The Wheelmen
Bicycle Club Football
1892 & 1893

Pennsylvania
Railroad YMCA

1886 - 1905

Philadelphia FC
Philadelphia's First All
Professional  Football Team
1901

Phillies vs. Athletics
National Football League
1902

Corley CC
of Southwark
Inaugural Season
1910

US Army
Ambulance Corps

1917-1918

Conshohocken AC
Eastern Penna. Champions
1919

Union Club
of Phoenixville
US Pro Claimants
1920

Ships & Yards
Football Along the Delaware
1919

Holmesburg AC
Philadelphia City Champions
1919 & 1920

Union Quakers
Philadelphia City Champions
1921

Pottsville Maroons
Anthracite League
Champions
1924

 

Sports fans in the Philadelphia area are pretty knowledgeable, especially when it comes to football. Since entering the National Football League in 1933 the Philadelphia Eagles have led those fans on a roller coaster ride, experiencing all the highs and lows the league has to offer. While it's been more than 50 years since the Eagles last captured an NFL title, the team's relative success in recent seasons is building anticipation of a return to past glories. But don't be fooled, the rich history of pro football in this region doesn't begin and end with the Eagles. After all, before our beloved Birds there were the beloved, ...Bugs?

Who were those Yellow Jackets, anyway? Are the old tales about them true, did they really bringing an NFL championship to Philadelphia? And what is their connection to the Eagles?
If you know anything about the Yellow Jackets then maybe you can also name the Eastern Pennsylvania coal-town that had its NFL championship "stolen"!
Here's a good stump-the-sports-buff question: What was the name of Philadelphia's one and only American Football League championship team?
Everyone knows that Philadelphia is the birthplace of our nation, but what's this about it also being the birthplace of the original National Football League?

The history of professional football in this region is long and storied, stretching all the way back to the late 1800's. From the gridiron "elevens" sponsored by bicycle clubs and baseball teams to those of local athletic associations and the National Football League, this history is rich and interesting and chock-full-o' surprises. Just consider the game hinted at below:

Manager Connie Mack watches as his Philadelphia Athletics take to the field against their cross-town rivals, the Phillies. Everyone is ready,

...FOR THE KICK-OFF!


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The primary purpose of this website is to share a little of what I enjoy about the early history of professional football. Hopefully it will also pique your curiosity to find out more. Please keep in mind that I'm still in the process of putting this thing together. It is, very much, a work in progress. Any and all feedback will be greatly appreciated, so feel free to contact me with your comments and suggestions!

This site was last updated March 22, 2013.

Defunct Sports Leagues and Teams

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John J. Fenton, 2013-2000, all rights reserved.

Bethlehem Bears
Eastern League
Claimants
1926

Frankford
Yellow Jackets

National Football League
Champions
1926

Philadelphia Quakers
American Football League
Champions
1926

Millville F & AC
Highs & Lows
1925

Frankford Legion
Independent Professional
Champions of Penna.
1
931

The NFL's Forgotten
Thanksgiving Rivalry

Green Bay Packers
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