January 10, 2008

NFL Thumbnail Histories: the New York Giants, the Portsmouth Spartans/ Detroit Lions, the Boston/ Washington Redskins.

Click on the following image to see the ‘NFL 1920-1960 Map’, plus the 3 teams’ thumbnail histories…


The New York Giants were formed in 1925.  As was the fashion of the day, the new NFL franchise adopted the nickname of one of the city’s baseball teams.  The team was often referred to as the New York Football Giants.  The Giants have played their home games on northern Manhattan Island (the Polo Grounds);  The Bronx, NY (Yankee Stadium);  New Haven, Connecticut (the Yale Bowl); Queens, NY (Shea Stadium);  and, currently, East Rutherford, New Jersey (Giants Stadium).

The Detroit Lions started out as the Portsmouth Spartans, from the small southern Ohio city of Portsmouth.   The Spartans existed from 1930 to 1933, and were an extremely competitive squad.  They just missed out on winning the NFL Title in 2 of their 3 seasons, and played in the first-ever NFL playoff game.  It was played indoors, in Chicago stadium (inclemate weather forced the league to stage the game this way).  They sported purple and gold uniforms.   **{See this page from the Portsmouth Spartans Historical Society website.}     The Spartans, deep in debt, were bought by Detroit, Michigan businessman George A. Richards, in 1934, and moved north to the Motor City.  As the Detroit Lions, they won the NFL Title two seasons later (1935).


It may seem odd that such a small town as Portsmouth, Ohio could host an NFL franchise, but it was in character with the NFL of the early 1930′s.   Another team from an unlikely location during this era was the Staten Island (NY) Stapletons, who existed from 1929 to 1932.  They wore black jersey fronts/white jersey backs. The Stapletons were yet another franchise killed off by the Great Depression.  The only vestige of the small-town era of the NFL is, of course, the Green Bay Packers.

The Washington Redskins began in New England, as the Boston Braves, in 1932.  They changed their name the next year, to the Redskins.  The franchise moved to Washington, DC, in 1937.  Like the Lions, the Washington Redskins had swift success in their new city, winning the NFL Title in their first season in the nation’s capital.

Thanks to Detroit Lions official site (detroitlions[dot]com);  (helmethut[dot]com);  (nearmintcards[dot]com).      

WordPress database error: [Table 'bil072291136157.wp_comments' doesn't exist]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = '1' AND comment_post_ID = 779 ORDER BY comment_date_gmt ASC


No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress