From the anniversary of Troy Polamalu's retirement to John Madden's 84th birthday, check out some of this week's historic NFL people and moments. Think you know your football trivia? NFL Research looks back at some of the great games, stunning accomplishments and historic people to keep you in the loop on this day in history.
Happy birthday to Sterling Sharpe! The five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time first-team All-Pro turns 55 on April 6. Sharpe led the NFL in receptions three times (1989 and 1992-1993) and in receiving touchdowns twice (1992 and 1994). During Hall of Famer Brett Favre's first season with the Packers in 1992, Sharpe led the NFL in receptions (108), receiving yards (1,461) and receiving touchdowns (13). Sharpe played seven seasons with the Packers (1988-1994).
On this day in 1943, the NFL adopted several new rules and changes. Free substation became permitted (players could be substituted more than once during a game), helmets became mandatory and a 10-game schedule was adopted.
Happy birthday to Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett! Dorsett, who was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and 1981 first-team All-Pro, turns 66 on April 7. He was a Super Bowl XII champion with the Cowboys and his 12,036 rush yards and 72 rush touchdowns are both the second-most in Cowboys history. The 1977 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year played for the Cowboys (1977-1987) and Broncos (1988) in his career.
Happy 45th birthday to the Barber twins, Ronde and Tiki! The Barbers combined for eight Pro Bowl selections and four first-team All-Pro selections. Ronde Barber was a Super Bowl XXXVII champion with the Buccaneers, who he played for from 1997 to 2012. Tiki Barber played for the Giants from 1997 to 2006.
On this day in 2015, Sarah Thomas became the first woman to be assigned full-time to an NFL officiating crew. Thomas was also the first female referee to work an NFL postseason game (2018 AFC Divisional Round between the Patriots and Chargers).
Steve Bisciotti took over as the controlling owner of the Baltimore Ravens on this day in 2004, succeeding Art Modell, who operated the franchise for 43 years. Since Bisciotti took over in 2004, the Ravens' 151 wins are the fifth-most in the NFL. The Ravens were Super Bowl XLVII champions in the 2012 season and their quarterback Lamar Jackson was named the 2019 AP MVP.
On this day in 2015, Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu retired after 12 seasons with the Steelers. Polamalu was selected to eight Pro Bowls and named first-team All-Pro four times. The two-time Super Bowl champion (Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII) and 2010 AP Defensive Player of the year played for the Steelers from 2003 to 2014.
Happy birthday to the late Hall of Famer Earl "Curly" Lambeau. Lambeau was born on April 9, 1898 and died on June 1, 1965. He was a six-time NFL Champion (1929-1931, 1936, 1939 and 1944) and his 226 career wins rank fifth all-time. Lambeau founded the pre-NFL Packers in 1919 and was head coach of the Packers (1921-1949), the Chicago Cardinals (1950-1951) and the Redskins (1952-1953).
Happy 84th birthday to Hall of Famer John Madden! Madden was 103-32-7 in 10 seasons (1969-1978) as the Raiders head coach and a Super Bowl XI champion. He worked as a TV commentator from 1979 to 2008 and is a 16-time Emmy Award winner. Madden worked for all four major networks in his career (CBS, FOX, ABC and NBC) and was an analyst for 11 Super Bowls. Madden retired from broadcasting in April 2009, and his final game as a broadcaster was Super Bowl XLIII, when the Steelers defeated the Cardinals 27-23.
Happy birthday to Hall of Famer Mel Blount! Blount, who turns 72 on April 10, is a four-time Super Bowl champion (Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl X, Super Bowl XIII and Super Bowl XIV). He was selected to five Pro Bowls and named first-team All-Pro twice. Blount led the NFL with 11 interceptions in 1975, when he was named the AP Defensive Player of the Year. He is a member of the 1980s All-Decade Team and played for the Steelers from 1970 to 1983.