The affinity people have for animals is deeply rooted in our past, and continues to this day. All around us are signs of animal love, even in America’s National Football League. Since we are currently in the clutches of the NFL playoff season, let’s take a fun look at wildlife-based team names.
Of the 32 NFL teams, nearly half echo wildlife species: five are birds, ten are mammals. (Many mascots, major, and minor league teams have wildlife themes as well–too many to cover here.)
In no specific order, the first photo represents the Detroit Lions. Then there are the:
Los Angeles Rams
Most of the NFL animal names conjure up images of toughness, but not all. The Dolphins, for example, are not an intimidating mammal; and Colts don’t leave me trembling. But Bengals, Jaguars and Panthers, yes, they are wild animals we don’t want to mess with. Broncos can be dangerous, but the amplified horse neigh sound in the Denver stadium is more entertaining than scary.
If you’re wondering about my favorite team, I have many. I hail from a long line of Cheesehead ancestors, diehard fans of the Green Bay Packers. My cousin, for example, did a eulogy at my mother’s funeral wearing a giant yellow foam cheese wedge on her head.
Beyond what I was born into, my next favorite team is Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. This is a cake I baked last year for Super Bowl Sunday, with Tom Brady on top.
More teams include the:
I don’t just follow two teams, I follow them all. I have numerous favorite quarterbacks, and dozens of favorite offensive and defensive players.
I enjoy the game for the athleticism, strategy, complexity, excitement, and ingenuity. The drive for excellence is endlessly inspiring to me.
But my football merriment is nothing in comparison to many fanatical fans. We took these photos from the television in a recent nail-biter playoff game.
And since we’re talking about football, how could Jet Eliot mention NFL team names without a nod to the Jets?
For the next few weeks we will be celebrating the completion and winner of the 2018-2019 football season. It’s great to have these burly teams showcasing the same wildlife that many of us revere.
Written by Jet Eliot.
All photos by Athena Alexander.