Every football team has a storied history. So do their names.
Originally named the Pirates after Pittsburgh’s professional baseball team, in 1940 owner Al Rooney renamed the team for the city’s steel industry.
The Dallas Texans were one of the original AFL teams. They moved to Kansas City in 1963, so when Houston got an expansion team in 2002, they revived the name.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Dallas Texans owner Lamar Hunt was reluctant to relocate to Kansas City until Mayor H. Roe “Chief” Bartle promised to enlarge the city’s stadium and guarantee high season ticket sales. Hunt showed his appreciation by naming the team after him.
In 1965 the new team held a contest to name the franchise. A teacher from Griffin, Georgia, suggested Falcons: “The falcon is proud and dignified, with great courage and fight. It is deadly and has a great sporting tradition.”
General manager Bert Rose came up with the name as a nod to the area’s large Nordic population.
Originated as the Baltimore Colts in 1947, the name recognizes Baltimore’s long tradition of horse breeding and racing.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
The name is a reference to the gold rush prospectors who came west in 1849, the year after gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in the mountains east of San Francisco.
Formerly the Tennessee Oilers (after a move from Houston), owner Bud Adams picked the name from Greek mythology. He thought it was appropriate because the team played in Nashville, nicknamed “the Athens of the South.”