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College Football

1946
Army - Notre Dame (Nov 09)

4
Parts
1953
Rose Bowl Wisconsin v Chicago (Jan 01)

4
Parts

NFL Football

1957
NFL Championship Browns - Lions

6
Parts
1958
NFL Championship Giants - Colts

6
Parts
1961
NFL Championship Packers - Giants

6
Parts
1962
NFL Championship Packers - Giants (Dec 30)

6
Parts
1963
NFL Championship Bears - Giants

6
Parts
1968
NFL Championship Browns vs Colts

6
Parts
1974
AFC Playoffs Raiders - Dolphins (Dec 21)
2
Parts




Red Grange, 'The Galloping Ghost" c.1940
(Click for larger Image)




Golden Age Era Sports--Football

Golden Age Football header art

Click for Tribute to the Father of American Football -- George Halas
Canton Bulldogs
World Champions 1921
New York Bulldogs
of 1949

In the background of many popular shows of the era, one can hear sporting events of the era, often incorporated into the episode or used as material for a monologue. Here's a sampling one of the more popular Sports of the era--American Football. Use this Chronology of the Modern National Football League as a point of reference as you listen to your favorite shows. Many of the more notable football games of the era were recorded for rebroadcast and are still available to collectors.


American Football from The Golden Age of Radio (1920-1967)

The first organized professional football took shape on September 17, 1920, with a 12 teams represented, forming the American Professional Football Association (APFA). Admission to the association was $100 per team. APFA teams pledged not to use any college-eligible student players, thus ensuring the continued goodwill of the college community. This was often cited as one of the key reasons why the APFA survived as The NFL until present time. Jim Thorpe (at left), a player-coach at the time, was voted president of the league for its inaugural year.


Akron Professionals
Akron, Ohio

The Pro's got their start in 1916 as the Akron Burkhardts, named after the family of brewers that first sponsored the team. In 1917 the 'Burkhardts' competed as the Akron Pros.

They won the 1920 league title. Later that same year, the Pros became a charter member of the American Professional Football Association.

Fritz Pollard, the first African-American Head Coach in NFL history, coached the Pros through 1921, and winning them the championship. The Pros finished in 3rd place by 1922.

The Pro's became the Akron Indians in1926, assuming the name of an earlier Akron semi-pro team. The name change didn'thelp. By 1927 they were forced to suspend operatiosn due to financial woes and surrendered their franchise in 1928.

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Buffalo All-Americans
Buffalo, New York

The All Americans were the first of three teams to represent Buffalo, New York during the Roaring 20's. The All-Americans from 1920-1923, the Bisons from 1924-1925, 1927 and 1929. and the Rangers during 1926.

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Canton Bulldogs
Canton, Ohio

The Canton Bulldogs played from 1920 - 1923 and again from 1925 - 1926 (in 1924, the owner of a team in Cleveland bought the team and "mothballed" it, while taking the team nickname and players to Cleveland for the season). Jim Thorpe was a player-coach for Canton. The Bulldogs won both the 1922 and 1923 NFL titles.

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Cleveland Indians
Cleveland, Ohio

The Indians played in the following NFL seasons; 1921 (APFA), 1923 (see above regarding the Canton Bulldogs) and 1931.
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Dayton Triangles
Dayton, Ohio

Dayton's Triangles played from 1920 to 1929

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Decatur Staleys
Decatur, Illinois


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Massillon Tigers
Massillon, Ohio


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Muncie Flyers
Muncie, Indiana

The Muncie Flyers played in the APFA from 1920-1921, then folded

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Hammond Pros
Hammond, Indiana

Hammond's Pros played in the National Football League from 1920 to 1926.

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Racine Cardinals
Racine, Illinois


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Rochester Jeffersons
Rochester, New York

The Jeffersons represented New York in the National Football League from 1920 to 1925.

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Rock Island Independents
Rock  Island, Illinois

The Rock Island Independents played in the National Football League from 1920 to 1925.


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The 1922 National Football League (1922-1967) Consisting of Ten Initial Teams

New York Giants
In 1925, Tim Mara purchased New York’s first professional football team for a reported $500. Mara decided on Giants because his team would play at the Polo Grounds, the home of baseball’s New York Giants. The original Giants derived their name from the city’s giant buildings.
Official New York Giants Website



Chicago Bears
George Halas moved the Decatur Staleys to Chicago in 1921. The Staleys played at Wrigley Field, the home of baseball’s Cubs. Halas determined that if the baseball tenants were Cubs, then his more rugged gridiron combatants should be known as the Bears.
Official Chicago Bears Website



Green Bay Packers
In 1919, Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Calhoun pieced together a group in the Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial room with the notion of starting a football team. Lambeau’s employer at the Indian Packing Company - Frank Peck - provided jerseys, equipment and use of its athletic field for practice. Early on, the club was identified as a project of the company, hence Packers became a natural fit.
Official Green Bay Packers Website



Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh’s professional football team (founded in 1933) was, like its baseball neighbours, initially dubbed the Pirates. In 1940, owner Art Rooney changed the name to Steelers, reflecting the city’s ties to the steel industry. The name was allegedly suggested by the wife of the team’s ticket manager.
Official Pittsburgh Steelers Website
  • Joined in 1933 Season.
  • Become Pittsburgh Steelers



Chicago Cardinals
A football club on the southwest side of Chicago was formed in 1898. The team was known as the Normals until 1901, when founder Chris O’Brien secured some hand-me-down jerseys from the University of Chicago. The jerseys were actually maroon, but the colour had faded, striking O’Brien as more of a cardinal tint. The team became the Racine Cardinals, keeping the nickname as the club moved from Chicago (1922) to St. Louis (1960) and, finally, to Phoenix (1988).
Official Arizona Cardinals Website
  • Become St. Louis Cardinals in 1934



Philadelphia Eagles
The NFL’s Frankford Yellowjackets were awarded to a syndicate headed by Bert Bell and Lud Wray in 1933. Bell named the new Philadelphia team Eagles in honour of the symbol of the New Deal’s National Recovery Act.
Official Philadelphia Eagles Website



Boston Redskins
George Marshall headed a syndicate that purchased a NFL team for Boston in 1933. The team would play at the home of baseball’s Boston Braves so it adopted the same name. The following year, the Braves moved to Fenway Park and changed their name to the Redskins. The name remained when the team moved to Washington in 1937.
Official Washington Redskins Website

  • Become Washington (D.C.) Redskins in 1937



Brooklyn Dodgers
  • Disbanded 1945



Cincinnati Reds
  • Moved to St. Louis Gunners
  • Disbanded 1935



Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans
Detroit radio executive George Richards purchased the NFL’s Portsmouth Spartans and moved them to the Motor City in 1934. Richards chose Lions. Felines were already prevalent in Detroit. Baseball could claim the Tigers and a Detroit football team called the Panthers had folded after two years in 1927.
Official Detroit Lions Website
  • Moved to Detroit Lions 1934





Expansion Teams:
  • 1937's Cleveland Rams
  • 1944's Boston Yanks (Yanks move to New York, become New York Bulldogs in 1949)
  • 1946 Cleveland Rams become Los Angeles Rams



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The All-America Football Conference (1946-1949) formed with Eight Initial Teams.


Cleveland Browns
Cleveland’s All-American Football Conference entry was founded in 1946. Paul Brown was named the team’s first coach and general manager. The Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996, but the team’s history remained, paving the way for the Browns to be resurrected as an expansion team in 1999.



San Francisco 49ers
Owner Anthony J. Morabito chose 49ers for his All-America Football Conference squad because it reflected San Francisco’s link to the California Gold Rush. The 49ers kept the name when they joined the NFL in 1950.



Los Angeles Dons
  • Mentioned in Jeff Regan, Investigator, 'The Lady with Too Much Hair', 48-11-06 and in two Philip Marlowe episodes
  • Left League in 1947
  • Disbanded 1949



Chicago Rockets
  • Become Chicago Hornets
  • Disbanded 1949




Buffalo Bisons
The nickname refers to William F. Cody, who was known as "Buffalo Bill." Buffalo had a football team called the Bisons, but the city’s minor league baseball and hockey teams had the same name. The football team held a contest to select a new nickname following the 1946 season. More than 4,500 entries were submitted and Bills beat out Bullets, Nickels and Blue Devils.
  • Become Buffalo Bills
  • Disbanded 1947



Miami Seahawks
In 1946, the Miami Seahawks of the All-American Football Conference were relocated to Baltimore. Charles Evans of Middle River, MD., won a name contest by submitting Colts. His reasoning? "Colts are the youngest entry in the league, Maryland is famous for its race horses and it is short, easily pronounced and fits well in newspaper headlines." The franchise kept the name when it moved to Indianapolis in 1984.
  • 1946's Baltimore Colts



New York Yankees
  • Disbanded 1947
  • (New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers merge to become New York-Brooklyn Yankees)



Brooklyn Dodgers

  • Disbanded 1945
  • (New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers merge to become New York-Brooklyn Yankees)


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The 1950 National Football League Re-Formed with Two Conferences of Thirteen Teams each.



AMERICAN CONFERENCE



Chicago Cardinals



Cleveland Browns
  • Joins as Expansion Team



New York Giants



Philadelphia Eagles



Pittsburgh Steelers



Washington Redskins



San Francisco 49ers
  • Joins as Expansion Team

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NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Baltimore Colts
  • Joins as Expansion Team
  • Disbands 1951



Chicago Bears



Dallas Cowboys
This name might seem like an easy choice in Dallas, but Rangers was actually the first name suggested. The club went with Cowboys since Rangers might cause confusion with a local minor-league team of the same name.

  • Joins as Expansion Team in 1960



Detroit Lions



Green Bay Packers



Los Angeles Rams
In 1936, Cleveland’s new AFL franchise decided to take its name from one of the top collegiate teams of the era, the Fordham Rams. The Rams name stuck with eventual moves to Los Angeles (1946) and St. Louis (1995).



Minnesota Vikings
General manager Bert Rose recommended Vikings to Minnesota’s Board of Directors in 1960. The name represents both an aggressive person and the Nordic tradition inherent in the region.

  • Join as Expansion Team in 1961



New York Yanks
  • Joins as Expansion Team
  • Disbands 1951

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The 1960 American Football League, formed with Eight Initial Teams

Boston Patriots
A group of New England sportswriters picked Patriots as a tribute to Patriot Day, which celebrates Paul Revere’s ride.



Buffalo Bills



Dallas Texans
  • Join as Expansion Team in 1952
  • Move to Balitmore and NFL as Baltimore Colts in 1953
  • Re-instated as Expansion Team in 1960



Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles AFL franchise held a contest in 1960. Hollywood resident Gerald Courtney was awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to Mexico City and Acapulco after submitting Chargers. Three reasons for choosing Chargers have been offered - it sounded dynamic; the club’s new stationary featured a horse; and owner Baron Hilton had recently instituted the Carte Blanche card. The team kept the name when it moved to San Diego the following year.
  • Joins as Expansion Team in 1960
  • Move to San Diego in 1961



Cinncinati Bengals
Paul Brown chose this nickname for Cincinnati’s 1968 AFL expansion team because there had been earlier football teams in the city called the Bengals. The elder Bengals were members of the AFL in 1937, competed as an independent club in 1938, then played in a new AFL from 1939-41 before the league again folded.



Denver Broncos
This nickname was also selected through a contest in January of 1960. Broncos was the winner, referring to Denver’s Wild West heritage. Denver’s 1921 entry in the Midwest Baseball League team was also named the Broncos.



Houston Oilers
The Houston Oilers, who played at the Astrodome from 1960-96, moved to Nashville for the 1997 season. After two seasons as the Tennessee Oilers, owner Bud Adams announces the team will change its nickname to the Titans. "Titans come from early Greek mythology and the fact that Nashville is known as the ‘Athens of the South’ makes the Titans name very appropriate," Adams said.




Kansas City Chiefs
This original AFL franchise was originally the Dallas Texans but relocated to Kansas City. Owner Lamar Hunt picked Chiefs as a nickname to honour Kansas City mayor Roe "The Chief" Bartle for his efforts in securing the team. Bartle promised to enlarge Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium and guaranteed Hunt three times as many season ticket sales as his club had in Dallas.



New York Titans



New York Jets
New York’s AFL squad was originally the Titans. In 1963, after three seasons, a five-man syndicate bought the franchise. On the same day they hired Weeb Ewbank, the owners announced that they were changing the team’s name to Jets. It sounded like New York’s baseball Mets and LaGuardia Airport was nearby.

Oakland Raiders
In 1960, Oakland held a contest to pick a name for its AFL team. The fans chose Senors, but Oakland management opted for Raiders.

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1966 National Football League formed from the merger of the American Football League and the National Football League as two conferences: The American Conference and the National Conference.

NATIONAL CONFERENCE

New York Giants



Chicago Bears



Green Bay Packers



Detroit Lions



Dallas Cowboys



Washington Redskins



Los Angeles Rams



San Francisco 49ers



Minnesota Vikings



St Louis Cardinals



Philadelphia Eagles



Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta held a contest in 1965 and many chose Falcons for the NFL’s newest team. The best argument was submitted by Julia Elliot, a teacher from Griffin, Ga. - "the Falcon is proud and dignified, with great courage and fight. It never drops its prey. It is deadly and has a great sporting tradition."

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AMERICAN CONFERENCE

Cleveland Browns



Pittsburgh Steelers



Baltimore Colts



Miami Dolphins
After Miami was awarded an AFL expansion franchise in 1965, a contest was held to determine the name. A dozen names were forwarded to a seven-member screening committee of local media and Dolphins was the runaway winner. Although 622 entrants submitted Dolphins, Mrs. Robert Swanson of Miami won the two lifetime passes to Dolphins games. The tiebreaker was picking the winner and score of a 1965 tilt between Notre Dame and the University of Miami. The game ended in a scoreless tie.



Kansas City Chiefs
This original AFL franchise was originally the Dallas Texans but relocated to Kansas City. Owner Lamar Hunt picked Chiefs as a nickname to honour Kansas City mayor Roe "The Chief" Bartle for his efforts in securing the team. Bartle promised to enlarge Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium and guaranteed Hunt three times as many season ticket sales as his club had in Dallas.



New York Jets



Oakland Raiders



San Diego Chargers



Denver Broncos



Houston Oilers
The Houston Oilers, who played at the Astrodome from 1960-96, moved to Nashville for the 1997 season. After two seasons as the Tennessee Oilers, owner Bud Adams announces the team will change its nickname to the Titans. "Titans come from early Greek mythology and the fact that Nashville is known as the ‘Athens of the South’ makes the Titans name very appropriate," Adams said.



Boston Patriots



Buffalo Bills

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Click to play the 1957 NFL Championship Game, 'Browns vs Lions', Part 1
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The 1957 NFL Championship Game, 'Browns vs Lions', Part 1