1926 NFL season

The 1926 NFL season was the seventh regular season of the National Football League. The league grew to 22 teams, a figure that would not be equaled in professional football until 1961, adding the Brooklyn Lions, the Hartford Blues, the Los Angeles Buccaneers, and the Louisville Colonels, with Racine Tornadoes re-entering. Cleveland Bulldogs sat out the season, the Rock Island Independents defected to the upstart American Football League, and the Rochester Jeffersons suspended operations for the final time (eventually folding in early 1928). The Akron Pros re-branded as the Akron Indians, the Duluth Kelleys as the Duluth Eskimos and the Buffalo Bison as the Buffalo Rangers (the team also used the names "Texas Rangers" and "Buffalo Cowboys")..

The Buccaneers, Eskimos, Colonels and Buffalo Rangers were "showcase teams," the first efforts for the league to reach beyond the northeast and midwest. The Buccaneers, a response to the AFL's Los Angeles Wildcats, represented the state of California; the Eskimos the far northern plains, while the Colonels represented the Southern United States and the Rangers represented the state of Texas and other areas of the Southwestern United States. The four teams (except the Rangers) all played primarily as traveling teams. Three of the four teams only lasted one season; the Buccaneers and Colonels both folded while the Rangers reverted to their previous status as the Bison, and only the Eskimos returned for 1927.

In mid-November, Brooklyn merged with the AFL's Brooklyn Horsemen and stayed in the NFL, playing one more game as the Lions before changing its name to the Brooklyn Horsemen for the last three games (all shutout losses).

The Frankford Yellow Jackets were named the NFL champions after finishing the season with the best record.

1926 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 19 – December 19, 1926
ChampionsFrankford Yellow Jackets


NFL standings
Frankford Yellow Jackets 14 1 2 .933 236 49 W6
Chicago Bears 12 1 3 .923 216 63 L1
Pottsville Maroons 10 2 2 .833 155 29 T1
Kansas City Cowboys 8 3 0 .727 76 53 W7
Green Bay Packers 7 3 3 .700 151 61 T1
New York Giants 8 4 1 .667 151 61 W3
Los Angeles Buccaneers 6 3 1 .667 67 57 L1
Duluth Eskimos 6 5 3 .545 113 81 L1
Buffalo Rangers 4 4 2 .500 53 62 T1
Chicago Cardinals 5 6 1 .455 74 98 L1
Providence Steam Roller 5 7 1 .417 89 103 L1
Detroit Panthers 4 6 2 .400 107 60 L3
Hartford Blues 3 7 0 .300 57 99 L1
Brooklyn Lions 3 8 0 .273 60 150 L3
Milwaukee Badgers 2 7 0 .222 41 66 L5
Dayton Triangles 1 4 1 .200 15 82 L2
Akron Indians 1 4 3 .200 23 89 T1
Racine Tornadoes 1 4 0 .200 8 92 L4
Columbus Tigers 1 6 0 .143 26 93 L5
Canton Bulldogs 1 9 3 .100 46 161 L1
Hammond Pros 0 4 0 .000 3 56 L4
Louisville Colonels 0 4 0 .000 0 108 L4

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.



  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1921–1930 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • David S. Neft, Richard M. Cohen, and Rick Korch, The Football Encyclopedia: The Complete, Year-by-Year History of Professional Football From 1892 to the Present (St. Martin's Press 1994) ISBN 0-312-11435-4
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)

See also

Bill Flanagan (American football)

William "Bill" Sylvester Flanagan (April 9, 1901 – February 19, 1935) played for the Louisville Colonels of the National Football League during the 1926 NFL season.

Flanagan was born on April 9, 1901 in Green County, Wisconsin, the son of William H. Flanagan (1865–1939) and Marie Keegan Flanagan (1882–1972). He attended Beloit Memorial High School in Beloit, Wisconsin. He died in 1935.

Brooklyn Lions / Horsemen (1926)

The Brooklyn Lions were a National Football League team that played in the 1926 NFL season. The team was formed as the league's counter-move to the first American Football League, which enfranchised a team called the Brooklyn Horsemen, a professional football team that competed in the 1926 AFL season.

In the months before the regular season began, both leagues battled with each other for fan support and the right to play at Ebbets Field. The NFL emerged as the winner, as the Lions signed the lease to use the stadium on July 20.On November 12, 1926, the Horsemen withdrew from the AFL and merged with Lions. The new team created by the merger was initially called the Brooklyn Lions and competed in the NFL from November 22, 1926. For the last three games of the 1926, the team used the Horsemen name to finish the season. After three consecutive losses by shutout, the merged team winked out of existence.

Champ Boettcher

Raymond Edward Boettcher was a fullback in the National Football League. He played with the Racine Tornadoes during the 1926 NFL season.

Daddy Potts

Robert Crockett "Daddy" Potts (August 16, 1898 – August 11, 1981) was an American football player. He played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the Frankford Yellow Jackets in the 1926 NFL season. Potts won the 1926 NFL championship with the Yellow Jackets. Outside of the NFL, he played for the Millville Big Blue, a successful independent team out of New Jersey. In 1925 Rae and Millville (sometimes called the Haven-Villa of Winter Haven) played several pick-up games in Florida against the Tampa Cardinals, featuring Red Grange.

Duluth Kelleys/Eskimos

Duluth, Minnesota, hosted a professional football team called the Kelleys (officially the Kelley Duluths after the Kelley-Duluth Hardware Store) from 1923 to 1925 and renamed as the Eskimos (officially Ernie Nevers' Eskimos – after their star player Ernie Nevers) during the two seasons of 1926 and

1927 in the National Football League. The team was put together by Kelley-Duluth Hardware Store owner M. C. Gebert with the help of Dewey Scanlon, a college graduate who played football at Valparaiso University in Indiana. After being a traveling team during most of their time as the Eskimos, they withdrew from the league after the 1927 season.

The Kelleys, residing in the northernmost city in the NFL at the time, had the disadvantage of not being able to play at home during late November and early December, due to the harsh winters in northern Minnesota. This meant that Duluth either played unusually short seasons (they played only 16 games in three years as the Kelleys—seven in 1923, six in 1924 and three in 1925) or had to play on the road (as the Eskimos did, which allowed them to have much longer schedules). Duluth's best season came in 1924, when the Kelleys went 5–1, putting the Kelleys in fourth place.

The Kelleys lost their name sponsorship in 1926, but signed star running back Ernie Nevers. The team renamed themselves Ernie Nevers's Eskimos in response to these developments. The 1926 NFL season saw an increased emphasis on traveling teams: the Los Angeles Buccaneers represented the West Coast, the Louisville Colonels represented the Southeast, and the Buffalo Rangers represented Texas and the Desert Southwest. The Eskimos joined in on the trend, becoming a traveling team (assumably representing the far northern states) and allowing themselves to play a far longer season than the Kelleys did. After one home game at the beginning of the 1926 season, the Eskimos never played in Duluth again. The team finished in the middle of the NFL standings in 1926, prompting the Eskimos to continue the traveling team setup. In 1927, the results were far more negative: winning only one game, owner Ole Haugsrud sold the team back to the league at the end of the season. A distinction of the Eskimos is they were one of the first NFL teams to use a logo.When Haugsrud did this, part of the deal gave him first rights for any future NFL team in Minnesota. He passed on buying a stake in the Minneapolis Red Jackets in 1929. However, when the NFL voted to expand in 1960 to the Twin Cities, Haugsrud was able to buy 10% of the Minnesota Vikings (90% of the team was owned by an ownership group that had originally planned to launch a separate team in the American Football League).

Due to various transactions, the Kelleys/Eskimos have a tenuous link to the modern NFL. Edwin Simandl, a promoter in Orange, New Jersey; bought the defunct franchise for the 1929 season and used it to promote his decades-old Orange Tornadoes to the major leagues. The NFL, however, did not consider the Tornadoes to be the successors of the Eskimos. The Tornadoes moved to Newark for the 1930 season before going back to the minors. When Simandl handed the franchise rights back to the league, it was understood that the first new expansion team of the 1931 season would receive the Tornadoes' old franchise. Because of the Great Depression, no buyer was found, and the league ended up putting the franchise on the field as the Cleveland Indians under collective ownership.

In 1932, a Boston group received the next expansion franchise; strong circumstantial evidence indicates that it was awarded the assets of the failed Tornadoes/Indians organization. This group used it to start the Boston Braves. In 1933, the team was renamed the Redskins, and in 1937 it moved to Washington, D.C. where it still plays as the Washington Redskins. However, due to the two-year period of dormancy, the Redskins and the NFL consider the Boston/Washington franchise as a separate organization dating to 1932, and not as a continuation of the Tornadoes—or for that matter, of the Eskimos/Kelleys.

The film Leatherheads is partially based on the story of the Duluth Eskimos.On May 18, 2015, local lawmakers of one town in the Duluth-Superior area passed a motion to bring the NFL back to the region via team relocation and also voted in favor of an outdoor football stadium despite no current means of financing it. It is unclear if their proposal was ever formally submitted to the NFL.

Frank Linnan

Michael Francis Linnan (February 20, 1895 – June 2, 1981) was a player in the National Football League. He first played with the Racine Legion during the 1922 NFL season. After three years away from the NFL, he re-joined the team, by then renamed the Tornadoes, for the 1926 NFL season.

George Burnside (American football)

George Harrison Burnside (January 21, 1899 – November 1, 1962) was a blocking back in the National Football League. He played with the Racine Tornadoes during the 1926 NFL season. He died on November 1, 1962 in Seattle.

George Glennie

George Glennie (March 30, 1902 in North Andover, Massachusetts – December 11, 1998) was a guard in the National Football League. He played with the Racine Tornadoes during the 1926 NFL season.

Hartford Blues

The Hartford Blues of the National Football League played only in the 1926 NFL season, with a record of 3–7. The team was based in Hartford, Connecticut but played at the East Hartford Velodrome.


Horsemen may refer to:

Equestrianism, including cavalry

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Four Horsemen (football)

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Brooklyn Lions / Horsemen (1926), a National Football League team that played in the 1926 NFL season

Howie Slater

Howard Whitman "Howie" Slater (March 9, 1903 – March 18, 1964) was a fullback in the National Football League. He played with the Milwaukee Badgers during the 1926 NFL season.

Joe Burks

Joe Burks (July 8, 1899 – July 6, 1968) was a center in the National Football League. He played with the Milwaukee Badgers during the 1926 NFL season.

John Fahay

John Fahay (June 16, 1902 – January 8, 1980) was a player in the National Football League. He was a member of the Milwaukee Badgers during the 1925 NFL season before playing the following season with the Racine Tornadoes during the 1926 NFL season. That same year he was also a member of the Chicago Bulls of the American Football League. After two years away from professional football, he played with the Minneapolis Red Jackets during the 1929 NFL season.

Johnny Heimsch

John Cyrus Heimsch (September 18, 1902 – May 27, 1991) was a halfback in the National Football League. He played with the Milwaukee Badgers during the 1926 NFL season.

List of Brooklyn Lions players

This is a list of American football players who have played for the Brooklyn Horsemen in the National Football League in 1926. It includes players that have played at least one match during the NFL season. The Lions franchise was originally merged with the Brooklyn Horsemen of the American Football League until disbanding after the 1926 NFL season.

H Was on Brooklyn Horsemen AFL team roster prior to merger with the NFL Lions

1 Also played tailback2 Also played center3 Position later known as quarterback4 Started season with Hartford Blues5 Finished season with Frankford Yellow Jackets6 Finished season with New York Yankees (AFL)7 Also played end8 Also played tackle9 Played wingback and blocking back10 Also played wingback11 Started season with New York Giants12 Also played guard

Roman Brumm

Roman Brumm (March 5, 1898 – September 2, 1981) was a player in the National Football League. He first played with the Racine Legion during the 1924 NFL season. The following season, he played with the Milwaukee Badgers before returning to Racine, by then renamed the Tornadoes, for the 1926 NFL season.

Tom Murphy (American football)

Thomas Dwight Murphy (June 21, 1901 – July 24, 1994) was a player in the National Football League. He played for the Milwaukee Badgers during the 1926 NFL season.

Walt McGaw

Raymond Peter (Walt) McGaw (December 27, 1899 – October 8, 1979) was a guard in the National Football League. He was a member of the Green Bay Packers during the 1926 NFL season.

Walter Mahan

Walter Everett "Red" Mahan (June 23, 1902 – May 10, 1990) was an American football player. He played in the National Football League (NFL) for the Frankford Yellow Jackets in 1926 NFL season. Mahan won the 1926 NFL championship with the Yellow Jackets.

Prior to playing in the NFL, Mahan played college football at West Virginia University. While at West Virginia he was a four-year letterman during which time the Mountaineers lost only three games. In 1922, Mahan helped West Virginia to a 10–0–1 record. This earned the Mountaineers a trip to their first ever bowl game the San Diego East-West Christmas Classic. The game was held on December 22, 1922, in San Diego, California. West Virginia defeated Gonzaga, 21–13.

In 1924 Mahan, as a junior, helped the Mountaineers post an 8–1 overall record, totaling 302 points in nine contests, the most of any Eastern squad, and outscored the opposition by nearly a 7–1 margin. Mahan was a first team All-American pick by Midweek Pictorial and Metropolitan News. Mahan was also named as a third team All-American right guard by Walter Camp, and was selected to the all-Eastern team.

In 1925, Mahan captained the Mountaineers to another 8–1 mark. Mahan is also a member of the West Virginia all-time team for 1919 to 1929. He was inducted into the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.After his year with the Yellow Jackets, Mahan went on to a career as a prosecuting attorney in Brooke County, West Virginia. He died in 1990.

1926 NFL season
Early era
Modern era

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