In 1946, the first official match in its history was played by the San Francisco 49ers. The first week of the AAFC championship against the New York Yankees ended in a 7-21 defeat.
On September 8, 2002, rookie quarterback David Carr made two passing touchdowns and led the Houston Texans to a 19-10 win over Dallas. For the second time in history, and for the first time since 1961, a team to have entered the league as a result of its expansion won their first game.
Lem Barney, Detroit Lions star in the late 1960s and 1970s, the league's best rookie in defense in 1967, and a member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
Lemuel Joseph Barney was born on September 8, 1945 in Gulfport, Mississippi. At school, he started playing football as a quarterback, but in college, coaches transferred him to secondaries. Barney spent his undergraduate career in the Jackson State program, a black university in Mississippi. For three seasons of performances, Lem made 26 interceptions, was considered one of the best specialists in the return of antlers. All three years he was included in the team of stars of the Southwest Sports Conference.
Detroit picked Barney in the second round of the 1967 draft. The rookie made his debut brightly, in his first game of the regular season, making an interception and returning him to the home zone. In all, in fourteen games, he made ten interceptions with three touchdowns. This performance earned Lem the Rookie of the Year award and a Probowl entry. Also, after the injury of Pat Studstill, he acted as a panther, succeeding in this. Barney played eleven seasons for the Lions, hitting Probowl in seven of them. Twice he was elected to the All-Pro national team. He became one of the symbols of the team, but left it scandalously. In the spring of 1978, his name surfaced during the development of one of the drug smuggling channels. Lem was not the main figure in the case, but after several press coverage, he was summoned to a New York court to testify. In August, Lions put the player on a bounce draft. There were no people willing to sign a contract with Barney. He spent a whole season on the bench, and in February 1979 he officially left Detroit and ended his career. Despite this story, Lem entered the Lions Hall of Fame a year later. In 1992 he was elected to the Professional Football Hall of Fame. Several times he was included in various ratings of the best players in history, and the Detroit Free Press even called Lem the best cornerback in the history of the game.
After completing his career, Barney became a public relations specialist. He first worked in one of the departments of an energy company in Detroit, then, from 2006 to 2013, at the city medical center. Lem also left his last job with a scandal, accusing the center's management of age discrimination. In the same 2013, the results of studies of traumatic brain injuries and their consequences in football were published. Commenting on them, Barney noted that if he had the opportunity to live life again, he would not play football. In the same interview, he added that "football is the greatest game for gladiators of the past, but in twenty years it will become unnecessary for society."