It is revealed in this episode that during Al Bundy's football career, Polk High won the city championship against Andrew Johnson High. The two schools were named for the 11th and 17th presidents of the United States.
Bubba Smith, who played "Spare Tire" in this episode, was an all-pro defensive lineman for the Baltimore Colts in the late 1960's and early 1970's.
He also played Officer Hightower in the Police Academy films.
This was Ed O'Neill's favorite episode.
When Al is challenged by "Spare Tire" to cross the drawn line, and Al tries to pass through him, the instrumental theme music of the 1981 movie Chariots Of Fire is heard.
Al: (To "Spare Tire")... so don't cry for me, Argentina.
"Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" is a song from the 1978 musical Evita.
Al is singing "Traveling Man" when he is in the restroom. "Traveling Man" is a 1961 hit by Ricky Nelson.
When Al enters Andrew Johnson High, there is a sign that reveals the mascot of Johnson High as the "Impeachers". Andrew Johnson was the 17th president of the United States (served 1865-1869) and at the time this episode aired, was the only president to have been impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives (Bill Clinton later became the second). Impeachment is the first of two steps necessary to remove a U.S. President from office during his term. The second step is conviction in the Senate. After his impeachment, Andrew Johnson missed conviction by one vote and thus was allowed to remain in office.
The scene where Al is demoted from his security guard job is a reference to the opening titles sequence of the TV series Branded. Chuck Connors played Jason McCord in that 1965 NBC Western about a Calvary captain dishonorably discharged after unjustly accused of being a coward. Everything from the song that plays down to the drummer and the buttons ripped off of Al's shirt parallels it. Al's baton is snapped in half in lieu of Jason's sword.