It it weren't for the sacrifice of 3000 cows, we wouldn't have NFL football.  That's how many cows it takes to get the leather for the footballs the NFL goes through in one season.  During a typical year, they'll go through 22,000 footballs.  Twenty-four fresh balls are inflated for every NFL game and 36 for outdoor games.

 

The football is often referred to as a 'pigskin', that's because an inflated pig's bladder used to be the game ball.  Originally, it was intended to be completely round, but it was to hard to blow up that way.

 

Spalding produced the first American made football in 1887.  In 1931, the ball was narrowed an inch and a half for easier passing.

 

The Nebraska Cornhuskers were the first team to 'redshirt' its best freshman football players.  Of course, the primary color of Nebraska's uniform is red, and the nickname stuck.  At about the same time, at the University of Alabama, players who didn't play in games wore a red shirt in practice so the coach could quickly tell who they were - and the tradition stuck.