Skip to content

What Are the 3 Oldest NFL Teams?

The three oldest NFL teams are the Chicago Bears, founded in 1920, the Arizona Cardinals, founded in 1898, and the Green Bay Packers, founded in 1919. These teams have a rich history in professional football and continue to compete in the league today.

The Chicago Bears, known for their dominant defense, have won multiple championships throughout their existence. The Arizona Cardinals, originally from Chicago, have had success in recent years, making it to the Super Bowl in 2008.

The Green Bay Packers, with their loyal fan base, have a storied tradition and have won numerous championships, including the first two Super Bowl titles.

These three teams have played an integral role in shaping the NFL into the popular sport it is today.

Origins Of The NFL

The National Football League (NFL) is a widely popular professional American football league. In order to understand the origins of the NFL, it is important to explore the early football landscape pre-NFL.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, football was played by various clubs and teams across the United States. However, it wasn’t until 1920 that the NFL was officially born.

The birth of the NFL can be traced back to a meeting held in a car showroom in Canton, Ohio on August 20, 1920. Representatives from ten teams, including the Akron Pros and the Decatur Staleys (now known as the Chicago Bears), gathered to form a professional football league.

The aim of the NFL was to create a governing body that would establish standards for teams and foster healthy competition. Over the years, the league expanded and evolved, giving rise to some of the oldest and most iconic teams in NFL history.

Read More: First Super Bowl Winner in NFL History

What Are the 3 Oldest NFL Teams?

TeamYear Established
Akron Pros1908
Chicago (Arizona) Cardinals1898
Green Bay Packers1919

These three teams, the Akron Pros, the Chicago Cardinals, and the Green Bay Packers, are considered the oldest NFL teams based on their establishment dates. They have played a significant role in shaping the NFL and its rich history.

The origins of the NFL provide a fascinating glimpse into the early days of American football and the foundations upon which the league was built.

Through the years, the NFL has grown to become one of the most popular and celebrated sporting leagues in the world.

The Founding Football Teams

The three oldest NFL teams trace back to the league’s inaugural season in 1920, when it was known as the American Professional Football Association (APFA).

Established under the vision of Jim Thorpe, the league started with eleven teams, and only two of them still exist today.

The Decatur Staleys, later renamed the Chicago Bears, and the Chicago Cardinals, now known as the Arizona Cardinals, were among the Original NFL teams. The Decatur Staleys were a successful team, winning the first-ever APFA championship in 1920.

The Chicago Cardinals, on the other hand, faced various challenges before eventually relocating to Arizona.

Over time, the league went through several transformations and was eventually renamed the National Football League (NFL).

The initial teams played a crucial role in the development and expansion of the sport, paving the way for the rich history of American football that we witness today.

NFL’s Enduring Triumvirate

The NFL’s enduring triumvirate consists of the three oldest teams in the league that have had continuous operation since their inception. These teams have left an indelible mark on the league’s history and culture.

The first team in this elite group is the Arizona Cardinals, formerly known as the Chicago Cardinals. Established in 1898, they hold the distinction of being the oldest continuously run professional football team in the United States.

The Chicago Bears are the second member of this esteemed trio. Founded in 1920 as the Decatur Staleys, they moved to Chicago the following year and became the Bears.

With a storied history and iconic players, the Bears have become synonymous with the city.

Lastly, we have the Green Bay Packers, who were founded in 1919 by Earl “Curly” Lambeau and George Calhoun.

As a publicly owned team, the Packers hold a unique place in professional sports. They have won a remarkable number of championships and have a dedicated fan base that spans generations.

These three teams have withstood the test of time, shaping the NFL into what it is today. Their rich histories and traditions serve as a reminder of the league’s roots and hold a special place in the hearts of football fans worldwide.

Arizona Cardinals History

The Arizona Cardinals are one of the oldest teams in the NFL, with a rich history that dates back to their establishment in 1920. Originally known as the Chicago Cardinals, the team was founded by Chris O’Brien and was a charter member of the NFL.

The Cardinals were based in the city of Chicago for several decades before relocating to St. Louis in 1960 and then finally settling in Arizona in 1988.

Throughout their long history, the Cardinals have achieved notable milestones and accomplishments. They won two NFL Championships in 1925 and 1947, and have also appeared in the Super Bowl once in 2008.

The team has had its ups and downs over the years, but they remain an integral part of the NFL and continue to strive for success.

Chicago Bears Background

The Chicago Bears are one of the oldest teams in the NFL, with a rich and storied history that spans almost a century. The franchise was founded in 1920 as the Decatur Staleys before relocating to Chicago in 1921.

Under the leadership of legendary player and coach George Halas, the Bears quickly established themselves as a dominant force in the league.

The Decatur Staleys were initially formed by the A.E. Staley food starch company before being purchased by George Halas and renamed the Chicago Staleys.

In 1922, the team became known as the Chicago Bears, a name that has become synonymous with football excellence. Over the years, the Bears have seen many ups and downs but have always maintained a passionate and dedicated fan base.

The Bears have had a significant impact on the NFL legacy, with a long list of accomplishments and contributions to the sport.

They have won multiple championships, including the Super Bowl in 1985, and have produced numerous Hall of Fame players. The Bears are renowned for their fierce defense, exemplified by the legendary Monsters of the Midway teams of the past.

YearChampionshipsHall of Fame Players
1985Super Bowl XXWalter Payton, Mike Ditka, Richard Dent, Dan Hampton
1940NFL ChampionshipsSid Luckman, George Halas

Green Bay Packers Story

The Green Bay Packers, one of the oldest NFL teams, have a unique ownership structure and a rich history. Hailing from a small town in Wisconsin, the Packers have cemented their place in NFL lore. Their story is a testament to the power of community support.

With over a century of history, the Packers were established in 1919. They have flourished as a nonprofit organization, owned by the fans themselves. This unique ownership structure sets them apart from other NFL teams.

Despite being based in a small town, Green Bay has achieved remarkable success on the field. The team has won the most championships in NFL history, including four Super Bowl victories.

Their triumphs have made them an enduring symbol of resilience and determination.

The Packers’ story is a testament to the power of community support and the enduring spirit of an organization deeply rooted in its fan base.

From their small-town origins to their unparalleled success, the Green Bay Packers continue to captivate football fans around the world.

Read More: Which Team Didn’t win Super Bowl Titles

Cardinals, Bears, And Packers Over The Ages

The Cardinals, Bears, and Packers are three of the oldest teams in the NFL, steeped in history.

The Cardinals were established in 1898, making them the oldest continuously operating professional football team in the United States. Originally based in Chicago, they moved to St. Louis in 1960 and finally settled in Arizona in 1988.

The Bears were founded in 1919 in Decatur, Illinois, and moved to Chicago in 1921. They have a storied past, including winning multiple championships and hosting iconic players like Walter Payton and Mike Ditka.

The Packers were also founded in 1919 and are the only publicly owned franchise in the NFL. They are situated in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and have enjoyed a successful history, including winning multiple championships, especially under legendary coach Vince Lombardi.

Comparing the longevity of these teams, it is evident that they have adapted to changes in the league over the years, ensuring their ongoing relevance and competitiveness. Their commitment to excellence has made them legendary among football enthusiasts.

Architectural Heritage In Stadiums

Historical stadiums play a significant role in the identity and legacy of NFL teams.

The three oldest NFL teams, namely the Arizona Cardinals, the Chicago Bears, and the Green Bay Packers, have a rich architectural heritage associated with their stadiums.

The Arizona Cardinals’ home stadium, State Farm Stadium, boasts a retractable roof and field, making it a state-of-the-art facility.

On the other hand, the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field is renowned for its unique blend of historic and modern architectural elements, with its iconic colonnades and modern upgrades.

Finally, the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating NFL stadium, with its historic feel and the legendary “Lambeau Leap” tradition.

These stadiums not only provide a venue for NFL games but also serve as tangible symbols of pride for their respective teams and communities.

The architectural legacy of these stadiums ties in directly with the history and tradition of the teams, creating a sense of nostalgia and reverence.

TeamStadiumYear Opened
Arizona CardinalsState Farm Stadium2006
Chicago BearsSoldier Field1924
Green Bay PackersLambeau Field1957

Rivalries And Record Holders

The NFL is filled with a rich history of fierce rivalries between teams that have stood the test of time. When it comes to the oldest teams in the league, three stand out as the pioneers of American football.

The Chicago Bears, established in 1920 and formerly known as the Decatur Staleys, hold the distinction of being the oldest franchise in the NFL.

The second oldest team and one of the most successful in NFL history is the Arizona Cardinals, who were founded in 1898 and are the oldest continuously run professional football team in the United States.

The Cardinals have had their fair share of rivalries over the years, most notably with the Bears and the Green Bay Packers.

The Green Bay Packers, founded in 1919, are the third oldest team in the NFL. They have a storied history and are known for their passionate fan base, known as the “Cheeseheads.” The Packers boast numerous championship titles, solidifying their place among the league’s elite teams.

These three teams have set records and earned their place in NFL history. From legendary players to iconic moments, their contributions to the sport are immeasurable.

The rivalries between these teams have fueled some of the most memorable matchups in NFL history and continue to captivate fans to this day.

Legacy And Influence On Modern NFL

The 3 oldest NFL teams have left an indelible mark on the league, shaping its legacy and influencing the modern game. Their contributions have helped define the evolving ethos of the NFL.

The Green Bay Packers, established in 1919, are renowned for their community ownership and loyal fan base, emphasizing the importance of fan engagement.

The Chicago Bears, founded in 1920, have a storied history and iconic players such as Walter Payton and Brian Urlacher, contributing to the development of the game itself.

The Az Cardinals, established in 1898 as the Morgan Athletic Club, boast a long and diverse history, from changing team names to various locations, solidifying their place in NFL history.

These teams have shaped today’s NFL in numerous ways. Their commitment to community and fan engagement has influenced the league’s focus on fostering strong fan connections and involvement.

The Bears’ emphasis on strong defense and the Cardinals’ resilience in the face of adversity have both left lasting impacts on the style of play in the league.

Preserving Football Heritage

Efforts to honor and remember past glory are of great importance in football. The rich history of the National Football League (NFL) comprises numerous legendary teams that have shaped the sport. People’s connection to their favorite team often stems from its historical significance.

Three notable NFL teams – the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, and Arizona Cardinals – boast a long-established legacy that dates back to the early days of professional football.

These teams not only provide a sense of identity to their fans but also contribute to the overall prestige of the league. The Chicago Bears, founded in 1920, hold the distinction of being one of the oldest NFL franchises.

The Green Bay Packers, formed in 1919, are deeply rooted in tradition and have a devoted fan base. The Arizona Cardinals, established in 1898, are the oldest continuously operating professional football team in the United States.

By acknowledging and celebrating the history of these teams, the NFL ensures that their contributions to the sport are recognized and appreciated.

Whether it is through exhibits in museums, commemorative events, or documentaries, efforts to preserve the heritage of these teams serve as a reminder of their enduring impact on the game.

Traditions Stemming From The Founders

In the NFL, three of the oldest teams with rich histories and enduring team traditions from their early days are the Chicago Bears, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Green Bay Packers.

The Chicago Bears were established in 1920 and have a strong following of dedicated fans. The team’s traditional colors of navy blue and burnt orange are instantly recognized, and their iconic logo symbolizes strength and power.

The Arizona Cardinals, originally based in Chicago, have a long-standing history in the NFL as one of the oldest franchises. The team’s enduring tradition of the “Greatest Show on Grass” showcases their exciting and high-scoring style of play.

The Green Bay Packers hold a special place in NFL history as the only community-owned team. Their fan engagement is unmatched, with a season ticket waiting list that spans years. The team’s Lambeau Leap has become a beloved tradition, and the G-Force chant reverberates through Lambeau Field during home games.

Final Thoughts

To recap, the three oldest NFL teams hold an incredible history within the league. The Chicago Bears, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Green Bay Packers have all stood the test of time, showcasing their resilience and dedication to the sport.

Their long-standing presence in the league is a testament to their success and impact on American football. Understanding the roots of these teams allows us to appreciate the rich tradition they bring to the game.