March 14th 1967 – First NFL/AFL common Draft: Michigan State defensive end (DE) Bubba Smith becomes the first overall pick, selected by the Baltimore Colts. Charles Aaron “Bubba” Smith starred as a DE both in college and the NFL before becoming an actor following his retirement from football. During his acting career, Smith specialised in comedic roles in TV, film and adverts. For a decade after his retirement, he appeared in various commercials for Miller Lite. His best-known role was as Moses Hightower in the first six Police Academy movies. Bubba sadly passed away in 2011, aged 66.
March 14th 1978 – The NFL permanently adds a seventh official (Side Judge (SJ)). The SJ works downfield behind the defensive secondary on the same sideline as the Down Judge. Like the Field Judge, the SJ makes decisions near the sideline on the nearest side of the field, judging the action of nearby running backs, receivers and defenders.
March 15th 1988 – The St. Louis Cardinals officially move to Phoenix. Thus, marking the first time an NFL team called Arizona home. On this date, the NFL team owners voted to allow owner Bill Bidwill to move the Cardinals. The team became the Phoenix Cardinals. They planned to play at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona temporarily, while a new stadium was being built. They stayed there for the next eighteen seasons before moving to Glendale in 2006.
Mark is a San Francisco 49'ers fan - you can follow him on Twitter @GridironGuru2