Fort Wayne Friars Independent AAA Football 1920


DateHome TeamAway Team
Regular Season
03.10.1920Fort Wayne Friars 0Cincinnati Celts (OH)6
10.10.1920Fort Wayne Friars1Dayton Counting Scales (OH)0 #
17.10.1920Fort Wayne Friars14Columbus Panhandles (OH)0
24.10.1920Fort Wayne Friars1Cleveland Panthers (OH)0 #
31.10.1920Fort Wayne Friars0Lansing Oldsmobiles (MICH)0
11.1920Fort Wayne Friars0Detroit Heralds (MICH)0
11.1920Fort Wayne Friars7Pitcairn Quakers (PA)0
Championship Game
11.1920Fort Wayne Friars6Notre Dame Fighting Irish Freshmen18
Fort Wayne Friars Independent AAA Football 1920 [References: 1]

Note: Teams in Italics played in the American Professional Football Association in 1920. The APFA changed its name to the National Football League in 1922.


While the National Football League had just started up in 1920 (as the American Professional Football Association), the country was in the midst of war inflation as a hangover from World War I, as well as the imposition of the abolition on alcohol which affected many sports teams as they relied on sponsorship from the brewing companies.

Fort Wayne Friars in Indiana decided to combat this by playing a home-only schedule and take on all-comers, thus saving money. They lost their first game 0-6 to the Cincinnati Celts, one of four Ohio teams they had scheduled to play in October. The next game against Dayton Computing Scales was forfeited by the Dayton team, as did the Friars fourth opponent Cleveland Panthers.

In between the Friars defeated Columbus Panandles, an APFA team (the name of the NFL from 1920 to 1921), before then embarking on a series of matches against Michigan teams, tying with both Lansing Oldsmobiles and Detroit Heralds (another APFA team) 0-0. The Friars finished off the season undefeated by triumphing 7-0 against the Pitcairn Quakers from Pennsylvania.

After the season a match was arranged with Knute Rockne’s Notre Dame Fighting Irish, although on the day the match was arranged the Fighting Irish were playing Michigan Aggies, so the Fighting Irish sent their Freshmen team, which came from 6-0 down to defeat the Fort Wayne Friars, in a post-season Championship Game of sorts. The Fort Wayne Friars finished the season 4-2-2 including two forfeit wins, and the post-season game with the Fighting Irish Freshmen.



[1] Emil Klosinski, The Coffin Corner Vol. 14 No. 3, Pro Football Researchers Association (1992) Inflation of 1920; A Tale of Two Cities – [Internet] Available from:  [Accessed 18 September 2020]


Thanks to Rose McCabe, Ann Hanley, Gabriel McCloyne, Peter Lemass, Ciaran Simms, Gerry Tully.

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 18 September 2020

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2020

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