George Preston Marshall

George Preston Marshall (October 11, 1896 – August 9, 1969) was an American businessman, and the owner and president of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL), from their inception in 1932 in Boston until his death in 1969.[1]

George Preston Marshall
Photograph of President Truman at his desk in the Oval Office, receiving his annual pass to National Football League... - NARA - 200160
Marshall (right) with President Truman and NFL Commissioner Bert Bell (center) in the White House (1949)
Born:October 11, 1896
Grafton, West Virginia, U.S.
Died:August 9, 1969 (aged 72)
Washington, D.C.
Career information
Position(s)Owner, Founder, Administrator
CollegeRandolph-Macon
Career history
As coach
1925–1928Washington Palace Five
As owner
1932–1969Boston/Washington Redskins
Career highlights and awards

Life and career

Marshall was born in Grafton, West Virginia. His parents were Thomas Hildebrand ("Hill") Marshall and Blanche Preston Marshall. In 1925, while he was the owner of a chain of laundries in Washington, D.C., founded by his father, he owned the Washington Palace Five basketball team, also known as the Palace Five Laundrymen from his laundry chain.[2] The team folded in 1928.

In 1932, he and three other partners were awarded an NFL franchise for Boston. This team became known as the Boston Braves, as they played on the same field as baseball's Boston Braves. Marshall's partners left the team after one season, leaving him in control. In 1933 he moved the team from Braves Field to Fenway Park, which the team would share with the Red Sox, hiring coach "Lone Star" William Henry Dietz, who may have been part Sioux, and changing the team nickname to the Redskins. There were four Native Americans on the original Redskins team in 1933.[3] However, he claimed in an interview at the time that the name had no connection to the heritage of any player or coach.[4]

The 1936 team won the Eastern division and hosted the NFL championship game, which Marshall moved from Boston to the Polo Grounds in New York City.[5][6] Days later, he announced he was moving the team to Washington, D.C., for the 1937 season.[7][8] He was romantically tied to silent screen actress Louise Brooks throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and she gave him the nickname "Wet Wash" due to his owning of the laundry chain. He was married to film actress-author Corinne Griffith from 1936 to 1958. (Griffith referred to him in print as "The Marshall without a plan")

Although his team enjoyed great success, Marshall is known more for many of the frills which now mark the modern football game. During the early days of the NFL, college football was more popular. Marshall decided to incorporate elements of the college atmosphere into the professional league. Innovations which he introduced include gala halftime shows, a marching band, and a fight song. The Redskins marching band is currently one of only two officially sanctioned by any NFL team. The fight song, "Hail to the Redskins" is one of the most famous in the NFL. Marshall, along with George Halas, suggested two major rules changes designed to open up the game and increase scoring which were subsequently adopted. One was to allow a forward pass to be thrown from anywhere behind the line of scrimmage, rather than at a minimum of five yards behind the line which was previously the rule. Another was the move of the goal posts from the end line to the goal line, where they were (and are) located in Canadian football, to encourage the kicking of field goals. This change remained in place for about four decades until NFL goal posts were returned to the end line in the mid-1970s as part of an effort to lessen the influence on the game of kicking specialists. Upon obtaining the team in 1932, Marshall also pushed to standardize the schedule so that each team played the same number of games, that the teams be split into divisions with the winners meeting in a championship game, and that game gate receipts be split between the home team and the visitor using either a 60–40 split or a guaranteed amount of money, whichever was larger.[9]

Marshall did many things to try to endear the team to the people of Washington. During the 1937 season, Marshall rented a train and brought 10,000 fans to New York City to watch the team play the New York Giants. These actions paid off, and even today, Redskins fans are considered among the league's most loyal, and some of the most likely to travel in large numbers to away games.

In the 1950s, Marshall was the first NFL owner to embrace the new medium of television. He initiated the first network appearances for any NFL team and built a huge television network to broadcast Redskins games across the South.

Marshall was a very hands-on owner. For most of his tenure as the team's owner, he frequently micromanaged the team. The notable exception was during the Flaherty era, the franchise's first successful era.

Indian Mound Cemetery Romney WV 2013 07 13 04
Gravestone at the interment site of George Preston Marshall at Indian Mound Cemetery in Romney, West Virginia.

Marshall suffered a debilitating stroke in 1963, soon after his induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He died at his Georgetown home in Washington in August 1969,[1] and his funeral was held at the National Cathedral in Washington with a huge crowd in attendance. Marshall is buried at the family plot in Indian Mound Cemetery in Romney, West Virginia.[10]

Legacy

His legacy includes the George Preston Marshall Foundation which serves the interests of children in the Washington metro area.

Racism

Marshall has gained infamy for his intractable opposition to having African-Americans on his roster. According to professor Charles Ross, "For 24 years Marshall was identified as the leading racist in the NFL".[11] Though the league had previously had a sprinkling of black players, blacks were excluded from all NFL teams in 1933. While the rest of the league began signing individual blacks in 1946 and actually drafting blacks in 1949, Marshall held out until 1962 before signing a black player. Along with his own personal views, Marshall refused to sign African-American players because of a desire to appeal to Southern markets. Until the Dallas Cowboys entered the league in 1960, the Redskins were the southernmost team in the NFL.[12] His intractability was routinely mocked in Washington Post columns by legendary writer Shirley Povich, who sarcastically used terms from the civil rights movement and related court cases to describe games: for instance, he once wrote that Jim Brown "integrated" the end zone, making the score "separate but unequal".

Finally, in 1962, Interior Secretary Stewart Udall and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy issued an ultimatum — unless Marshall signed a black player, the government would revoke the Redskins' 30-year lease on the year-old D.C. Stadium (now Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium), which had been paid for by government money and was owned by the Washington city government (which, then as now, is formally an arm of the federal government). Marshall's chief response was to make Ernie Davis, Syracuse's all-American running back, his number-one draft choice for 1962. Davis, however, demanded a trade, saying, "I won't play for that S.O.B."[13] He got his wish, as the team sent him to Cleveland for All-Pro Bobby Mitchell. Mitchell was the first African American football player to play a game for the Redskins, and he played with the team from 1962 through 1969, initially at running back, but he made his biggest impact at wide receiver. Mitchell was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

Quotations

  • "The Bears are front-runners. Quitters. They are not a second-half team, just a bunch of cry-babies." Marshall said this after the Redskins beat the Bears on a disputed call during the regular season in 1940. It helped motivate the Bears to beat Washington in the 1940 NFL Championship Game 73–0, a score which remains the NFL record for a shutout.
  • Marshall gained a measure of revenge for the 1940 humiliation two years later, when the teams again met in Washington for the 1942 NFL Championship Game. It was reported in the Whittingham book that his pre-game "pep talk" consisted solely of writing "73-0" on the locker room's chalkboard. The Redskins defeated the Bears 14-6, handing the Chicagoans their only defeat of the season.
  • "We'll start signing Negroes when the Harlem Globetrotters start signing whites."
  • "Mr. Marshall was an outspoken foe of the status quo when most were content with it. His fertile imagination and vision brought vital improvements to the structure and presentation of the game. Pro football today does in many ways reflect his personality. It has his imagination, style, zest, dedication, openness, brashness, strength and courage. We all are beneficiaries of what his dynamic personality helped shape over more than three decades." – NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle
  • "Marshall was totally involved in all aspects of his team's operation and endured his share of criticism for not integrating his team until being forced to do so in 1962." – Pro Football Hall of Fame, as part of Marshall's qualifications for induction.
  • Marshall was known for a "love-hate" relationship with fellow NFL icon George Halas, the Bears' owner/coach. In his book, The Chicago Bears; An Illustrated History, Richard Whittingham reports a story that Marshall's wife, often the audience for Marshall's complaints about Halas, said something to him about, "that awful George Halas". Marshall retorted, "Don't talk that way about George. He's my best friend!"

References

  1. ^ a b "Grid figure Marshall dies at 72". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. August 10, 1969. p. 57.
  2. ^ ESPN
  3. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/was/1933_roster.htm
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCoHuyAv0kY
  5. ^ "Play-off game is definitely set at Polo Grounds". Milwaukee Journal. December 7, 1936. p. 6, part 2.
  6. ^ "Bays, Boston play for crown in N.Y. Sunday". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. December 8, 1936. p. 14.
  7. ^ "Capital gets Boston team". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. December 17, 1936. p. 8, part 2.
  8. ^ McGrath, John (January 10, 2006). "Redskins history lesson". Lakeland Ledger. Florida. McClatchy News Service. p. C1.
  9. ^ Roberts, Howard (1953). "The Magnificent Marshall". The Story of Pro Football. Rand McNally & Company. pp. 196–197. LCN 53-9336.
  10. ^ "Funeral services for Washington's Marshall today". Spartanburg Herald. South Carolina. Associated Press. August 13, 1969. p. 17.
  11. ^ Outside the Lines: African Americans and the Integration of the National Football League, by Charles K. Ross, New York: New York University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-8147-7495-4.
  12. ^ Yardley, Jonathan (September 2, 2011). "'Showdown: JFK and the Integration of the Washington Redskins,' by Thomas Smith". The Washington Post.
  13. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d80b75df1/article/ernie-davis-legacy-lives-on-long-after-his-death

Further reading

External links

1933 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1933 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's inaugural season in the National Football League (NFL). The team went 3–5–1, failing to qualify for the playoffs under head coach Lud Wray.

1936 Boston Redskins season

The Boston Redskins finished the 1936 season with a record of seven wins and five losses and finished in first place in the Eastern Division of the National Football League.

They won their final three games of the regular season to win the division title, the finale was a 14–0 shutout of the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds.The Redskins hosted the 1936 NFL Championship game against the favored Green Bay Packers, the Western Division champions with a 10–1–1 record and two regular season victories over Boston. The game was moved by owner George Preston Marshall from Fenway Park in Boston to the Polo Grounds in New York City to improve attendance. The Packers won the title game 21–6.This was the first winning season for the Redskins, as well as their first championship game appearance. It was also the last season that the Redskins played in Boston; days after the title game, Marshall announced the move to his hometown of Washington, D.C. for the 1937 season.

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.

1937 NFL Championship Game

The 1937 National Football League Championship Game was the fifth championship game of the National Football League (NFL), held December 12 at Wrigley Field in Chicago with an attendance of 15,878. The game featured the Western Division champions Chicago Bears (9–1–1) and the Eastern Division champions Washington Redskins (8–3).

1937 Washington Redskins season

The 1937 Washington Redskins season was the franchise's 6th season in the National Football League (NFL) and their first in Washington, D.C..

The Boston Redskins moved to Washington after their runner-up 1936 season and become the Washington Redskins. In 1937 they repeated as Eastern Division champions and played the NFL championship game on the road against the Chicago Bears at Wrigley Field. The Redskins won the championship game, 28–21.

The Boston Redskins had won the Eastern Division title the previous season, but had poor attendance, prompting the owner George Preston Marshall to move south to his hometown. The Redskins selected quarterback Sammy Baugh from TCU in the first round of the 1937 NFL draft, on December 12, 1936, while still in Boston. Rookie Baugh led the league in passing in 1937 with a then-record 81 pass completions, and halfback Cliff Battles led the NFL in rushing with 874 yards.

1940 NFL Championship Game

The 1940 National Football League Championship Game, sometimes referred to as 73–0, was the eighth title game of the National Football League (NFL), played at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. on December 8, with a sellout capacity attendance of 36,034.The Chicago Bears (8–3) of the Western Division met the Washington Redskins (9–2), champions of the Eastern Division. Neither team had played in the title game since 1937, when the Redskins won a close game at Chicago's Wrigley Field. For this game in Washington, the Bears entered as slight favorites.The Bears scored eleven touchdowns and won 73–0, the most one-sided victory in NFL history. The game was broadcast on radio by Mutual Broadcasting System, the first NFL title game broadcast nationwide.

1952 NFL Draft

The 1952 National Football League Draft was held on January 17, 1952, at Hotel Statler in New York. Selections made by New York Yanks were assigned to the new Dallas Texans.

Washington Post sportswriter Mo Siegel later claimed that Washington Redskins owner George Preston Marshall let him choose a late-round pick. Siegel, he said, chose Tennessee Tech's Flavious Smith to force the first black player onto the all-white Redskins. If true, Marshall likely persuaded NFL Commissioner Bert Bell to remove the choice from the official records. (Smith, who did not hear the story until years later, was white.)

1954 Washington Redskins season

The 1954 Washington Redskins season was the franchise's 23rd season in the National Football League (NFL) and their 17th in Washington, D.C.. The team failed to improve on their 6–5–1 record from 1953. The Redskins sent defensive back Don Paul to the Cleveland Browns. The Redskins acquired Paul from the Chicago Cardinals. Upon his arrival in Washington, he fell in displeasure with George Preston Marshall of the Redskins.

American Basketball League (1925–55)

The American Basketball League (ABL) was an early professional basketball league. During six seasons from 1925–26 to 1930–31, the ABL was the first attempt to create a major professional basketball league in the United States. Joseph Carr, who was, in 1925, the president of the recently founded, three year old National Football League, organized the ABL from nine of the best independent pro teams from the East and the Midwest. George Halas of the NFL Chicago Bears was the owner of the Chicago Bruins, and department store magnate Max Rosenblum, a part owner of the NFL's Cleveland Bulldogs, financed the Cleveland Rosenblums. Future NFL (Washington Redskins) owner George Preston Marshall, the owner of a chain of laundries, was owner of the Washington Palace Five. Other teams were the Boston Whirlwinds, Brooklyn Arcadians, Buffalo Bisons, Detroit Pulaski Post Five, Fort Wayne Caseys, and Rochester Centrals. With the exception of 1927–28, the ABL season was divided into two halves, with the winner of the first half playing the winner of the second half for the championship. Five games into the 1926–27 season, the Original Celtics were admitted to replace the Brooklyn franchise, and won 32 of the remaining 37 games, then shifted to New York the following season.

For the 1927–28 season, the ABL had an Eastern (New York, Philadelphia, Rochester and Washington) and Western (Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Fort Wayne) division, with the two best teams in each division going to playoffs, and a championship between the playoff winners. Playing in Madison Square Garden, the New York Celtics had a 40–9 record in the regular season and won the championship. At season's end, the champions were voted out of the league by the other owners. The ABL played three more seasons and then, with only five teams playing at the end of 1930–31, folded during the Great Depression.After more than two years, the league was reorganized in 1933, but as an East Coast league, with teams in Pennsylvania and New York City metro area.The league did take some measure to help modernize the game. One of the major issues that had plagued basketball was players jumping from team to team. To combat this, players signed contracts with teams, sometimes for amounts like $1,500 a month, not a bad pay for a time when the average laborer was making $15 a week. Backboard were mandatory, and new rules, such as three second lane violations, and foul outs were implemented. Another rule the ABL implemented was the collegiate rule, which eliminated the double dribble. This was also done to encourage many of the game's top college stars to play in the league.The 1925–26 season saw Cleveland, the second half winner, defeat Brooklyn, winner of the first half of the season, three games to none. The Boston Celtics dropped out of the league. The Celtics were one of the top teams at the time, but refused to join the ABL, instead opting to be an "at Large" member. This conflict resulted in Boston dropping out, and refusing to take part in the second half of the season. One of the early stars for the league was Cleveland's Honey Russell whose 7.4 points was the second highest average in the league. Cleveland drew well, bringing in nearly 10,000 fans a game, while Brooklyn could only draw around 2,000.

Boston Shamrocks (AFL)

The Boston Shamrocks were a professional American football team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The team played in the second American Football League from 1936 to 1937, followed by at least one year as an independent in 1938. The team was coached by George Kenneally and split its games between Braves Field and Fenway Park.The Shamrocks were a successful franchise in the AFL, outdrawing the NFL's Boston Redskins and prompting George Preston Marshall to move the Redskins to Washington, D.C., where the team remains to this day. During the 1936 American Football League season, the Shamrocks won the league's championship. The Shamrocks did not fare so well in 1937, falling to a 2-7 record that year. During that year, the team managed to sign former Heisman Trophy winner Larry Kelley to a one-game contract; Kelley reneged on the deal and never played.After the failure of the second AFL (and no apparent effort to join the succeeding minor leagues), the Shamrocks continued as an independent, picking up mostly players that had been released from the Pittsburgh Pirates (now the Pittsburgh Steelers). The Steelers, led by Byron White, defeated the Shamrocks 16-6 that year.

Cleveland Indians (NFL 1931)

The Cleveland Indians were a professional football team in the National Football League for the 1931 season.

The 1931 team was a league-sponsored club that played the majority of their games on the road. The NFL had acquired the franchise of the Orange/Newark Tornadoes when that team left the league after the 1930 season; the league intended to locate this team permanently in Cleveland with new ownership. Jerry Corcoran assumed ownership of the team on behalf of the NFL and assumed management of the team.

Cleveland was chosen because of the recent construction of their brand-new Cleveland Stadium; at 83,000 seats, the massive stadium was by far the largest in the league, which was still regularly playing games in stadiums of under 10,000 fans in some of the smaller markets. However, game attendance for the Indians' two home games were nowhere near capacity (the home opener drew a mere 2,000 fans; the finale, a more respectable but still relatively small 10,000) and no suitable owner was found that would put the team in Cleveland, so the team's spot in the league was sold to George Preston Marshall, who established a team in Boston (later known as the Redskins) in the 1932 season.

Among the games this incarnation of the Indians played was an exhibition against the Buffalo Bears in Buffalo, New York, a city that had lost their own NFL franchise, the Bisons, after the 1929 season. It would begin an extensive tradition of neutral-site NFL games in Buffalo that would last until the Buffalo Bills were established in 1960.

Corinne Griffith

Corinne Mae Griffith (November 21, 1894 – July 13, 1979) was an American film actress, producer and author. Dubbed The Orchid Lady of the Screen, she was one of the most popular film actresses of the 1920s and widely considered the most beautiful actress of the silent screen. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Divine Lady.

Shortly after the advent of sound film, Griffith retired from acting and became a successful author and businesswoman. A biographical film about her life was released in 1963 titled Papa's Delicate Condition, based on her memoir and focusing on the relationship between her and her father.

Ed Kahn

Edwin Bernard Kahn (November 9, 1911 – February 17, 1945) was an American football guard in the National Football League (NFL) for the Boston and Washington Redskins. He played college football at the University of North Carolina.

Edwin (Eddie) Bernard Kahn was born in New York City, November 9, 1911. He grew up in Roxbury, Massachusetts, attended Boston English High School, and played on the football team in his sophomore year with limited success.

He went to the University of North Carolina to study law, but after he put on enough weight, he tried football again, making the freshman football team as a fullback. He lettered for three years as a guard on the varsity team, and acquired the nickname "King Kong". The 1934 Tar Heels, coached by Carl Snavely, went 7–1–1, with the "ladies from hell" Kahn and George Barclay as guards, and Jim Tatum (later the coach of the 1953 University of Maryland national champion team) at tackle. Kahn was All-Southern Conference in 1933, and All-Southern Conference, All South Atlantic, Players All-America, and Jewish All America in 1934.

In 1935, Kahn tried out for the Boston Redskins, making the team as a guard and becoming the third North Carolina player to join the NFL. The owner, George Preston Marshall, gave Eddie permission to sit out the first game in 1935 because it fell on Rosh Hashanah.

Kahn played for Boston in the 1935 and 1936 seasons. He won a starting position in the 6th game of the 1936 season against the Eagles, helping the Ray Flaherty-coached Redskins to their first winning season (7–5) and the Eastern Division title. The Redskins lost to the Packers in the championship game. Kahn was selected to the 1936 all-NFL 2nd team. After the 1936 season, Kahn was traded to the Bears, but was bought back by the Redskins before the 1937 season. In 1937 the Redskins – and Kahn – moved to Washington.

With the addition of Sammy Baugh, the team improved their regular season record to 8–3 and beat Bronco Nagurski and George Halas's Chicago Bears to win the NFL championship. Kahn played in 10 games notably scoring a touchdown against the Eagles, recovering a fumble pass interception.

In August 1938, the Redskins played and lost to a college all-star team at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The program listed "Kahn, Edwin …Nationality, Hebrew." Later that month, they lost to another college all-star team (Whizzer White was on both all-star teams) at the Chicago College All Star Game at Soldier Field. October 1938 featured a full-page picture of Kahn, taken by Carl Mydans, in Life magazine.

The Redskins purchased the Hazleton, Pennsylvania minor league football team, in 1938, and appointed Kahn as player-coach. He led the Hazelton Redskins to the Eastern Pennsylvania League and Dixie Championships before retiring from football at the end of the season.

Edwin Bernard Kahn was remembered by Corinne Griffith, film star and wife of Redskins owner Marshall, in her book My Life with the Redskins. "... Eddie Kahn, one of the original eleven Redskins who made the famous goal-line stand against the Giants there on the 1-yard line in Griffith Stadium in the opening game of the 1937 season. That night when the Washington Redskins were born."

George Marshall (disambiguation)

George Marshall (1880–1959) was an American general, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Secretary of State, President of the American Red Cross, and Secretary of Defense.

George Marshall may also refer to:

George Marshall (academic), principal of Trevelyan College, University of Durham

George Marshall (athlete) (1877–?), British runner

George Marshall (conservationist) (1904–2000), American conservationist and political activist

George Marshall (Victoria cricketer) (1829–1868), Australian cricketer who played for Victoria

George Marshall (Tasmania cricketer) (1832–1905), Australian cricketer who played for Tasmania

George Marshall (environmentalist) (born 1964), British environmentalist

George Marshall (footballer) (1869–1938), English footballer

George Marshall (MP), Member of Parliament (MP) for Boroughbridge

George Alexander Marshall (1851–1899), U.S. Representative from Ohio

George Marshall (director) (1891–1975), actor and director

George Marshall (philanthropist) (1753–1819), curate in Horsham, England

George Frederick Leycester Marshall (1843–1934), military officer and naturalist

George H. Marshall (1916–1984), British educator, campaigner and author

George Preston Marshall (1896–1969), American football team owner

George Sidney Marshall (1869–1956), 38th mayor of Columbus, Ohio

George William Marshall (1839–1905), English officer of arms

G. M. Marshall (1834–?), Wisconsin State Assemblyman

George C. Marshall High School (built: 1963), public high school in northern Virginia

Hail to the Redskins

"Hail to the Redskins" is the fight song for the National Football League team the Washington Redskins. It was written sometime between 1937 and 1938 and was performed for the first time on August 17, 1938. The music was composed by The Redskins Band leader, Barnee Breeskin, and the lyrics were written by Corinne Griffith, the wife of Redskins founder and owner George Preston Marshall.

Herman Ball

Herman Ball (May 9, 1910 – January 12, 1999) was a football player and coach who was a long-time assistant in the National Football League and served as head coach of the Washington Redskins from 1949 to 1951.

A native of Elkins, West Virginia, Ball attended Davis & Elkins College for three years beginning in 1932, helping the 1933 squad finish the season as the highest scoring team in college football with 345 points. Following his graduation, his first coaching position came in his home state as head coach at Ridgeley High School.

The following year, he moved south to begin a seven-year stint in Cumberland, Maryland, as head coach at Allegany High School. In his inaugural season at the helm, Allegany finished undefeated, the first of three spotless campaigns during his tenure, the others coming in 1940 and 1941. By the time he departed for the University of Maryland in 1943, he had compiled an impressive mark of 56-13-1.

Ball became an assistant with the Terrapins' football team, and also helped coach the school's baseball and basketball teams. During his third and final year in that role, he worked under the legendary Bear Bryant. Ball also worked part-time as a scout for the Redskins during the 1945 season, then joined the team the following year when he was hired as line coach.

On November 7, 1949, Redskins' first-year head coach John Whelchel was dismissed with the team sporting a 3-3-1 mark, with Ball being elevated to the position. In the team's final five games, Ball managed only one more win, then struggled the next year with a 3-9 mark, the worst record ever (at the time) for the franchise. Despite the miserable fortunes of the team, due in part to Ball's attempt at balancing the team's offensive attack with more of a running game, player loyalty and fan popularity helped Ball earn another year on the sidelines.

That term would be a short one when the Redskins began the 1951 NFL season with an 0-3 start. Ball was fired on October 18, a decision that helped bring about a bizarre situation in which his successor, former Bears assistant Hunk Anderson, was announced as Washington's new head coach, but was prevented from starting his new job because of contract issues with Chicago's George Halas. After refusing to provide compensation for Anderson, Redskin owner George Preston Marshall hired Ball's assistant, Dick Todd.

Serving as Washington's chief scout, Ball also returned to the sidelines as a Redskins' assistant until he resigned on December 17, 1954. He was hired three weeks later as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, spending one season in the Steel City until taking a similar position on February 2, 1956, under Weeb Ewbank with the Baltimore Colts.

Over the next seven years, Ball would help the team capture consecutive NFL titles in 1958 and 1959. When Don Shula replaced Ewbank after the 1962 NFL season, Ball was dismissed and signed as offensive line coach of the American Football League's Buffalo Bills on February 9, 1963. He spent one year there until returning to the NFL when former Redskins head coach Joe Kuharich took over the same role with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In five seasons, the team's best finish was in 1966, when they finished 9-5 and competed in the Playoff Bowl, but following a 2-12 finish in 1968, Kuharich and his staff were fired, although Ball remained as the team's director of player personnel. He remained in that role until announcing his retirement on December 23, 1977, staying on as a consultant until the end of the 1986 NFL season.

He died at the age of 88 at a Paoli, Pennsylvania, hospital of complications from a heart ailment.

Original Celtics

The Original Celtics were a barnstorming professional American basketball team. At various times in their existence, the team played in the American Basketball League, the Eastern Basketball League and the Metropolitan Basketball League. The team has no relation to the modern Boston Celtics. The franchise as a whole was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959.

Professional American football championship games

Below is a list of professional football championship games in the United States, involving:

the informal western Pennsylvania professional football circuit (WPC, 1890 to c.1910);

the 1902 "National" Football League and the World Series of Professional Football (WSF, 1902–1903);

the Ohio Independent Championship (OIC, 1903–1919);

the New York Pro Football League (NYPFL, 1916–1919);

the American Professional Football Association and the National Football League (NFL, 1920–present);

the All-America Football Conference (AAFC, 1946–1949);

the American Football League (AFL, 1960–1969);

the World Football League (WFL, 1974–1975);

the United States Football League (USFL, 1983–85);

the XFL (2001);

the United Football League (2009–2011);

and any interleague challenge games that included at least one champion of a major or borderline-major league.Prior to 1920, no national professional football league existed, and play was scattered across semi-pro and professional leagues in the upper midwest. The first efforts at pro football championships were the World Series of Professional Football, featuring teams from and around New York City and the 1902 "National" Football League in Pennsylvania; two of the three "N"FL teams participated as one team in the World Series of Pro Football.

The Ohio League and New York Pro Football League were two prominent regional associations in the 1910s (the NYPFL held an actual championship game in 1919). In 1920, teams from the Ohio League and New York Pro Football League, along with other midwestern teams, formalized into the American Professional Football Association (APFA), and the league was later renamed the National Football League (NFL). The NFL conducted play for thirteen years before creating a "championship game". From 1920 through 1932, league "champions" were determined by won-loss record, but the schedules and rules were so ill-defined that conflicts exist to this day over who the actual champions were.

Some teams played more games than others; some played against college or semi-pro teams; some played after the season was over, some stopped play before a season was over. For example, in 1921, the Buffalo All-Americans disputed the Chicago Staleys' title, and in 1925, the Pottsville Maroons claimed the championship was theirs, not the Chicago Cardinals'.

The APFA had no championship games before it changed its name to the NFL in 1922. Boston/Washington Redskins owner George Preston Marshall is credited with significant innovations by the NFL: in 1933, Marshall convinced the NFL to play a championship game between the two division winners following the success of the 1932 playoff game. Thus, 1933 was the year of the first national professional football championship game in the United States. See National Football League championships.

Game scores marked with a † (1921 and 1932) were not official championship games, but were the deciding games in determining a championship and also the last games played in a season.

All games are listed under the year in which the majority of regular season games were played; especially since the 1960s, many championship games have been played in the January or, since 2002, February of the following year (for instance, the championship of the 2011 NFL season is played in February 2012, but will be listed in this list under 2011).

Washington Palace Five

The Washington Palace Five (also known as the Laundrymen) were an American basketball team based in Washington, D.C. that was a member of the American Basketball League. The team was owned by George Preston Marshall, who later brought the Washington Redskins football team to D.C. The team was sponsored by Palace Laundry, a chain of laundries—thus, the team's nickname.The team played at the Arcade, a large amusement center located at the corner of 14th and Irving Streets NW, where the DC USA shopping center is currently located. Along with the basketball team, the facility hosted a 4,000 seat arena, skating, movie screens, bowling, and more.During the 1927–28 season, they dropped out of the league on January 2, 1928 and were replaced by the Brooklyn Visitations.

Quarterbacks
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Wide receivers /
ends
Tight ends
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linemen
Pre-modern era
two-way players
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linemen
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