History of the Cleveland Rams
The professional American football team now known as the Los Angeles Rams was established in Cleveland, and played there from 1936 to 1945. This article chronicles the history during their time as the Cleveland Rams. The move of the team to Los Angeles helped to jump-start the reintegration of pro football by African-American players, after being based in Los Angeles for 49 years, the Rams franchise moved again after the 1994 NFL season to St. Louis. In 2016, the team moved back to Los Angeles after 21 seasons in St. Louis. Coached by Wetzel, and featuring future Hall-of-Fame coach Sid Gillman as a receiver, the team might have hosted an AFL championship game at Clevelands League Park, the Boston team canceled because its unpaid players refused to participate. The Rams moved from the poorly managed AFL to the National Football League in February 1937, marshman and the other Rams stockholders paid $10,000 for an NFL franchise, put up $55,000 to capitalize the new club, and Wetzel became general manager.
After the team dropped its first three games of 1938, Wetzel was fired, art Lewis became coach, and guided the team to four victories in its last eight games and a 4-7 record. The franchise began to rebound in 1944 under the direction of general manager Chile Walsh and head coach Aldo Donelli, Donelli was drafted into the Navy, but Chile Walshs brother Adam Walsh quickly took over as head coach. Waterfield-to-Benton became a threat to opposing teams, with Benton becoming the NFLs first 300-yard receiver by hauling in 10 passes for 303 yards against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day 1945. Benton’s performance shattered the mark set by Green Bay Packers legend Don Hutson two years earlier in a game against the Brooklyn Dodgers, the record stood for a remarkable 40 years, until it was broken by the Kansas City Chiefs Stephone Paige in 1985. It still stands as the fourth-most receiving yards in a single game, the only loss on the Rams 9-1 regular-season record came to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Rams, led by Waterfield, who was married to Hollywood star Jane Russell, were described as sport’s first spectacular postwar team.
Only one month after winning the championship, Reeves overcame initial objections of his fellow NFL owners and he cited financial losses and poor attendance in Cleveland, but just as likely he had had his eye on the booming L. A. market since buying the team in 1941. The Rams move opened up the Cleveland market to the new Browns, who would meet with a degree of initial success in the AAFC. Once in L. A. the Rams were forced to integrate their team with African-American players as a condition for renting the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team based in the Washington metropolitan area. The Redskins compete in the National Football League as a member of the National Football Conference East division. The Redskins have played more than 1,000 games since 1932, the Redskins have won five NFL Championships. The franchise has captured 14 NFL divisional titles and six NFL conference championships, the Redskins were the first team in the NFL with an official marching band, and the first team to have a fight song, Hail to the Redskins. The team began play as the Boston Braves in 1932, based in Boston, before relocating to Washington, the Redskins won the 1937 and 1942 Championship games, as well as Super Bowls XVII, XXII, and XXVI. They played in, and lost, the 1936,1940,1943 and they have made 24 postseason appearances, and have an overall postseason record of 23–18. All of the Redskins league titles were attained during two 10-year spans, from 1936 to 1945, the Redskins went to the NFL Championship six times, winning two of them.
The second period lasted between 1982 and 1991 where the Redskins appeared in the seven times, captured four Conference titles. The Redskins have experienced failure in their history, the most notable period of general failure was from 1946 to 1970, during which the Redskins posted only four winning seasons and did not have a single postseason appearance. During this period, the Redskins went without a winning season during the years 1956–1968. In 1961, the franchise posted their worst regular season record with a 1–12–1 showing, since 1992, the Redskins have only won the NFC East three times, made five postseason appearances, and had nine seasons with a winning record.85 billion. They set the NFL record for attendance in 2007. The team name and logo have been the subject of controversy, with lawsuits being filed by Native American groups who consider the team name, polls conducted in the 2010s have shown a lack of major support among fans for a name change. The team originated as the Boston Braves, based in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1932, at the time the team played in Braves Field, home of the Boston Braves baseball team.
The following year the club moved to Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, to round out the change, Marshall hired William Lone Star Dietz, who was part Sioux, as the teams head coach. However, Boston wasnt much of a town at the time. The Redskins relocated to Washington, D. C. in 1937, in their early years in Washington, the Redskins shared Griffith Stadium with the Washington Senators baseball team. The Redskins played and won their first game in Washington, D. C. on September 16,1937, on December 5,1937, they earned their first division title in Washington against the Giants, 49–14, for the Eastern Championship
George Stanley Halas Sr. nicknamed Papa Bear and Mr. Everything, was a player and owner involved with professional American football. He was the founder and owner of the National Football Leagues Chicago Bears and he was lesser known as an inventor, radio producer, philanthropist and Major League Baseball player. He was one of the co-founders of the National Football League in 1920, Halas was born in Chicago, into a family of Czech-Bohemian immigrants. His parents were migrants from Pilsen, Austria-Hungary, George had a varied career in sports. In 1915, Halas worked temporarily for Western Electric, and was planning on being on the SS Eastland and he was running late, however, as he was attempting to gain weight to play Big Ten football and missed the capsizing. He became a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and he helped Illinois win the 1918 Big Ten Conference football title. Serving as an ensign in the Navy during World War I, he played for a team at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, and was named the MVP of the 1919 Rose Bowl.
Afterward, Halas played minor league baseball, eventually earning a promotion to the New York Yankees, however, a hip injury effectively ended his baseball career. The popular myth was that Halas was succeeded as the Yankees right fielder by Babe Ruth, that year, Halas played for the Hammond Pros and received about $75 per game. After one year with the Pros, Halas moved to Decatur, Illinois to take a position with the A. E. Staley Company, a starch manufacturer. He served as a sales representative, an outfielder on the company-sponsored baseball team. Halas selected his alma maters colors—orange and navy blue—for the teams uniforms, in 1920, Halas represented the Staleys at the meeting which formed the American Professional Football Association in Canton, Ohio. After suffering financial losses despite a 10–1–2 record, company founder, Halas moved the team to Chicago and took on teammate Dutch Sternaman as a partner. Halas was given a $5,000 bonus for the move to Chicago provided that he keep the Staleys franchise name for the 1921 season, the newly minted Chicago Staleys maneuvered their schedule to win the NFL championship that year.
They took the name Bears in 1922 as a tribute to baseballs Chicago Cubs, Halas was not only the teams coach, but played end and handled ticket sales and the business of running the club. However, severe financial difficulties brought on by the Great Depression put the Bears in dire financial straits even though Jones led them to the NFL title in 1932, Halas returned as coach in 1933 to eliminate the additional cost of paying a head coachs salary. He coached the Bears for another ten seasons and his 1934 team was undefeated until a loss in the championship game to the New York Giants. Every other team in the league immediately began trying to imitate the format, the Bears repeated as NFL champions in 1941, and the 1940s would be remembered as the era of the Monsters of the Midway
Hugo Francis Bezdek was a Czech American sports figure who played American football and was a coach of football and baseball. He was the football coach at the University of Oregon, the University of Arkansas, Pennsylvania State University. Bezdek coached the Mare Island Marines in the 1918 Rose Bowl, in addition, Bezdek coached basketball at Oregon and Penn State, coached baseball at Arkansas and Penn State, and served as the manager of Major League Baseballs Pittsburgh Pirates. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1954, Bezdek was born near Prague, Bohemia. His fore fathers had been school-teachers, strong men and athletes and his family emigrated to America when he was 6 years old. Growing up, he enjoyed playing sports typical of the day, while he favored football, he boxed and played baseball. Arkansas athletic teams carried the name of Cardinals until the close of 1909 season, coach Bezdek referred to his team as a wild band of Razorbacks at a post-season rally following an unbeaten season.
This nickname has been applied to Arkansas teams since that time, after five years at Arkansas, he returned to Oregon for six seasons. While coaching in Oregon, Bezdek served as a scout for Major League Baseballs Pittsburgh Pirates and he managed the Pirates through 1919, compiling a 166–187 record. While managing the Pirates, Bezdek continued his coaching career. He was head coach there until 1929, amassing a 65–30–11 record that two undefeated seasons and an appearance in the 1923 Rose Bowl. Bezdek was noted for changing the Nittany Lions style of play, in 1937, Bezdek was hired by the Cleveland Rams as their first head coach after the team joined the National Football League. His career with the Rams was brief, ending three games into the 1938 season with an abysmal 1–13 record, Bezdek holds the distinction of being the only person to have served as both manager of a Major League Baseball team and head coach in the NFL. As a college coach, Bezdek tallied a career record of 127–58–16. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954. com
Earl Louis Curly Lambeau was a professional American football player and coach in the National Football League. Lambeau was a founder and first coach of the Green Bay Packers professional football team and he shares the distinction with rival George Halas of the Chicago Bears of coaching his team to the most NFL championships, with six. He was an inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. Lambeau was born April 9,1898 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Marcelin Lambeau and Mary Sara La Tour, Lambeau was a standout multi-sport athlete at Green Bay East High School, and captain of its football team as a senior in 1917. Lambeau enrolled at the University of Wisconsin but quit after freshmen football was cancelled that year. After returning to Green Bay, Lambeau went to work as a clerk at the Indian Packing Company. Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun founded the Green Bay Packers on August 11,1919 and that fall, the founders secured Willard Big Bill Ryan, former coach of Green Bay West High School, to coach the team.
The teams naming rights were sold to the Acme Packing Company, the Packers initially played teams from Wisconsin and Michigans Upper Peninsula. However, the success of the team in 1919-20 quickly led to its joining of the American Professional Football Association in 1921, during that season the team was owned by the Acme Packing Company and John and Emmet Clair of Chicago. Following Willard Ryans initial year with the Packers, Lambeau was the coach of the Packers from 1920 to 1949,1921. For the better part of time, he had almost complete control over the teams day-to-day operations. Lambeau was a player-captain at first, playing halfback in the then-popular single wing offensive formation, he was both the primary runner and passer. Lambeau threw 24 touchdown passes, rushed for eight touchdowns, Lambeau was the first Packer to throw a pass, throw a touchdown pass, and make a field goal in Green Bay Packer franchise history. He won his only National Football League championship as a player-coach in 1929, in 1921, he was the teams kicker.
He kicked 1 field goal each in 1922,1924, before joining the NFL, the Packers achieved an overall 19–2–1 record in 1919 and 1920. Under Lambeau in the NFL, the Packers won six championships and he compiled an NFL regular-season record of 209–104–21 with a playoff record of 3–2, 212–106–21 overall. Lambeau is still far and away the winningest coach in Packers history, his 209 wins are nearly twice as many of runner-up Mike McCarthy and his 104 losses will likely never be matched as well. The Packers most successful period came in the 1930s, thanks to the addition of receiver Don Hutson and Hutson pioneered the passing game, which allowed the Packers to dominate their competitors throughout the 1930s
National Football League
The National Football League is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. The NFL is one of the four professional sports leagues in North America. The NFLs 17-week regular season runs from the week after Labor Day to the week after Christmas, with each team playing 16 games, the NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL agreed to merge with the American Football League in 1966, and the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that season, the merger was completed in 1970. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance of any sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States. S. The NFLs executive officer is the commissioner, who has authority in governing the league. The team with the most NFL championships is the Green Bay Packers with thirteen, the current NFL champions are the New England Patriots, who defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34–28 in Super Bowl LI.
Another meeting held on September 17,1920 resulted in the renaming of the league to the American Professional Football Association, the league hired Jim Thorpe as its first president, and consisted of 14 teams. Only two of these teams, the Decatur Staleys and the Chicago Cardinals, the first event occurred on September 26,1920 when the Rock Island Independents defeated the non-league St. Paul Ideals 48–0 at Douglas Park. On October 3,1920, the first full week of league play occurred, the following season resulted in the Chicago Staleys controversially winning the title over the Buffalo All-Americans. In 1922, the APFA changed its name to the National Football League, in 1932, the season ended with the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans tied for first in the league standings. This method had used since the leagues creation in 1920. The league quickly determined that a game between Chicago and Portsmouth was needed to decide the leagues champion. Playing with altered rules to accommodate the playing field, the Bears won the game 9–0.
Fan interest in the de facto championship game led the NFL, beginning in 1933, the 1934 season marked the first of 12 seasons in which African Americans were absent from the league. The de facto ban was rescinded in 1946, following public pressure, the NFL was always the foremost professional football league in the United States, it nevertheless faced a large number of rival professional leagues through the 1930s and 1940s. Rival leagues included at least three separate American Football Leagues and the All-America Football Conference, on top of regional leagues of varying caliber. Three NFL teams trace their histories to these leagues, including the Los Angeles Rams
Steve Owen (American football)
Stephen Joseph Owen was an American football player and coach. He earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as head coach of the National Football Leagues New York Giants from 1930 to 1953 and his personal style was memorable for the odd congruence of gravelly voice and easy disposition to go with his perpetual tobacco chewing. While working on a ranch, he attended Phillips University in Enid. He supplemented his income at that time as a wrestler under the pseudonym Jack OBrien. Owen served in the U. S. Army training corps in World War I and he started to play pro football in 1924, at $50 a game, for the NFLs Kansas City Cowboys. After playing for the Cowboys and the Cleveland Bulldogs in 1925, he was sold to the New York Giants in 1926 for $500, joining his brother Bill. After a futile attempt to get a cut of the price from Kansas City coach Leroy Andrews, he said of the sale. But in those days, a fat hog was a lot more valuable than a fat tackle, I was going to New York even if I had to walk there.
His leadership became clearly evident during the 1927 season as captain of a team outscored opponents 197–20, went 11–1–1. In 1930, he was promoted to co-player-coach for the two games of the season with another future Hall of Famer, Benny Friedman. The 2–0 finish was a premonition of Owens future long-term success as head coach starting the following season. In an unusual move for the time, he didnt sign a contract with owner Tim Mara. He would coach the next 23 years on a handshake, the team slipped to 8–5 in 1934, but still made the NFL championship game again. Facing the 13–0 Chicago Bears, the Giants came in as huge underdogs, the icy conditions and 9 °F weather led to an adjustment between halves that became a memorable part of National Football League lore. More than seven decades later, the contest is still remembered as the sneakers game, New York appeared in four more season-ending NFL title clashes under Owen, but lost them all. An early World War II Three Stooges short referred to them when Moe sarcastically asked a hulking adversary, Owen was the host of Pro Football Highlights on the DuMont Television Network from 1951 to 1953.
After the Giants slipped to 3–8 in 1953, Owen announced his retirement as head coach days before the end of the regular season, ending his 28 years at field level with the Giants. As the final minutes ticked away in his last game as Giant coach and his record as head coach was 150–99–17 and his 150 wins are still the most in franchise history
Raymond Paul Flaherty was an American football player and coach in the National Football League, and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was part of three NFL Championship teams, one as a player and two as a head coach, as a freshman, Flaherty attended Washington State College in Pullman, transferred to Gonzaga before his sophomore year. Flaherty began his football career in 1926 with the Los Angeles Wildcats of the American Football League. It played all its games on the road in its only season, Flaherty played in the National Football League for eight seasons, first with the Yankees with Red Grange, until the franchise folded near the end of the 1928 season. He joined the New York Giants, playing their game in 1928 through the 1935 season, except for 1930. He coached the Bulldog basketball team for a season, at the end of the 1935 season, Flaherys jersey number 1 was taken out of circulation, thus making Flaherty the first professional athlete to have his number retired. At age 26, Flaherty played a season of minor baseball in 1930.
Following his playing career, Flaherty was hired by George Preston Marshall, owner of the NFLs Boston Redskins, as head coach for the 1936 season. The team won the title that year, relocated to Washington, D. C. for the 1937 season. In seven seasons at the helm of the Redskins, Flaherty won four division titles, among his innovations on offense, Flaherty is credited with inventing the screen pass in 1937. The Redskins held their 1940 training camp in Spokane at Gonzaga, in 1941 and 1942, the Redskins trained in California in San Diego at Brown Military Academy. Flaherty served as an officer in the U. S. Navy during World War II, with the New York Yankees, he won division titles in each of his two full seasons at the helm, but lost to the Cleveland Browns in the title games. After a poor start in 1948, owner Dan Topping relieved Flaherty of his duties in mid-September, several months he was hired as head coach of the AAFCs Chicago Hornets, known as the Rockets in their three previous seasons.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976 for his contributions as a coach, after the end of the AAFC in 1949, Flaherty returned to the Spokane area to enter private business as a beverage distributor, and lived in nearby northern Idaho. During football season, he was a part-time columnist for the Spokane Daily Chronicle, a college friend of Bing Crosby, Flaherty participated in the singers Spokane memorial service in 1977. After an extended illness, Flaherty died in 1994 in Coeur dAlene at the age of 90, he and his wife Jackie are buried at St. Thomas Cemetery there
Wrigley Field /ˈrɪɡli/ is a baseball park located on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois. It is the home of the Chicago Cubs, one of the citys two Major League Baseball franchises and it first opened in 1914 as Weeghman Park for Charles Weeghmans Chicago Whales of the Federal League, which folded after the 1915 baseball season. The Cubs played their first home game at the park on April 20,1916, chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. of the Wrigley Company acquired complete control of the Cubs in 1921. It was named Cubs Park from 1920 to 1926, before being renamed Wrigley Field in 1927, in the North side community area of Lakeview in the Wrigleyville neighborhood, Wrigley Field is on an irregular block bounded by Clark and Addison Streets and Waveland and Sheffield Avenues. Wrigley Field is nicknamed The Friendly Confines, a phrase popularized by Mr. Cub, Hall of Fame shortstop and first baseman Ernie Banks. The oldest park in the National League, the current seating capacity is 41,268, it is the second-oldest in the majors after Fenway Park, between 1921 and 1970, it was the home of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League.
The elevation of its field is 600 feet above sea level. Baseball executive Charles Weeghman hired his architect Zachary Taylor Davis to design the park, the original tenants, the Chicago Whales came in second in the Federal League rankings in 1914 and won the league championship in 1915. In late 1915, Weeghmans Federal League folded, the resourceful Weeghman formed a syndicate including the chewing gum manufacturer William Wrigley Jr. to buy the Chicago Cubs from Charles P. Taft for about $500,000. Weeghman immediately moved the Cubs from the dilapidated West Side Grounds to his two-year-old park, in 1918, Wrigley acquired the controlling interest in the club. In November 1926, he renamed the park Wrigley Field, in 1927, an upper deck was added, and in 1937, Bill Veeck, the son of the club president, planted ivy vines against the outfield walls. The Ricketts family has been pursuing a Wrigley Field renovation since buying the team. Their current plan, revealed during the annual Cubs Convention in January 2013, calls for a $575-million, the team could not come to terms with the rooftop owners who have a lease with the team until 2023 in exchange for paying 17% of the gross revenues.
In May 2014 the Cubs announced they would pursue the original 2013 plan to modify the park, the 1060 Project – Phase One started Monday, September 29,2014. During the off-season, the bleachers in both outfields were expanded and the footprint was extended further onto both Waveland and Sheffield Avenues. A3,990 sq ft Jumbotron scoreboard was added to the left field bleachers and it is topped with a sign advertising Wintrust Financial, a Rosemont-based bank and a Cubs Legacy Partner, the W in Wintrust flashes after every Cubs win. A2,400 sq ft video scoreboard was added in the right field bleachers. After the close of the extended 2015 season, work began on Phase Two of the project, the previous clubhouse space was utilized to enlarge the dugout and add two underground batting cages, an auditorium, and more team office space
De Benneville Bert Bell was the National Football League commissioner from 1945 until his death in 1959. He was posthumously inducted into the class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Bell played football at the University of Pennsylvania, where as quarterback, after being drafted into the US Army during World War I, he returned to complete his collegiate career at Penn and went on to become an assistant football coach with the Quakers in the 1920s. During the Great Depression, he was an assistant coach for the Temple Owls and he subsequently became sole proprietor of the Eagles, but the franchise suffered financially. Eventually, he sold the team and bought a share in the Pittsburgh Steelers, during World War II, Bell astutely argued against the league suspending operations until the wars conclusion. After the war, he was elected NFL commissioner and sold his ownership in the Steelers, amid criticism from franchise owners and under pressure from Congress, he unilaterally recognized the NFLPA and facilitated in the development of the first pension plan for the players.
He survived to oversee the Greatest Game Ever Played and to envision what the league would become in the future, Bell was born de Benneville Bell, on February 25,1895, in Philadelphia to John C. Bell and Fleurette de Benneville Myers and his father was an attorney who served a term as the Pennsylvania Attorney General. His older brother, John C. Jr. was born in 1892, berts parents were very wealthy, and his mothers lineage predated the American Revolutionary War. His father, a Quaker of the University of Pennsylvania during the days of American football. Thereafter, Bell regularly engaged in games with childhood friends. In 1904, Bell matriculated at the Episcopal Academy, the Delancey School from 1909 to 1911, about this time, his father was installed as athletics director at Penn and helped form the National Collegiate Athletic Association. At Haverford, Bell captained the football and baseball teams. Although he excelled at baseball, his devotion was to football and his father, who was named a trustee at Penn in 1911, said of Bells plans for college, Bert will go to Penn or he will go to hell.
Bell entered Penn in the fall of 1914 as an English major, in a rare occurrence for a sophomore, he became the starting quarterback for Penns coach George H. Brooke. On the team, he was as a defender, after the teams 3–0 start, Bell temporarily shared possession of his quarterbacking duties until he subsequently reclaimed them in the season, as Penn finished with a record of 3–5–2. Prior to Penns 1916 season, his mother died while he was en route to her bedside, nevertheless, he started the first game for the Quakers under new coach Bob Folwell, but mixed results left him platooned for the rest of the season. Penn finished with a record of 7–2–1, the Quakers secured an invitation to the 1917 Rose Bowl against the Oregon Ducks
George Clark (American football coach)
George M. Potsy Clark was an American football and baseball player and athletics administrator. Clark was the coach of the National Football Leagues Portsmouth Spartans/Detroit Lions and Brooklyn Dodgers. Clarks 1935 Detroit Lions team won the NFL Championship, from 1945 to 1953, Clark served as the athletic director at Nebraska. List of college football coaches with non-consecutive tenure George Clark at the College Football Data Warehouse