A minor mystery revealed: origin of the name “Little Green Footballs”

It’s far from Earth-shattering and hardly related to any of the serious business discussed here, but it was a mystery which was begging to be solved: No one seemed to know where to the name of the blog Little Green Footballs came from. All Charles Johnson would reveal is that “I am at liberty to reveal that it has something to do with an incident in my youth that happened in Japan.” But a random browsing of time-killing websites this afternoon has revealed an extremely plausible – if not terribly meaningful – origin: The Muppets.

In 1976, Kermit the Frog, publicizing the new The Muppet Show, appeared on Good Morning America. Speaking with David Hartman about why things would never work out between him and Miss Piggy, Kermit said, “Well, if we had kids, what’d we have, you know, little green footballs. You see.”

Whether that is biologically true or not is uncertain, but Johnson would have been in his youth – 23 – in 1976. No word on whether he visited Japan that year, but he is a fan of this 1976 recording in Japan (and Japanese audiences) and was out somewhere playing jazz guitar that year. And the Muppets have made a couple appearances on LGF over the years. Again, not an Earth-shattering discovery and the proof is lacking but it still may be something that somebody somewhere might be curious about.

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One Comment

  1. I don’t know where Kermit got the name, but when we were kids, our mother gave us these green oval vitamin (or some kind of supplement) pills.

    This was in the 50’s.

    And yes, that’s EXACTLY what we called them: ‘little green footballs’.

    I’m sure any youngster in that era would wind up calling them the same thing: thousands of kids. Because that is exactly what they looked like.

    Also, long before the currently popular website, I recall a defunct BBS (or company) called ‘Little Green Footballs’. I always thought whoever it was took those same (horrible tasting, if you bit into one–you’d never do it again) capsules way back then.

    Perhaps someone else has mentioned these nasty little pills elsewhere, but I haven’t looked into it.

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