had a great reputation as a receiver out of the backfield. His best year running the ball was 1988 when he gained 1,502 yards on 310 carries. His nine rushing touchdowns were also of benefit to the team.

#2 – Garrison Hearst – 1998

The NFL as a whole had almost given up on Garrison Hearst by the time he came to the 49ers in the late 1990’s. In 1998, he set what was then a team record for the 49ers by gaining 1,570 yards on 310 carries. He also scored seven touchdowns on the ground that season too.

#1 – Frank Gore – 2006

It was just Frank Gore’s second season in the NFL and with the 49ers when he set the all time one season record for rushing yards for the team. The year was 2006 and Frank Gore carried the ball 312 times for 1,695 yards. He also was able to score eight rushing touchdowns that season too.

The Office: Co-Starring Aaron Rodgers



Aaron Rodgers has proven to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He has amazing athleticism and can help the Packers both with his arm and his feet. It’s funny sometimes to see great athletes out of their element and on either the small or big screen. In 2013, Aaron Rodgers appeared as a judge on a fake singing competition show on an episode of The Office.

YouTube Preview Image

Richmond Spiders Quarterbacks Selected In The NFL Draft



The Richmond Spiders have a long and proud football tradition. They have played in some notable and even important games over the years. They have also produced some great players. Here is a look at the quarterbacks who have been selected in the NFL Draft over the years out of the University of Richmond.

Mel Rideout – 1962 – Colts – 18th Round

Ron Smith – 1964 – Rams – 10th Round

Buster O’Brien – 1969 – Broncos – 17th Round

Charlie Richards – 1971 – Rams – 11th Round

Harry Knight – 1975 – Raiders – 9th Round

The Most Fumbles In One Season For The Houston Oilers



The Houston Oilers played from 1960 to 1996 before moving to Tennessee to eventually become the Oilers. During that time, who would hold the team’s single season record for most fumbles?

Quarterback George Blanda fumbled the ball eight times in 1960, the team’s first year, and then tied his team record in 1963 when he fumbled the ball eight times again. Charley Tolar also fumbled the ball eight times that same year. This record stood until 1973 when quarterback Dan Pastorini smashed it by fumbling the ball 17 times. Warren Moon tied Pastorini’s record by fumbling the ball 17 times himself in 1984. Moon then set the team record outright in 1990 when he finished the year with 18 fumbles.

Five Interesting Facts About Broncos Receiver Emmanuel Sanders




Emmanuel Sanders came into the NFL from SMU immediately showed that he could easily be one of the better up and coming receivers in the National Football League. He joined the Steelers as a rookie in 2010, and though they had plenty of very good receiving options already, he made a very positive impact on the team. After four seasons in Pittsburgh, Sanders became a free agent following the 2013 season and signed with the Broncos. Here is a look at five interesting facts about this great receiver.

Recruitment

Coming out of high school, the five schools to offer Emmanuel Sanders a scholarship were TCU, Kansas, Baylor, Houston and his eventual choice, Southern Methodist University.

Big Hops

At the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine, held before the NFL Draft, Emmanuel Sanders measured in with a 36 inch vertical leap and an eight foot six inch broad jump.

Jersey Numbers

Emmanuel Sanders wore jersey number 17 at SMU, number 88 with the Steelers, and number 10 with the Broncos.

Good on the Road

16 of the first 23 touchdowns Emmanuel Sanders scored in the NFL were scored in road games.

Through the Air

In a 24-0 win over Seattle in 2011, Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders threw the first pass of his NFL career. It was good for 15 yards and a first down and was caught by Hines Ward.


The First NFL Game For Dan Fouts Of The Chargers



Dan Fouts is a Hall of Fame quarterback who had a long and accomplished career playing for the San Diego Chargers. He played on a team that was known for having a high powered passing game and he was an integral part of it. Chargers fans from his era were real lucky to have him to cheer for.

It was October 7, 1973 when Dan Fouts got into an NFL game for the very first time. The Chargers were on the road visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game they would eventually lose 38-21. The game started out pitting two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks against each other, Terry Bradshaw of the Steelers and Johnny Unitas of the Chargers. After completing just two of nine passes and throwing two interceptions, Unitas was pulled from the game and replaced with third year quarterback Wayne Clark. Clark threw five straight incomplete passes and was replaced by the Chargers third quarterback of the day, Dan Fouts. This game not only featured three future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Bradshaw, Unitas, and Fouts, but it was also the final start in the long and accomplished career of the great Johnny Unitas.

Dan Fouts completed 11 of 21 passes that day for 174 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. That touchdown pass, Fouts’ first of his career, was a 13 yarder thrown to Jerry LeVias.

Dan Fouts got the first start of his career the very next week on October 14, 1973 in a 27-17 home loss to the Oakland Raiders. He threw two touchdown passes that day, one to Jim Thaxton and one to Jerry LeVias again. He finished the day completing 2 of 30 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns.

Five Little Known Facts About Patriots Star Rob Gronkowski




Rob Gronkowski is without a doubt one of the best tight ends, not only currently, but to ever have played in the NFL. He is a vital part of the New England Patriots offense. Here are some fun facts about this great tight end and impactful player.

Looking Down At All The Rest

2008 saw the University of Arizona’s Rob Gronkowski lead the entire Pac-10 in receiving touchdowns with a total of 10.

Fourth!

When the New England Patriots picked Rob Gronkowski with the 42nd overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, it made him the fourth highest picked tight end the team had ever selected. The three taken higher than him were Ben Watson with the 32nd overall pick in 2004, Daniel Graham with the 21st overall pick in 2002, and Russ Francis with the 16th overall pick in 1975.

The First 45

The first 45 TD receptions Rob Gronkowski had in the NFL all came on passes from Tom Brady. The 46th, his first from a different quarterback, was thrown to him by Jimmy Garoppolo.

The First 100 Yarder

The first 100 yard receiving game Rob Gronkowski had in the NFL came in the last game of his rookie year, a win over the Dolphins, when he caught six passes for 102 yards and one touchdown.

What’s In A Number?

Rob Gronkowski wears jersey number 87 for the New England Patriots. Other players who have worn that jersey number for the team over the years include Reche Caldwell, Ben Coates, Lin Dawson, Bert Emanuel, David Givens, and Ike Lassiter.