Whether you’re a football fanatic or a casual fan, there’s plenty to be excited about with this NFL season. There are four teams with cat-themed names – what’s the history, and does having a cat-related name make a team sound fierce, or cute and cuddly? Let’s take a look.
The Bengals are a tiger-themed team that plays in black and orange, although their white kit also reflects a famous white Bengal tiger that lived at the Cincinnati Zoo when the team was formed.
The Bengals name was chosen by the team founder Paul Brown, in an homage to a prior pro football team of the same name in the city. Fans had suggested other names, but it was Bengals that stuck.
Bengals Team History
The Bengals have never won the Super Bowl, though they did make the game in 2021, their first appearance in over 30 years. They have won many division titles at least, but are yet to get their hands on the Lombardi trophy.
The Carolina Panthers are known for their black jerseys and aggressive panther logo. Owner Jerry Richardson wanted the name because he wanted the team to be powerful, sleek, and strong.
The Panthers name also comes from the actual animal – Carolina panthers used to be prevalent in both states until they fell into near extinction in the early 20th Century.
Panthers Team History
The recent history for the Panthers hasn’t been great, with only one playoff appearance since 2017. They did make the Super Bowl in 2015 but lost to the Denver Broncos.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the newer teams in the NFL, joining in the same expansion as the Carolina Panthers in 1995.
The Jaguars name was chosen in a fan poll – around 4 years before the team even joined the NFL! The other options in the poll were the Panthers (before Carolina sewed that up), the Sharks and the Stingrays.
Jaguars Team History
The Jaguars haven’t always played with the power and drive of their namesake – they’ve won two divisional titles since 2000, with four playoff appearances in total.
The Detroit Lions came into existence when bought by a group headed by Motown radio exec George A. Richards. With the baseball team named the Tigers, Richards wanted to keep the theme and so went with Lions.
When the Detroit Lions arrived from their original home of Portsmouth, Ohio, the Detroit Zoo director John Millen offered up a gift – two lion cubs, named “Grid” and “Iron”. For a while these cubs accompanied the team to their games.
Lions Team History
Richards declared that he wanted to be the “Lion King” and for his team to be the monarch of the league. They were successful, for a period, but then the Bobby Layne curse occurred and the team has won nothing for many years.
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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,