25 January 2022
Football Rivalries are a Laughing Matter

NFL fans have been tussling over team rivalries since the first game kicked off in 1920.

They’ll probably continue to tussle every week until the end of time. If you’re still ticked about the 14-0 rout of the Panhandles by the Triangles in 1920, you’re a rivalry diehard.


A vintage photo of football players playing against each other in a stadium.

Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers fans have been arguing about who’s top dog since 1921. The two teams have gone back and forth with wins. From the 1920s to the 60s, the Bears dominated with a 49-26 record; during the Vince Lomardi/Bart Starr era in the 1960s, the Packers went 15-5. The thickest bad blood between them goes back to two incidents: In 1980, when Bart Starr was Green Bay’s coach, he confronted Chicago’s head coach Neill Armstrong over his team’s overly physical and frequent blitzing – getting in his face and refusing to shake his hand at the end of the game. In 1985, the Packers allegedly put horse poop in the Bears locker room. But the biggest infraction is often labeled “the dirtiest play” in NFL history, when in 1986, Packers defensive end Charles Martin slammed Bears quarterback Jim McMahon from behind, injuring his shoulder and ending his season.

Interesting info: Both teams were part of the original group of American Professional Football Association teams, first formed in 1920 and renamed the National Football League in 1922: The Decatur Staleys became the Chicago Bears in 1922;  The Green Bay Acme Packers were founded in 1919 and joined the league in 1921. The Packers is the oldest NFL franchise with continuous operation in the same location.

The Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers, both franchised in 1933, have been division rivals as long as either team can remember. It’s a Pennsylvania thing, with one set of fans on the eastern edge of the state near major cities, and the other in the rust belt western edge near Appalachia. Even though the teams are in two different divisions and have met only 12 times since 1970, the rivalry is strong enough to rile tempers every four years when they play. At the most recent meet-up in 2020, the Steelers won at home 38-29. It was a wild night in Pittsburgh. The two teams are scheduled for their next match in Philly in 2024. Get your tickets now.

The beef between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings began over turf. Both teams are in the same division and located near each other, but Green Bay was there first (1919) and the Vikings were added as an expansion team in 1961. The bigger beef came in 2008 over Packers quarterback Brett Favre, who was unhappy with his team management and spoke publicly about wanting to play for the Vikings. The Packers filed tampering charges against the Vikings, and Favre ultimately was traded to the Jets. Favre retired after one season, then came out of retirement to play for the Vikings. The wounds still haven’t healed.

Let’s Bring MORE Laughs to football

Vintage photo of american football players  putting their foot on a player.

If you take your rivalry too seriously, you’re bound to lose a few friends. So AFE is encouraging you to leave it all out on the field and laugh about it instead. Share your best and funniest NFL football jokes during the AFE Brings the Laughs Football Joke Contest, and you could win a boast-worthy prize: A shout-out from a Pro Blitz athlete.

Enter your joke in the AFE Football Joke Contest now >

When you take a closer look at NFL rivalries you’ll start to see a pattern. They generally began with a single game, are often due to geographic proximity, and can never really be settled. 

The jokes that come from the rivalries are often interchangeable. Telling them and hearing them is like a game of fill-in-the-blank.

Q: What do the __________ and the Post Office have in common?

A: Neither one delivers on Sundays.

Q: What does a __________ fan do when his team wins the Super Bowl?

A: Turn off the PlayStation®5.

Q: What is the difference between a _______ fan and a baby?

A: The baby will eventually stop whining.

Q: Did you hear the joke quarterback ___________ told his receivers?

A: It went over their heads.

Q: How many _________ players does it take to change a tire?

A: One. Unless it’s a blowout, then they all show up.


As the first week of the NFL playoffs starts, get your jerseys on, your snack food ready, and keep your rivalries friendly. Whether you’re rooting for the Packers, Bears, Vikings, Jets, Chiefs, Buccaneers, Patriots, Browns, Rams, Bills, Cardinals, Ravens, Dolphins, 49ers, Cowboys, Broncos, Raiders, Jaguars, Giants, Steelers, Eagles, Chargers, Colts, Titans,  Seahawks, Lions, Falcons, Bengals, Texans, Saints, Panthers, or Washington (whew!) – AFE is with you all the way. Your team is the best.

Join our NFL fan fest when the AFE Pro Blitz returns for a live tour January – February. Check the schedule and get your 50-yard line seat for the football and cheering clinics, meet-n-greets and more.

Got a better joke?

Submit it by 10 February and win the AFE Football Jokes Contest.