1936 NFL season

The 1936 NFL season was the 17th regular season of the National Football League. For the first time since the league was founded, there were no team transactions; neither a club folded nor did a new one join the NFL. 1936 was also the first year in which all league teams played the same number of games. Since this season, the number of scheduled regular season games per team has been:

  1. 11 until 1942 and in 1946
  2. 10 from 1943 to 1945
  3. 12 from 1947 to 1960
  4. 14 from 1961 to 1977
  5. 16 since 1978

The season ended when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Boston Redskins in the NFL Championship Game. For the only time in NFL history, the team with the home field advantage declined to play at their own stadium and instead elected to play at a neutral site. Due to poor attendance, the Redskins moved the game from Boston to the Polo Grounds in New York City.

1936 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 13 – December 13, 1936
East ChampionsBoston Redskins
West ChampionsGreen Bay Packers
Championship Game
ChampionsGreen Bay Packers

Division races

In the Western Division, the Bears reached 6–0–0 and the Packers 5–1–0 midway through the 12 game season, the Packers only loss having been 30–3 to Chicago. On November 1, Green Bay beat the Bears 21–10 to give both teams a 6–1–0 record. Both teams continued to win, and both were 9–1–0 as Thanksgiving approached. The Bears lost their last two games, while Green Bay lost neither, putting the Packers into the title game. In the Eastern Division, the Pittsburgh Pirates were at 6–5–0, and the Boston Redskins at 5–5–0, when they met on November 29 in Boston before a crowd of only 7,000. The Pirates lost, 30–0, falling to 6–6–0, and could only hope that 6–5–0 Boston would do the same in their last game; instead, the Redskins won at New York, 14–0 before 18,000. Since the Eastern winner had the right to host the '36 title game, George Preston Marshall spurned Boston to play the championship game at New York as well, where 29,545 turned out. Marshall would move the Redskins to Washington for 1937.

Major rule changes

  • A draft shall be held to assign all new players entering the league for the first time to teams in an arbitrary and equitable manner.
  • The penalty for an illegal forward pass that is thrown beyond the line of scrimmage is five yards from the spot of the foul.

Final standings

W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PCT= Winning Percentage, PF= Points For, PA = Points Against

Note: The NFL did not officially count tie games in the standings until 1972

Eastern Division
Boston Redskins 7 5 0 .583 149 110
Pittsburgh Pirates 6 6 0 .500 98 187
New York Giants 5 6 1 .455 115 163
Brooklyn Dodgers 3 8 1 .273 92 161
Philadelphia Eagles 1 11 0 .083 51 206
Western Division
Green Bay Packers 10 1 1 .909 248 118
Chicago Bears 9 3 0 .750 222 94
Detroit Lions 8 4 0 .667 235 102
Chicago Cardinals 3 8 1 .273 74 143

NFL Championship Game

Green Bay 21, Boston 6, at Polo Grounds, New York City, December 13, 1936

League leaders

Statistic Name Team Yards
Passing Arnie Herber Green Bay 1239
Rushing Tuffy Leemans New York 830
Receiving Don Hutson Green Bay 536


The 1936 NFL Draft was held on February 8, 1936 at Philadelphia's Ritz-Carlton Hotel. With the first pick, the Philadelphia Eagles selected halfback Jay Berwanger from the University of Chicago.


Eastern Division

Western Division

See also


  • NFL Record and Fact Book (ISBN 1-932994-36-X)
  • NFL History 1931–1940 (Last accessed December 4, 2005)
  • Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (ISBN 0-06-270174-6)
1936 All-Pro Team

The 1936 All-Pro Team consisted of American football players chosen by various selectors for the All-Pro team of the National Football League (NFL) for the 1936 NFL season. Teams were selected by, among others, the NFL coaches (NFL), the United Press (UP), Collyer's Eye (CE), and the Chicago Daily News (CDN).Four players were selected for the first team by all four selectors: Detroit Lions quarterback Dutch Clark; Boston Redskins halfback Cliff Battles; Chicago Bears end Bill Hewitt; and Green Bay Packers guard Lon Evans. Three others were selected for the first team by three selectors: Chicago Bears fullback Bronko Nagurski; Boston Redskins tackle Turk Edwards; and New York Giants center Mel Hein.

1936 American Football League season

The 1936 American Football League season is the first season of the second American Football League, the formation of which was announced by Harry March, former personnel director of the NFL's New York Giants, on December 15, 1935. Fifteen cities bid for charter franchises; on April 11, 1936, franchises were awarded to eight cities: Boston, Cleveland, Jersey City, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, and Syracuse. By mid-summer, Jersey City, Philadelphia, and Providence withdrew; soon afterwards, Rochester was given a franchise, only to have it relocated to Brooklyn, despite the lack of availability of a home stadium at the time.The league began its existence by raiding NFL rosters for its players, with a new New York Yankees team signing members of the New York Giants, the Cleveland Rams taking Chicago Bears star Damon Wetzel as their coach, and the Pittsburgh Americans snaring members of the crosstown Pirates. On the other hand, eventual AFL champions Boston Shamrocks pretty much ignored the roster of the crosstown Boston Redskins, while the Brooklyn Tigers and Syracuse Braves opted for "home grown" talent.The race to the 1936 AFL championship quickly narrowed down to three teams (Boston, Cleveland, and New York) as the Syracuse team was moved to Rochester after a deafening lack of fan support while it lost almost every game. The former Syracuse Braves became the Rochester Braves in early October 1936 — and folded after their game on November 1. Two weeks later, the Brooklyn Tigers moved to Rochester and became the Rochester Tigers. The two Rochester teams finished in the bottom of the league standings.

In contrast to the following year, the majority of the AFL had winning records in 1936 (the two Rochester teams had one win combined). The Pittsburgh Americans finished with a 3-2-1 record despite averaging only 2500 fans in the Forbes Field stands; the Boston Shamrocks (8-3-0) won the title by defeating both the Cleveland Rams (5-2-2) and the New York Yankees (5-3-2) in the season's final weeks.

Cal Clemens

Charles Calvin "Cal" Clemens, Jr. (July 7, 1909 – October 21, 1965) was a player in the National Football League.

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).

Milt Gantenbein

Milton Edward Gantenbein (May 31, 1910 – December 18, 1988) was an American football player who played on three championship teams, as an end and as a defensive end for the Green Bay Packers from 1931 to 1940.

The former University of Wisconsin–Madison standout was a member of three National Football League (NFL) championship teams under head coach Curly Lambeau. In 1931, his rookie year, the sure-handed Gantenbein was the perfect complement to deep-threat Laverne Dilweg in Lambeau's pass-oriented offense and was a solid addition at defensive end. Green Bay's defense limited opponents to 87 points and had five shutouts, while the Packer offense compiled 291 points in fashioning a 12-2 record and winning a third league championship title in the 1931 NFL season. Gantenbein continued as a two-way starter for the next three seasons, playing in the shadow of Dilweg and John McNally.

In the 1936 NFL season, Don Hutson and Gantenbein were the main targets in the Packers' record-setting passing attack, with 34 and 15 catches respectively. The duo was also instrumental in Green Bay's 21-6 victory over the Boston Redskins in the 1936 NFL Championship Game . Gantenbein iced the game with an 8-yard touchdown reception from Arnie Herber in the third quarter.

Gantenbein was named a team captain for the 1937 squad, and he again was a stalwart in the defensive line and the team's second leading receiver with 12 catches for 237 yards (19.8 yard average) and two touchdowns. In the 1937 NFL season, Green Bay slipped to 7–4. In the 1938 NFL season, the team had an 8-3 record and made it to the 1938 NFL Championship Game, where the Packers lost 23–17 to the Giants in New York.

In the 1939 NFL season, the Green Bay Packers struggled at times but posted a 9–2 record to gain a rematch with the New York Giants for the league title in the 1939 NFL Championship Game. This time the game was played on Wisconsin soil, and Gantenbein opened the scoring with a 7-yard touchdown reception from Arnie Herber. It would be all the points the Packers needed on a cold and windy afternoon at Wisconsin State Fair Park in Milwaukee, as they crushed the Giants, 27–0.

He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1972 and finished his career with three NFL championships, 77 receptions, 1,299 yards and eight touchdowns. Milt played in 103 regular-season games as a Packer.

With his playing days behind him, Gantenbein went on to coach football at Manhattan College in New York for several years.

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.

1936 NFL season
Early era
Modern era

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