1935 NFL Championship Game

The 1935 National Football League Championship game was the third National Football League (NFL) title game, held December 15 at University of Detroit Stadium (Titan Stadium) in Detroit, Michigan.[1][2][3] The 1935 champion of the Western Division was the Detroit Lions (7–3–2) and the champion of the Eastern Division was the New York Giants (9–3).[4][5]

The Giants, coached by Steve Owen, were in their third straight title game and were defending champions, while the Lions (coached by George "Potsy" Clark) were in their first title game, three years removed from their nailbiting loss in the indoor 1932 NFL Playoff Game as the Portsmouth Spartans.

1935 NFL Championship Game
New York Giants Detroit Lions
7 26
1234 Total
NYG 0700 7
DET 130013 26
DateDecember 15, 1935
StadiumUniversity of Detroit Stadium, Detroit, Michigan
RefereeTommy Hughitt
Detroit is located in the United States
Location in the United States

Game summary

The weather in Detroit for the game was gray, wet, and windy, and the field at the University of Detroit's Titan Stadium was sloppy.[6] The Lions took the opening kickoff and drove down field. They were helped by two long passing plays, including one from Gutowsky that hit Danowski, playing defense, in the chest and was caught by end Ed Klewicki. Gutowsky capped the 61-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run and Presnell kicked the extra point for the 7-0 lead. After another Lions touchdown, the Lions had a 13-0 lead, but the Giants cut the lead to 6. However, two touchdowns in the fourth quarter sealed the 26-7 victory for the Lions, their first NFL Championship.[3][7][8]

Scoring summary

Sunday, December 15, 1935
Kickoff: 2 p.m. EST[2]


  • Referee: Tommy Hughitt
  • Umpire: Bobby Cahn
  • Head Linesman: Maurice J. Meyer
  • Field Judge: Harry Robb [1]

The NFL had only four game officials in 1935; the back judge was added in 1947, the line judge in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.


When asked about the game over 70 years later, Glenn Presnell (who was also the last surviving member of the Detroit Lions inaugural 1934 team) said this about the game: "I remember that it was a snowy day, very cold, and there were far less fans there than the ’34 Thanksgiving Day game. In those days, people didn’t go very often when it wasn’t nice weather.

"I was the starting quarterback that game and for most of the season. Potsy liked to start me and see what was going on before sending in Dutch Clark. The one thing that stands out to me is that we scored in the first two minutes. I had thrown a flat pass to our blocking back on a fake for a 60-yard play to about their four-yard line. Ace Gutowsky punched it over for the score and I kicked the extra point. If we celebrated when we made a touchdown like the way they do today we would have been hooted off the field.

"For winning the championship, we each received $300. We never got a championship ring like they do now, but it was certainly one of my proudest moments. Remember, professional football was not nearly as popular as college football and baseball. It was much more exciting to play college football at Nebraska in front of 40,000 people. It was a way to make a living during the Depression." [1]

Detroit: "City of Champions"

When the Lions won the 1935 NFL Championship, the city of Detroit was mired in the Great Depression, which had hit Detroit and its industries particularly hard. But with the success of the Lions and other Detroit teams and athletes in 1935–1936, Detroit's luck appeared to be changing, as the City was dubbed the "City of Champions." The Detroit Tigers started the winning steak by capturing the 1935 World Series. The Lions continued the streak by winning the 1935 NFL Championship. They were followed by the Detroit Red Wings winning the 1935–36 Stanley Cup. With the Stanley Cup win, the city had seen three major league championships in less than a year. Detroit's "champions" also included Detroit's "Brown Bomber," Joe Louis, the heavyweight boxing champion; native Detroiter Gar Wood who was the champion of unlimited powerboat racing and the first man to go 100 miles per hour on water; and Eddie "the Midnight Express" Tolan, a black Detroiter who won gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter races at the 1932 Summer Olympics.


  1. ^ a b Smith, Wilfrid (December 16, 1935). "Detroit beats New York for pro title, 26-7". Chicago Tribune. p. 21.
  2. ^ a b McIlrath, William F. (December 15, 1935). "New York, Detroit clash in pro grid title battle". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. p. 3, sports.
  3. ^ a b "Detroit Lions defeat New York for pro football crown, 26 to 7". Milwaukee Journal. December 16, 1935. p. 2, part 2.
  4. ^ "Pro standings". Milwaukee Journal. December 9, 1935. p. 6, part 2.
  5. ^ "Giants, Lions play for pro title Sunday". Milwaukee Journal. United Press. December 15, 1935. p. 3, sports.
  6. ^ "Detroit Lions win pro championship". Ludington Daily News. Michigan. Associated Press. December 16, 1935. p. 6.
  7. ^ "Detroit wins pro grid championship". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 16, 1935. p. 17.
  8. ^ "1935: Lions beat grounded Giants for NFL Championship". Today in Pro Football History. (blog). December 15, 2010. Retrieved December 23, 2015.

External links

Coordinates: 42°24′58″N 83°08′13″W / 42.416°N 83.137°W

1935 Detroit Lions season

The 1935 Detroit Lions season resulted in the Lions winning their first National Football League (NFL) championship. In their second season in Detroit and fifth under head coach Potsy Clark, the Lions placed first in the NFL's Western Division and went on to defeat the New York Giants, 26–7, in the 1935 NFL Championship Game. The leading offensive players were Dutch Clark, who led the NFL with 55 points, and Ernie Caddel, who led the league with 621 yards from scrimmage and 6.4 yards per touch.

1935 Detroit Tigers season

The 1935 Detroit Tigers won the 1935 World Series, defeating the Chicago Cubs 4 games to 2. The season was their 35th since they entered the American League in 1901. It was the first World Series championship for the Tigers.

1935 World Series

The 1935 World Series featured the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago Cubs, with the Tigers winning in six games for their first championship in five Series appearances. They had lost in 1907, 1908, 1909, and 1934.

The Tigers won despite losing the services of first baseman Hank Greenberg. In Game 2, Greenberg collided with Cubs catcher Gabby Hartnett and broke his wrist, sidelining him for the rest of the Series. Marv Owen replaced him at first base and went 1 for 20. Utility infielder Flea Clifton was forced to fill in for Owen at third base and went 0-for-16 in the Series.

The Cubs had won 21 consecutive games in September (still a record as of 2018), eventually taking the National League pennant by four games over the defending World Series champions, the St. Louis Cardinals.

In Game 6, Tommy Bridges pitched a complete game victory to win the Series for Detroit. With the score tied 3–3 in the top of the ninth inning, Bridges gave up a leadoff triple to Stan Hack, but retired the next three batters without the runner on third scoring. In the bottom of the ninth, Goose Goslin drove in the winning run with two outs. After the game, manager Mickey Cochrane said the following of Bridges' gutsy performance: "A hundred and fifty pounds of courage. If there ever is a payoff on courage this little 150-pound pitcher is the greatest World Series hero."In addition to Bridges, the Tigers had a hitting hero. Right fielder Pete Fox accumulated ten hits and an average of .385 for the Series. Fox hit safely in all six games.

Detroit owner Frank Navin, then 64 years old, had been running the organization for 30 years and had seen four of his teams win American League pennants, only to lose four World Series. Six weeks after the Tigers finally won the World Series in October 1935, Navin suffered a heart attack while riding a horse and died.

1935 in Michigan

Events from the year 1935 in Michigan.

1936 NFL Championship Game

The 1936 NFL Championship Game was the fourth championship game played in the National Football League (NFL). It took place on December 13 at Polo Grounds in New York City, making it the first NFL title game held on a neutral field.The Eastern Division champion Boston Redskins (7–5) were the host team, but their owner George Preston Marshall moved the game out of Fenway Park to New York due to apathy and low support in Boston. Several days after the game, he announced plans to move the team to his hometown of Washington, D.C. for the following season.This was the first championship game for both the Redskins and the Western Division champion Green Bay Packers (10–1–1), who were favored. The Packers won 21–6 for their fourth NFL title, all under longtime head coach Curly Lambeau. Green Bay won league championships awarded by league standing in 1929, 1930, and 1931.

1936 Stanley Cup Finals

The 1936 Stanley Cup Finals was contested by the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. This was Detroit's second appearance in the Final and Toronto's sixth. Detroit would win the series 3–1 to win their first Stanley Cup.

Ace Gutowsky

LeRoy Erwin "Ace" Gutowsky (August 2, 1909 – December 4, 1976) was an American football fullback. He played professional football for eight years from 1932 to 1939 and set the NFL career rushing record in October 1939. He held the Detroit Lions' career and single-season rushing records until the 1960s.

Dutch Clark

Earl Harry "Dutch" Clark (October 11, 1906 – August 5, 1978), sometimes also known as the "Flying Dutchman" and the "Old Master", was an American football player and coach, basketball player and coach, and university athletic director. He gained his greatest acclaim as a football player and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame with its inaugural class in 1951 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame with its inaugural class in 1963. He was also named in 1969 to the NFL 1930s All-Decade Team and was the first player to have his jersey (No. 7) retired by the Detroit Lions.

Born in Colorado, Clark attended Colorado College where he played football, basketball, and baseball, and also competed in track and field. During the 1928 football season, he rushed for 1,349 yards, scored 103 points, and became the first player from Colorado to receive first-team All-American honors. After graduating in 1930, he remained at Colorado College as the head basketball coach and assistant football coach.

Clark played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the Portsmouth Spartans / Detroit Lions from 1931–1938. He was selected as the first-team All-Pro quarterback six times, was named by the United Press (UP) as the best player in the NFL in both 1935 and 1936, led the Lions to the 1935 NFL championship, and led the NFL in total offense in 1934 and scoring in 1932, 1935, and 1936. In his final two seasons with the Lions, he also served as the team's head coach. In 1940, he was selected by the Associated Press (AP) as the outstanding football player of the 1930s.

Clark was the head coach at the Colorado School of Mines (1933) and with the Cleveland Rams (NFL, 1939–1942) and Seattle Bombers (American Football League, 1944), an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Dons (All-America Football Conference, 1949) and University of Detroit Titans (1950), and head coach and athletic director for the University of Detroit (1951–1953).

Eagles–Giants rivalry

The Eagles–Giants rivalry is a National Football League (NFL) rivalry between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. The rivalry began in 1933 with the founding of the Eagles, and slowly strengthened when both teams came to relative prominence in the 1940s and 1950s. The two teams have played in the same division in the NFL every year since 1933. The ferocity of the rivalry can also be attributed to the geographic New York-Philadelphia rivalry, which is mirrored in Major League Baseball's Mets–Phillies rivalry and the National Hockey League's Flyers–Rangers rivalry. It is ranked by NFL Network as the number one rivalry of all-time and Sports Illustrated ranks it amongst the top ten NFL rivalries of all-time at number four, and according to ESPN, it is one of the fiercest and most well-known rivalries in the football community.The overall series is currently tied, 86–86–2. The Eagles and Giants have met in the playoffs four times, with each team winning twice.

George Christensen (American football)

George Washington "Tarzan" Christensen (December 13, 1909 – July 1, 1968) was an American football player and businessman. He played college football for the University of Oregon and professional football for the Portsmouth Spartans (1931–1933) and Detroit Lions (1934–1938). He later formed the Christensen Diamond Products Company, which became a publicly traded company manufacturing industrial, drilling and military equipment with plants in Europe, Asia, South America and North America.

Gil Lefebvre

Gilbert Lefebvre (March 10, 1910 – May 7, 1987) was an American football player. He played professional football for the Cincinnati Reds from 1933 to 1934. In December 1933, he set an NFL record with a 98-yard punt return that was not broken until 1994. In 1935, he appeared in one game for the 1935 Detroit Lions team that won the 1935 NFL Championship Game. He later played with the Los Angeles Bulldogs, Hollywood Braves and Hollywood Stars in Pacific Coast football competition.

Glenn Presnell

Glenn Emery "Press" Presnell (July 28, 1905 – September 13, 2004) was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He set the NFL single-season scoring record in 1933 and led the league in total offense. He was the last surviving member of the Detroit Lions inaugural 1934 team and helped lead the team to its first NFL championship in 1935. He also set an NFL record with a 54-yard field goal in 1934, a record which was not broken for 19 years. Presnell served as the head football coach at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1942 and at Eastern Kentucky State College—now known as Eastern Kentucky University–from 1954 to 1963, compiling a career college football coaching record of 45–56–3. He was also the athletic director at Eastern Kentucky from 1963 to 1971.

History of the Detroit Lions

The history of the Detroit Lions, a professional American football franchise based in Detroit, Michigan, dates back to 1928 when they played in Portsmouth, Ohio as the Portsmouth Spartans. In 2019, they will begin their 91st season, continuing to be one of the National Football League's oldest franchises.

Ken Strong

Elmer Kenneth Strong (April 21, 1906 – October 5, 1979) was an American football halfback and fullback who also played minor league baseball. Considered one of the greatest all-around players in the early decades of the game, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1957 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967 and was named to the NFL 1930s All-Decade Team.

A native of West Haven, Connecticut, Strong played college baseball and football for the NYU Violets. In football, he led the country in scoring with 162 points in 1928, gained over 3,000 yards from scrimmage, and was a consensus first-team selection on the 1928 College Football All-America Team.

Strong played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) for the Staten Island Stapletons (1929–1932) and New York Giants (1933–1935, 1939, 1944–1947), and in the second American Football League for the New York Yankees (1936–1937). He led the NFL in scoring in 1934 and was selected as a first-team All-Pro in 1930, 1931, 1933, and 1934. He also played minor league baseball from 1929 to 1931, but his baseball career was cut short by a wrist injury.

NFL playoff records (team)

This is a list of playoff records set by various teams in various categories in the National Football League during the Super Bowl Era.

Pug Vaughan

Charles Wesley "Pug" Vaughan (March 18, 1911 – March 30, 1964) was an American football running back. He played college football under head coach Bob Neyland at the University of Tennessee from 1932 to 1934 and professional football for the Detroit Lions in 1935 and the Chicago Cardinals in 1936.

Vaughan was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1911. He enrolled at the University of Tennessee and played at the halfback position under head football coach Bob Neyland from 1932 to 1934. For many years, he was regarded as "perhaps the finest passer in Tennessee football history." Coach Neyland considered Vaughan the best passer he developed at Tennessee, adding: "Vaughan's passing was almost perfect. His timing couldn't have been improved. The ball just floated into the hands of the receivers." During Vaughan's three years playing for the Volunteers, the team compiled an overall record of 24–5–1 and outscored opponents by a combined score of 589 to 141. In December 1934, Vaughan was voted as the most valuable player on the 1934 Tennessee Volunteers football team.In his first year of professional football, Vaughan played for the 1935 Detroit Lions team that won the 1935 NFL Championship Game. He appeared in seven games for the Lions, completing 7 of 15 passes for 104 yards and rushing for 51 yards on 13 carries.In July 1936, Vaughan was traded to the Chicago Cardinals. Playing for the Chicago Cardinals in 1936, Vaughan rushed for only 79 yards on 67 carries, but he became one of the leading passers in the NFL. He completed 30 of 79 passes for 546 yards. He ranked fourth in the NFL in passing yards and sixth in passes completed during the 1936 NFL season.During World War II, Vaughan served in the U.S. Coast Guard and played on the Coast Guard football team.In March 1964, Vaughan died at age 53 at Ft. Sanders Presbyterian Hospital in Knoxville. He had been seriously ill since September 1963.

Red Stacy

James William "Red" Stacy (March 4, 1912 – April 23, 1998) was an American football player. He played college football at the University of Oklahoma from 1932 to 1934 and professionally for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL) from 1935 to 1937. During the summer of 1933, Stacy appeared in a motion picture with Charles Bickford. On returning to Oklahoma, he reported that he had gotten the "workout of his life in the film capital. Stacy appeared in a mob scene in which a group of college athletes rescued Bickford from gangsters. Stacy said, "They ran us to death. Finally, at 2 A.M. the director yelled, 'That's all.' We were so tired we dropped Bickford, who was tied hand and foot to a pole, on to the ground and made a bee line for the office to get our pay. Somebody finally untied Bickford." In 1934, Stacy was the only player unanimously selected as a first-team All-Big Six football player. He was also a member of the 1935 Detroit Lions team that won the 1935 NFL Championship Game. In January 1936, weeks after the Lions won the NFL championship, Stacy married Alberta Stewart of Honolulu, Hawaii, in a ceremony at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. Stacy died in April 1998 at age 86.

Thomas Hupke

Thomas George Hupke (December 29, 1910 – September 8, 1959) was an American football player. He played college football at the University of Alabama from 1930 to 1933 and was selected as an All-American in 1933. During the four years Hupke played for the Crimson Tide, the team compiled a record of 34–4–1. He subsequently played professional football for six years with the Detroit Lions (1934–1937) and the Cleveland Rams (1938–1939). He was a member of the 1935 Detroit Lions team that won the 1935 NFL Championship Game. In September 1959, Hupke died in Detroit at age 48 after a long illness.

University of Detroit Stadium

University of Detroit Stadium, also known as U of D Stadium, Titan Stadium, or Dinan Field, was a stadium in Detroit, Michigan on the campus of the University of Detroit. The stadium opened in 1922, on land that had been acquired for the university's proposed new McNichols campus (the university would move its main campus there in 1927). The stadium's main tenant was the University of Detroit Titans football team, who played their home games there from the time it opened until the university dropped its football program following the 1964 season.

Detroit Lions 1935 NFL champions
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