NFL HISTORY The Beginning of the N.F.L The year was 1920 and pro-football was in a state of confusion. The three main problems that led to all the confusion were, salaries rising, players jumping from team to team and the use of players still enrolled in college. So, on August 20, 1920, a group of men representing the four current pro teams met. When the day was done the American Professional Football Conference was born. The A.P.F.C.
was formed to make one governing body over pro football. Then, on September 17, 1920, a second organizational meeting was held. At the second meeting the following teams attended: the Akron Pros; Canton Bulldogs; Cleveland Ohio Indians; Dayton Ohio Triangles; Decatur Illinois Staleys Athletic Club; Hammond Indiana Pros; Massillon Tigers; Muncie Indiana Flyers; Racine [a Chicago street] Cardinals; Rochester New York Jeffersons; Rock Island Illinois Independents; and [the State of] Wisconsin. One of the first orders of business was to change the name of the American Professional Football Conference to the American Professional Football Association. The second order was to appoint a president.
So Native-American Olympic Gold Medallist Jim Thorpe was elected as league president. Other rules were made such as a membership fee of $100 per team; to be charged to give an appearance of respectability No team ever paid it. Scheduling was left up to the teams, and there were wide variations. This occurred both in the overall number of games played and in the number played against APFA member teams. Four other teams-the Buffalo All-Americans, Chicago Tigers, Columbus Panhandles, and Detroit Heralds-joined the league sometime during the year.
On September 26, the first game, which featured an APFA team was played at Rock Island’s Douglas Park. A crowd of 800 watched the Independents defeat the St. Paul Ideals 48-0. A week later, October 3, the first game matching two APFA teams was held. At Triangle Park, Dayton defeated Columbus 14-0, with Lou Partlow of Dayton scoring the first touchdown in a game between Association teams.
The same day, Rock Island defeated Muncie 45-0. At the league meeting in.