Oklahoma Sooners in the NFL

Oklahoma Sooners-Header

The University of Oklahoma got its start in 1892 in Norman, Oklahoma, and its football program started soon after (1895). The Sooner football program has led to the most wins nationwide in the modern era (1946 and later), seven national championships, 46 conference titles (tied for first in the country), a 47-game winning streak in the ’50s (an NCAA record), and the most points scored in the country (also a first place spot).

So it’s no surprise the Sooners show up in the NFL fairly often. They’ve contributed over 370 draft picks, including three No. 1 overall picks (Sam Bradford, Billy Sims, and Lee Roy Selmon), 59 Sooners who have appeared in the Big Game, 81 who have been elected to the Pro Bowl – and with that kind of output, it’s not too far of a stretch to imagine that in the future, more Sooners may make an impact in the NFL.

Let’s take a look at the former Oklahoma Sooners players who are currently in the NFL.

From Oklahoma to the NFL

Oklahoma Sooners-Asset

There are 33 former Oklahoma Sooners in the NFL, and all but two are active. At the top, the Washington Redskins have four former Sooners on their roster: Trent Williams, Tress Way, Samaje Perine, and Stacy McGee. The Dolphins have three: Damien Williams, Kenny Stills, and Jordan Phillips.

Several teams have two former Oklahoma players: the Bengals, for example, with Joe Mixon and Jordan Evans; the Cowboys with Charles Tapper and James Hanna; the Broncos with Donald Stephenson and Corey Nelson; the Vikings with Sam Bradford and Bell Blake; the Buccaneers with Gerald McCoy and Devante Bond; and the Cardinals with Jermaine Gresham and now, Adrian Peterson.

Plenty of teams have one former Oklahoma player on their team as well, such as Tony Jefferson on the Baltimore Ravens squad, Aaron Ripkowski with the Green Bay Packers, Sterling Shepard with the New York Giants, and James Winchester with the Kansas City Chiefs.

One of the most well-known Sooners on this list is Sam Bradford. Bradford was a standout quarterback at Oklahoma, as he was a prolific passer from the start, tossing 363 yards and three touchdowns in his first game (and broke a school record for most yards in a half while he was at it). Bradford went on to win the Heisman Trophy his sophomore year after amassing 4,720 yards and 50 touchdowns in 2008. He ultimately went No. 1 overall in the 2010 draft, and while injuries have plagued his professional career, he has thrown over 3,000 yards four times and earned the Rookie of the Year award his first season.

Sam is suited up. #MINvsCHI

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His former teammate, DeMarco Murray, is also a pretty well-known former Sooner. He too made a big splash in his collegiate debut alongside Bradford and was drafted by Dallas in the third round of the 2011 draft. Murray spent his first four seasons with the Cowboys and earned the rushing title in 2014 with 1,845 rushing yards. After spending one season in Philadelphia, he’s pounding the rock for his second season in Tennessee. He’s been selected to two Pro Bowls so far.

He's not done yet. #TitanUp ⚔️

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Adrian Peterson played for Oklahoma before Bradford and Murray did, but he’s also one of the best known former Sooners currently playing in the NFL. Peterson was drafted No. 7 overall by Minnesota in 2007 and spent a solid decade running the ball there (and nabbed the rushing title three times – once for over 2,000 yards). He was the league MVP in 2012 and has been selected to seven Pro Bowls. Peterson currently plays in the backfield for the Arizona Cardinals.

Debut in the Desert.

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Boomer Sooner

It’s always a blast watching young players develop during their college years, and it’s definitely exciting to see who drafts them when draft day rolls around each year. If you’ve been following the likes of Sam Bradford and Adrian Peterson since those early days, or you’re watching and waiting for the current crop of Oklahoma players to develop and find their way into the NFL, you’re in luck – Fanatics has a huge selection of collegiate swag as well as a ton of authentic NFL gear, so be sure to hook yourself up before heading to the stadium.

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This Day in Sports History: Labor Day Edition

This Day in Sports History: Labor Day Edition

Labor Day was established in the late 1800s to honor the American labor movement, and is dedicated to the economic and social achievements of workers in the U.S. Labor Day falls on the first Monday of September – in 2017, it’ll be on Sept. 4 – which is the day we’ll be using as a reference for this post. This year, you can enjoy the holiday while reflecting back on these three noteworthy sporting events.

The Cleveland Browns Score the First Two-Point Conversion Ever

This Day In Sports History: Cleveland Browns First Successful Two-Point Conversion in NFL History

NFL rules are always under scrutiny, and every season brings changes to them. The two-point conversion attempt that we know today wasn’t instituted until 1994 when owners agreed to allow teams to “go for two” instead of kicking an extra point.

The first team to do so? The Cleveland Browns. That same year, their season opener pitted them against their division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals, at Riverfront Stadium. While the Browns may suffer from lack of success in recent years, that specific game drew a large crowd of over 50,000 attendees – who got to see NFL history in the making as punter and holder Tom Tupa took the snap and crashed into the end zone. The Browns left the Bengals stadium that day with a win of 28-20.

The Cardinals Land in Arizona

On this day in sports history: Phoenix Cardinals First Game

The Arizona Cardinals didn’t always bear that name, and in fact, they were originally founded halfway across the country – in Illinois. Dating back to 1898, the Cardinals are the longest continuously running professional football franchise in the U.S. They started out in the Chicago area, then operated in St. Louis for 28 years, and finally relocated to the Sun Devil Stadium on the Arizona State University campus in 1988.

The Phoenix Cardinals (their former name) took to the field for their first game on Sept. 4, 1988. Interestingly, they also faced the Cincinnati Bengals at the Bengals’ home field. This first Cardinals game after their relocation to the southwest didn’t go well, as they ultimately lost to the Bengals with a score of 14-21.

#AZvsLA

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Two-Day Home Run Record

This Day in Sports History: Gary Carter Hits 5 Homeruns in Consecutive Days

Gary Carter played catcher for the New York Mets for five seasons and helped them toward their 1986 World Series win. On Sept. 4, 1985, he tied the record for the most home runs in two consecutive games, slamming five homers against the Padres in San Diego.

Happily, for Mets fans, they won both contests: 8-2 on Sept. 3, 1985 and 9-2 on Sept. 4, 1985.

Over his 19-year Hall-of-Fame career, Carter launched 324 homers and batted in 1,225 runs.   

Now that Sept. 4 is here, what sports history will be made this year? Will our favorite teams labor on Labor Day?

Whether you’re a Browns fan, a Cardinals fan, or a Mets fan, Fanatics.com has got you covered for any season of sports. So what are you waiting for? Visit us online, and show some love for your favorite teams.

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Cardinals’ Johnson Delivers Fanatics Orders and Holiday Joy

David Johnson has quietly become one of the NFL’s most dangerous players. A dual rushing and receiving threat, the Arizona Cardinals running back has eclipsed all expectations since being drafted in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He may not get the accolades of some of the league’s other big-market star running backs, but for Cardinals fans, he is one of the faces of their franchise.

Which is why, for a few lucky fans in the Phoenix / Tempe area of Arizona, Christmas came early this season when David Johnson himself knocked at the door. For five families who had placed Fanatics orders for the holidays, many of which included David Johnson’s #31 jersey, they had a surprise delivery. Johnson dressed as Santa or as an unassuming Fanatics employee, delivered these lucky fans’ orders in person. Watch the video here.

Johnson embodied what we here at Fanatics use as the pillar for everything we do. Our mantra is “By Fans, For Fans.” Every holiday season, millions of presents will change hands between family members, friends, coworkers, and even strangers. It is the traditional time of giving, of peace and good will.

And for every fan who uses an order with Fanatics to give a gift to a friend or loved one, it is a way to give and share one of our most common joys — sports. For us here at Fanatics, we share the joy of the holiday spirit and the passion for sports, but every order is also a precious covenant, a challenge and a promise that your present will arrive in time.

To ensure that every fan gets the joyous experience that Johnson helped deliver to these families in Arizona takes a passionate, dedicated, and massively coordinated effort across the Fanatics family. From offices and warehouses across the country, a complex web of moving parts has to function perfectly to ensure that our fans get what they want over the busy holiday season.

During the busy holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, our shipping and warehouse teams have to work in hyper-drive to ensure that millions of products are sorted, packed, and shipped on time to fans who are counting on them to give as gifts. Our goal is that every fan gets to share the magic of both giving and receiving this season, and we are proud to do our part.

A special thank you to David Johnson and the Arizona Cardinals for helping us in our holiday mission this year. A thank you also to ESPN, for giving a peak into what goes in to the proud work we do here at Fanatics.

Happy holidays from all of us.

The Evolution of the Arizona Cardinals Jersey

Arizona-Cardinals-Header

The Arizona Cardinals are a peculiar team. Despite being the oldest continuously run team in the NFL and a serious Super Bowl contender in 2015, they are often forgotten. While the team made up some ground in 2015 – buoyed by their NFC West title – in 2014, only the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars were less searched for in the league, according to Google Trends.

The Cardinals are still a hopeful bunch. Stopped only by the Carolina Panthers’ crushing offense in the 2015 playoffs, new coach Bruce Arians has made it his business to bring the Lombardi Trophy to the desert. With 21 wins in two seasons – the first time the team has managed that since the 1975-1976 season – the Arians-coached Cardinals have stirred up pride once again in the red and black.

Fanatics has decided to take a deeper look into the evolution of the Cardinals jersey to celebrate this much-maligned team and to discuss what’s in store for this franchise and its fans in the future

Cardinals-Retro-Scarf

Arizona Cardinals Retro Scarf

Notable Uniform Changes

Arizona_Cardinals

Legacy: The Chicago Cardinals

1925:

The original jersey is maroon (“Cardinal Red”), with a white “C” within a C-shaped insignia. The jersey has three sets of tan arm rings and sports a separate leather girdle meant to protect the kidneys. This protective feature is not incorporated into any other team’s uniforms at the time, but it is a precursor to the girdle/hip padding worn by football players today. The uniform also features leather pants and an optional leather helmet.

1938:

This uniform is the first to feature player numbers. It’s a long-sleeved red jersey with white shoulders, collar, and numbers – and it’s arguably the team’s first modern-style jersey.

1945:

The home jersey of the Cardinals’ last NFL Championship year is simplistic: just a long-sleeved red jersey with white number blocks. The helmet and the pants are white and otherwise unadorned.

1953:

As for the franchise-specific design, the Cardinals uniform remains minimal – the away jersey is simply a white long-sleeved jersey with red block numbers, matched with red pants that have two narrow white running stripes and a red helmet.

St. Louis or Bust

1962:

The Cardinals Head logo is added to the side of the helmet; additionally, the jersey remained white with red block numbers, players were often seen with their sleeves rolled up.

Arizona-Cardinals-Helmet

Riddell Arizona Cardinals Revolution Speed Full-Size Authentic Football Helmet

1975:
The 1975 jersey is similar to that of the ’60s, with the numbers now outlined in black. Cardinal red and black stripes are also added to the sleeves.

1986:

1986 sees the Cardinals introduce a new home jersey. With no striping and no number outlining, the jersey bears the simple look of earlier Cardinals jerseys. It is a red short-sleeved jersey with white front and back number blocks, and white television numbers.It is paired with white pants with a red running stripe, flanked with white and black stripes.

Arizona Dreamin’

1988: An outdated Busch Stadium, a refusal by St. Louis to build a new stadium, and falling attendance numbers all convince William Bidwill – who became the sole owner of the team in 1973 – to move the crew. On a handshake deal, Bidwill moves his team in 1988 into the Sun Devil Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona. They dub the team the Phoenix Cardinals before settling on the Arizona Cardinals in 1994. As a celebratory move, the away jersey receives the state flag of Arizona over the sleeve stripes of the 1985 jersey.

1994: To observe the league’s 75th anniversary, the Arizona Cardinals introduce a throwback that wasn’t actually used by any former Cardinals team but is a new design influenced by the Cardinals’ first decade in the NFL. It features the current red used by the team but is a short-sleeved plain jersey in traditional Cardinals style. The sleeves include three white stripes and – aside from the white number blocks and the 75th Anniversary patch on the left shoulder – no other decorations

1998: The 1998 jersey sees two additions: the NFL Shield added to the base of the collar and a 100th Anniversary patch on the left shoulder to honor the franchise’s centennial birthday.

2001:

They change the 2001 away jersey: It features television numbers on the shoulders, the state flag on the sleeves, and five alternating stripes of red, white, and black near the cuff. The pants also shift to red with double white stripes.

2005:

The away jersey features red sleeves, shoulders, and side panels; black seams; and a red number patch and wordmark outlined in black.

Fitzgerald-Jersey

Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals Nike Game Jersey – Cardinal

The Cardinals also produce a 2013 black alternate home jersey. In 2008, the Cardinals add a Super Bowl XIV patch to their jersey to celebrate the team’s first Super Bowl appearance.

Look Back to Look Forward

Currently, the Arizona Cardinals have retired nine jersey numbers, in their lasting history. The franchise retired their first numbers in 1948 – Marshall Goldberg and Stan Mauldin. The most recently retired number was in 2001 when Pat Tillman turned down a contract renewal to proudly serve the United States Army.

No. 88 – J.V. Cain

No. 99 – Marshall Goldberg

No. 77 – Stan Mauldin

No. 40 – Pat Tillman

No. 8 – Larry Wilson

The Cardinals, as the league’s oldest team, have had turmoil and successes worthy of a legacy. And that legacy spans more than a century. While the team doesn’t dominate like younger teams have in the NFL – for those who proudly wear the red, white, and black – there is always the assurance that the best is yet to come.

Do you celebrate “Big Red”? Fanatics has a full line of essential Cardinals gear to help you get in the spirit!

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