Sunday, March 6, 2011

No Sophomore Slump

GREEN BAY "PACKER'S" (sic) 1920

Delloye, Powers, Dwyer, Klaus, Nichols, Rosenow, Wilson, Sauber, N. Murphy, Tebo, Petcka, Gavin, Wheeler, Lambeau, Ladrow, Wagner, Dalton, F. Jonet, Zoll, Leaper, Zoll, Martell, McLean, Abrams, Medley
This is the 1920 Packers squad, in their second year of competition. They played home games on a sandlot at Hagemeister Park, next to the East River. The park was upgraded for the 1920 season with the addition of a single section of grandstand along one side, which allowed the Packers to charge their first admission fee.

And what games the fans saw for their fee; the Packers, playing other Upper Midwest-based teams, cruised to a record of 9-1-1. The lone loss came at the hand of the Beloit Fairies (named for their sponsor, the Fairbanks-Morse manufacturing company). That same Beloit team had dealt the Packers their only loss in the inaugural 1919 campaign. It has been suggested recently that the Beloit team called themselves the "Professionals", and the Fairy nickname was thrown at them by George Whitney Calhoun in his Press-Gazette coverage of the games. If so Calhoun's influence was vast indeed, as it shows up in many contemporary newspapers from across the Midwest.

"Dominant" is a word often overused in sports, but it certainly fit the 1920 Packers, who outscored their opponents 227-24 and recorded eight shutouts in those eleven games.

The following year, seeking tougher competition and higher profits, the Packers joined the American Professional Football Association, which changed its name in 1922 to the National Football League. And the rest, as the saw goes, is history.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog, I love it! Keep it up GO PACK!