Monday, August 19, 2013

The NFL turns 93 on Tuesday

NFL logo obtained from Wikipedia.
The football preseason is half over; NFL rosters are taking shape. Pro football is a multi-billion dollar business, a dominant feature of the sports landscape in the fall and winter.

But it was not ever thus.

College football was the predominant variety of football on August 20, 1920 when the owners of four Ohio pro teams met at the Jordan and Hupmobile Auto Showroom in Canton, Ohio to form the American Professional Football Association. Seven more teams, including the Decatur Staleys (soon to be known as the Chicago Bears) joined the fledgling league at its second meeting, on September 17.

So George Halas really wasn't there at the very beginning -- but it was close.

The first league president was Jim Thorpe. It was hoped that his name would lend credibility to the new enterprise. Second Effort readers may recall a 2012 article on that blog about the multi-talented Thorpe.

Tuesday is also Lemonade Day, honoring the traditional summertime refreshment, and Radio Day, honoring the anniversary of the day when radio station 8MK began broadcasting in Detroit, Michigan. In one of those interesting coincidences of history, this also occurred on August 20, 1920.

For more on the birth of the NFL: Shmoop Editorial Team, "NFL History Timeline of Important Dates," Shmoop University, Inc., 11 November 2008,

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