History Of Football In Ohio

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History of Football in Ohio

History Of Football In Ohio


This football league did not become the NFL until 1922. In 1919, it was known as the Ohio Football League, In 1920 and 1921 it was called the American Professional Football Association (APFL). In 1922 it became the National Football League (NFL)

There are three teams in the NFL older than the league: the Arizona Cardinals, the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. A brief account of their history is given here.

1899: The Morgan Athletic Club organizes a semi-pro team to play at Normal Field at the corner of Normal and Racine. So they call themselves the Normals.

1901: The Morgan Athletic Club Normals changed their name to the Racine Cardinals following accquisition of New Jerseys.

1906: The Racine Cardinals disband, are reorganized in 1913, suspend operations in 1918 because of the World War and are revived on November 12.

1920: The Decatur Staleys were organized as a company team for Staley Starch Company.

The Dallas Cowboys franchise (originally: the Rangers) was awarded by the NFL to begin play in the Western Conference in 1960, and Eastern Conference from 1961 on. (Meredith signed on with the Cowboys on November 29, 1959 before they officially existed). The Twin Cities is also awarded a franchise by the NFL, which is later named the Minnesota Vikings and begins play in the Western Conference in 1961.

The NFL awarded Atlanta a new franchise following a citywide Harris Poll. It is to begin play in in the Eastern Conference in 1966. The AFL franchise ceases to exist.

June 8, 1966: The NFL and AFL effectively merge with plans to go to a 2 conference 4 division setup in 1970 or after.

Ironton Tanks

In the 1920s, the "famous" Ironton Tanks were the sovereigns of semi-professional football in the upper Ohio Valley, indeed even in the state of Ohio. Through a stretch of six years, from 1920 through 1926, they won sixty-one games, tied eight and lost but four, defeating alike small-town elevens in the valley and big-city teams throughout the state. They became the pride of Ironton, an institution representing, so businessmen and sportswriters asserted, the intrinsic worth of the city and standing as an advertising notice for it.

Organized in 1919 by former players at Ironton high school, several of them veterans of the Great War, the team took its name from the innovative weapon of the Great War implying brute rolling power. The name was also appropriate for Ironton, a city of about 15,000 and a center of the pig-iron industry in the Hanging Rock district. Hundreds of men in the city were workers toughened by the touch of iron.

Leading the Tanks in the early years were Charlton "Shorty" Davies and William "Bill" Brooks, both ex-collegians. Davies, who had played behind the great Chic Harley at Ohio State, was a shifty back standing five feet, seven inches and weighing about 160 pounds. He ran as a tailback from the single wing, the dominant offensive formation of the ...
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