CrimsonBull9584

100 years of the NFL? Really?

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There's been something bugging me about this 100 year celebration that the NFL has been doing, or not doing. Despite the fact that the NFL was founded in 1920, the current "celebration" doesn't seem to cover anything before 1960. This is actually a general criticism I have of the NFL. They will talk about the history of the league starting from pretty much the 1958 NFL championship (The Greatest Game Ever Played) and the introduction of the AFL in 1960 and their decade long feud with the NFL. But pretty much everything between 1920 and 1959 is glossed over and ignored by the NFL. Case in point; I'm from Louisville, Kentucky originally where Cardinal football (and Wildcat football) reign supreme. Imagine my surprise that from 1921 to 1926 (debatable but beside the point) the NFL had a team in Louisville. I never knew that! And growing up and working with diehard sports fans, none of them had ever heard it. It took Wikipedia for me to even learn about it. And yet, the NFL never mentions this team, or the Kansas City Cowboys, or the Columbus Panhandlers, or the Frankfort Yellow Jackets, or any of the dozens of NFL teams that existed in their history. Hell, even Madden with their stupid micro-transaction MUT system, doesn't even have players like Red Grange, Fritz Pollard, or Jim Thorpe, players that MADE the NFL what it was and without them, there would be no NFL today. Add on to that, that the NFL Shop, never sells any products related with these teams. We get throwbacks sure, but when was the last time you could purchase a Dayton Triangles hat? Even though the Akron Pros were the first champions of the NFL, never gets recognized. No documentaries, no merch, no mention, nothing. It's like the NFL wants to ignore all these franchises and half of their history.

 

I guess what I don't understand is how you can have a 100 year celebration and not recognize or discuss the ENTIRE 100 year history of the league. Why is the Super Bowl era the only one that matters? 

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Well, In the NFL's defense, the All-Time teams featured many players from the 20's-40's, regardless of the "Outrage" of many people on Reddit and Twitter.

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I can't seem to find it but I know the NFL put out a video about the entire history of the league from its inception to present day.  I know it was discussed here because people mentioned that the video used some erroneous logos. 

 

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-throwback/0ap3000001053541/NFL-Explained-The-evolution-of-the-National-Football-League

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The NFL is not talking so much about franchises such as the Louisville (Brecks), Columbus Panhandles, Duluth Eskimos, Kansas City Cowboys, Dayton Triangles, Stapleton Stapes, etc. because these franchises are all DEFUNCT.  They didn't move to a new location to become an NFL team which still exists today; they went out of business.

 

And there were A LOT of them. The NFL in its early days (say 1920-post WWII) had very little in terms of stability. Teams came and went often.

 

There's also the issue that the NFL as an entity or business was very different then. It was far less popular than it is now. Everyone who EVER saw a Louisville NFL home game could probably fit comfortably in a current NFL stadium. 

 

Re: the NFL shop thing, there was little thought given to team naming back then,  much less team logos and merchandise. There were no helmet logos to speak of.  So what is there to sell other than a name and possibly a color scheme? 

 

About the best the NFL could do is something like what Ebbets Field Flannels does for old baseball teams, use some drawings and such from old game programs.  But as DG_Now has shown, even THAT is often futile.

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6 hours ago, Pharos04 said:

I can't seem to find it but I know the NFL put out a video about the entire history of the league from its inception to present day.  I know it was discussed here because people mentioned that the video used some erroneous logos. 

 

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-throwback/0ap3000001053541/NFL-Explained-The-evolution-of-the-National-Football-League

 

That video package made me miss this theme:

 

 

 

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Re: the Madden MUT thing, the NHL series added alumni teams for NHL 20 where you can play as the teams (minus Vegas, plus Hartford, Quebec and the Minnesota North Stars) made up of players from the team's history. It was seen as a disappointment as many of the teams are missing famous/notable players and some "questionable" choices were made in regards to filling out the rosters.

 

The story as I know it, EA is only allowed to use player likenesses of those players who are, a) a part of the NHL Alumni Association, and b) have opted into the Alumni Association's likeness usage program (or whatever it is called), either by themselves or by, what I presume, their family/estate, so EA had a limited pool to pick from. This could very well be the case for Madden and why players like Red Grange, Fritz Pollard, or Jim Thorpe are not available.

 

@B-Rich pretty much covers the rest of the reasoning I think.

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Going more on what B-Rich said. Ultimately the league is working with what they got. My defense on the league not saying much about the old teams is for a multitude of reasons.

1. Before 1960 the NFL didnt have a league wide TV contract.Teams then had their own contracts and some didnt have any TV contract at all. The AFL actually had a league wide contract before the NFL ever did (AFL with ABC in 1960, and the NFL hooking up with CBS in 1961).

2. TV Wiping. Many games from the early 70s and before were lost to the networks practice of wiping film. Some games, including Championship games were erased. The NFL had several games on the defunct DuMont TV network in the 50s. Most of DuMonts shows and recordings were wiped or thrown into the East River in New York to make room for storage in a warehouse. Because of the wiping practices, footage is hard to come by.

3. Merchandising. Some of the old teams didnt have logos at all. Its hard to sell team merchandise if they dont have a logo or colors, unless the league decides to create one.

4. Defunct teams. The last team to bite the dust were the 1952 Dallas Texans. More than half of the current teams didnt exist prior to 1960. Its easier to market the teams that had a decent history.The league was very different then. Most of those teams were gone by 1930 and back then the league didnt have an equal set schedule. Some teams played 8 or more games in a season, while others played in like 2. Louisville had two teams in the 20s. The Brecks played a total of 9 games in 3 seasons. Only 3 of those games were ever played in Louisville. Some teams didnt even play home games. The Louisville Colonels played one season, 4 games, all on the road. The 1921 Tonawanda Kardex only played one game in their entire NFL existence. Several teams were more or less just schedule fillers for the successful teams that would survive, like Canton, Akron, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cardinals, and others. While their games counted in the NFL records and standings, those teams more or less werent really NFL teams.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dilbert said:

Several teams were more or less just schedule fillers for the successful teams that would survive, like Canton, Akron, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cardinals, and others. While their games counted in the NFL records and standings, those teams more or less werent really NFL teams.

Wait.......The NFL had jobbers? 

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10 hours ago, AustinFomBoston said:

Wait.......The NFL had jobbers? 

 

They did.  They did not last. The NFL kept the stronger teams, all of which are still around to this day: Bears, Packers, Lions, Steelers, Cardinals, Giants, Eagles, Redskins and Rams are the only NFL teams left from the league's first 25 years (1920-1945). 

 

Although Canton no longer has an NFL team, it's still a part of the NFL and has been since 1963 with the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame Game.

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5 hours ago, GDAWG said:

 

They did.  They did not last. The NFL kept the stronger teams, all of which are still around to this day: Bears, Packers, Lions, Cardinals, Giants, Eagles, Redskins and Rams are the only NFL teams left from the league's first 25 years (1920-1945). 

 

Although Canton no longer has an NFL team, it's still a part of the NFL and has been since 1966 with the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame Game.

The Steelers should be in that group too since they started in 1933 along with the Eagles.

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18 hours ago, CrimsonBull9584 said:

And yet, the NFL never mentions this team, or the Kansas City Cowboys, or the Columbus Panhandlers, or the Frankfort Yellow Jackets, or any of the dozens of NFL teams that existed in their history.

 

Columbus Panhandles. Frankford Yellow Jackets. If you're going to go on a rant about how the early NFL is ignored, know your stuff.

 

18 hours ago, CrimsonBull9584 said:

Add on to that, that the NFL Shop, never sells any products related with these teams. We get throwbacks sure, but when was the last time you could purchase a Dayton Triangles hat? Even though the Akron Pros were the first champions of the NFL, never gets recognized. No documentaries, no merch, no mention, nothing. It's like the NFL wants to ignore all these franchises and half of their history.

 

I get what you're saying, but there really isn't a demand for these kinds of things. It's been tried. They didn't sell. Go look up Stall & Dean (which has apparently gone out of business?). Ebbets Field Flannels has made quite a few jerseys as well. Merchandise from many defunct teams has been made, but it turns out all but a handful of football fans would rather spend money on a throwback jersey of their favorite team than one that hasn't existed since 1927. Examples of these jerseys turn up on the secondary market from time to time, but they don't go for much because the demand isn't there. I've had a certain 1940s throwback jersey on my eBay watch list (at a price of under $100) since 2012 but I've never pulled the trigger. The demand for this stuff just isn't there.

 

The early NFL and AAFC are interesting periods in sports history - but it's a niche interest inside a niche interest. Is it a shame they're not recognized more? Maybe - NFL Films did a decent job with what they could get. There's just not a ton of footage or information out there. 1920s-30s NFL was a sideshow where guys bought teams to raise publicity for their dog kennels that bred Airedale Terriers. It was a weird time with fun anecdotes, but it's not exactly something that drums up a ton of fan interest.

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15 minutes ago, sc49erfan15 said:

 

Columbus Panhandles. Frankford Yellow Jackets. If you're going to go on a rant about how the early NFL is ignored, know your stuff.

 

 

Your point? I don't know much, if anything about the Panhandlers or the Yellow Jackets BECAUSE the NFL doesn't put any info out there. All I really know is that they were teams in the NFL. That was my point.

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18 minutes ago, sc49erfan15 said:

The early NFL and AAFC are interesting periods in sports history - but it's a niche interest inside a niche interest. Is it a shame they're not recognized more? Maybe - NFL Films did a decent job with what they could get. There's just not a ton of footage or information out there. 1920s-30s NFL was a sideshow where guys bought teams to raise publicity for their dog kennels that bred Airedale Terriers. It was a weird time with fun anecdotes, but it's not exactly something that drums up a ton of fan interest.

 

You don't need footage to do a documentary on the subject. And it would seem to me that there should be no end to local newspaper articles on the teams and people from that era that would have been interviewed during and after that time.

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29 minutes ago, CrimsonBull9584 said:

 

You don't need footage to do a documentary on the subject. And it would seem to me that there should be no end to local newspaper articles on the teams and people from that era that would have been interviewed during and after that time.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame archives should have information on pretty much every team that's ever played a down in the league. That video omitted team logos for quite a few teams and claimed they had no official logos, but I remember seeing them at the Hall of Fame when I was younger. Finding a flat, clean logo could have been an issue, but when you know this anniversary is coming up why aren't you trying to at least recreate the logos if you can't show clean original versions of them? The Dayton Triangles had clean, well known logos but they weren't applied in that video. 

10 hours ago, Dilbert said:

The 1921 Tonawanda Kardex only played one game in their entire NFL existence. Several teams were more or less just schedule fillers for the successful teams that would survive, like Canton, Akron, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cardinals, and others. While their games counted in the NFL records and standings, those teams more or less werent really NFL teams.

Sadly for Canton, they were bought by the owner of the Cleveland Indians football team and their best players were shipped up to Cleveland. The Bulldogs and Massillon Tigers rivalry, which was originally built  at the high school level, disappeared and the Indians became the Bulldogs. That's not something most leagues like to admit in their publicity campaigns.

 

I will say I'm disappointed that the faux throwback jerseys that the league made for the 1994 season weren't replicated this year. I'm also disappointed the league didn't set aside a throwback weekend like they did for the 75th anniversary. Even with helmets that didn't match the original it's way better than Color Rush games.

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18 minutes ago, CrimsonBull9584 said:

 

Your point? I don't know much, if anything about the Panhandlers or the Yellow Jackets BECAUSE the NFL doesn't put any info out there. All I really know is that they were teams in the NFL. That was my point.

 

16 minutes ago, CrimsonBull9584 said:

You don't need footage to do a documentary on the subject. And it would seem to me that there should be no end to local newspaper articles on the teams and people from that era that would have been interviewed during and after that time.

 

There are sources other than the league itself. Check out the Pro Football Researchers Association or their books if you're into learning more about the early NFL. There's some stuff there that's enough to write a book on, some of it barely enough to write an article on. I think you're vastly overestimating the amount of contemporary attention that was given to 1920s-1930s filler teams like the Louisville Brecks. Local newspaper articles? You're lucky to find complete rosters for many of these teams.

 

I'd like to see more about these teams too, because I find it all interesting - but you can't write on what isn't there. Unfortunately, it's likely that anyone who has first-hand memories of the Louisville Brecks is dead.

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Out of the former NFL cities from back in the first 25 years of the NFL, only Canton is still in the league because of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame Game.  Canton doesn't have a team but it's part of the NFL every year, and I believe that Canton, Ohio will take that instead of never being a part of the NFL ever again.  Being home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is their way getting back into the NFL.  Now it's hard to imagine Canton not being a part of the NFL experience every year.  They may never host a team or even a Super Bowl, but hosting the Hall of Fame is likely more than enough for the city of Canton, Ohio these days.  Canton will remain a part of the NFL as long as the NFL is still around. 

 

The Canton Bulldogs ended in 1927, but the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened in 1963.  Canton, Ohio has been a part of the NFL for the last 56 years because of the Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame Game.  The upcoming Hall of Fame Class of 2020 will be the NFL returning to Canton for it's 57th year. 

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If the NFL weren't so greedy, they could have scheduled games in Rock Island, Rochester, Dayton, etc.  It would have went a long way in rebuilding the goodwill they've squandered away since Goodell became commissioner.  No one in NFL cities gives a damn about preseason, but hosting an honest to goodness NFL game would have been the biggest event some of these towns have seen in decades, or ever.
 

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35 minutes ago, NicDB said:

If the NFL weren't so greedy, they could have scheduled games in Rock Island, Rochester, Dayton, etc.  It would have went a long way in rebuilding the goodwill they've squandered away since Goodell became commissioner.  No one in NFL cities gives a damn about preseason, but hosting an honest to goodness NFL game would have been the biggest event some of these towns have seen in decades, or ever.
 

And play where? Play in college stadiums that don’t allow/have the means to serve alcohol. In stadiums that can’t hold nearly as much. Have prices set so high because of the spectacle of it it prices out local fans that it’s suppose to be for? Not saying you aren’t coming from the place but the logistics of the thing would be a nightmare and not worth it for a preseason game much less ever.

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