Major League Football 1920

APFA (NFL) 1920

PNFLAAARegularAll Games
*Akron Pros115-0-12-0-07-0-18-0-3
*Decatur Staleys132-1-14-0-06-1-110-1-2
*Buffalo All-Americans113-1-05-0-08-1-09-1-1
*Chicago Cardinals103-1-13-0-06-1-16-2-2
Rock Island Independents103-2-02-0-15-2-16-2-2
Dayton Triangles102-3-21-0-03-3-25-3-2
Rochester Jeffersons110-1-05-1-15-2-16-3-2
*Canton Bulldogs136-1-11-0-07-1-17-4-2
Detroit Heralds81-2-11-0-12-2-22-3-3
Cleveland Tigers91-5-20-0-01-5-22-5-2
Chicago Tigers82-4-10-0-02-4-12-5-1
Hammond Pros72-5-00-0-02-5-02-5-0
Columbus Panhandles100-4-00-2-00-6-02-6-2
Muncie Flyers62-1-01-0-02-1-05-1-0
American Professional Football Association 1920 [Reference: Compiled from 1-32]

Note: *Qualify for Playoffs

Independent (AAA) Teams

PAAANFLRegularAll Games
Mid-Western Circuit
Minneapolis Marines +0-0-00-1-05-1-25-1-2
Fort Wayne Friars1-2-11-0-14-2-24-2-2
Chicago Pullman Thorns0-0-00-1-00-1-00-1-0
Lansing Oldsmobiles0-0-10-1-10-1-20-1-2
Youngstown Patricians1-1-01-0-02-1-03-1-0
Cincinnati Celts +0-1-00-3-00-4-00-4-0
Cleveland Panthers0-2-00-2-00-2-00-4-0
Toledo Maroons +1-0-00-3-01-3-01-3-0
Moline Athletics/Tractors0-0-00-2-00-2-00-2-0
Rockford AC0-0-00-1-00-1-00-1-0
Kewanee Walworths0-0-00-1-00-1-00-1-0
Wheeling Stogies0-0-00-1-00-1-00-1-0
Eastern Circuit
All-Tonawanda Lumberjacks3-1-01-1-06-1-07-1-0
Rochester Scalpers0-0-00-2-00-2-00-2-1
Utica Knights of Columbus0-0-00-1-10-1-10-1-1
Syracuse Stars0-0-00-1-00-1-00-1-0
Pitcairn Quakers0-2-00-1-00-3-00-3-0
McKeesport Olympics0-0-00-1-00-1-00-1-0
West Buffalo0-1-00-1-00-2-00-2-0
Independent Pro Football 1920 [Reference: Compiled from 1-32]

Minor League Teams

PNFLAAARegularAll Games
Mid-Western Minor Teams
Thorn Tornadoes0-0-1
Detroit Maroons0-1-1
Chicago Stayms0-0-1
St. Edwards Saints0-1-0
St. Paul’s Ideals0-1-0
Akron Independents1-0-0
Indiana Minor Circuit
Muncie Tigers0-1-09-0-09-2-0
Gas City Tigers0-2-09-0-09-2-0
Muncie Offers More AC0-1-0
Ohio Valley Minor Teams
Evansville Ex-Collegians4-1-0
Jasper Independents0-1-0
Goldsberg AA Louisville0-1-0
Paducah All-Stars1-0-0
Eastern Minor Teams
Fort Porter0-1-00-1-0
Phoenixville Union AA0-1-0
New Haven Washington Glees0-1-0
College Teams
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Freshmen1-0-0
Pittsburgh All-Collegians0-1-0
Minor League Semi-Pro Football 1920 [Reference: Compiled from 1-32]

City Championships

DateHome TeamAway Team
City Championships
21.11.1920Youngstown Patricians10St. Edward’s Saints0
28.11.1920Muncie Flyers24Muncie Offers More AC0
05.12.1920Detroit Heralds7Detroit Maroons7
05.12.1920Rochester Jeffersons0Rochester Scalpers0
19.12.1920Chicago Stayms14Chicago Cardinals14
National Football League City Championships 1920 [Reference: Compiled from 1-32]


DateHome TeamAway Team
Round 1
04.12.1920Buffalo All-Americans7Canton Bulldogs3
05.12.1920Buffalo All-Americans0Akron Pros0
05.12.1920Decatur Staleys10Chicago Cardinals0
12.12.1920Decatur Staleys0Akron Pros0
National Football League Playoffs 1920 [Reference: Compiled from 1-32]

Note: On a vote on 21 April 1921 the APFA members gave the 1920 Championship to Akron Pros on the basis they were undefeated during the season.


DateHome TeamAway Team
Week 1Pre-Season
26.09.1920Rock Island Independents48St. Paul’s Ideals0
Week 2
03.10.1920Dayton Triangles14Columbus Panhandles0
03.10.1920Rock Island Independents45Muncie Flyers0
03.10.1920Canton Bulldogs48Pitcairn Quakers0
03.10.1920Decatur Staleys20Moline Tractors0
03.10.1920Rochester Jeffersons10All-Buffalo0
03.10.1920Akron Pros43Wheeling Stogies0
03.10.1920Buffalo All-Americans32West Buffalo0
03.10.1920Youngstown Patricians21Sharon0
03.10.1920All-Tonawanda38Cleveland Panthers0
03.10.1920Fort Wayne Friars0Cincinnati Celts6
Week 3
10.10.1920Chicago Tigers0Chicago Cardinals0
10.10.1920Rock Island Independents26Hammond Pros0
10.10.1020Akron Pros37Columbus Panhandles0
10.10.1920Dayton Triangles0Cleveland Tigers0
10.10.1920Detroit Heralds40Cleveland Panthers14
10.10.1920Canton Bulldogs42Toledo Maroons0
10.10.1920Rochester Jeffersons66Fort Porter ^0
10.10.1920Decatur Staleys27Kewanee Walworths7
10.10.1920Buffalo All-Americans51All-Buffalo0
10.10.1920Youngstown Patricians15Akron Independents14
10.10.1920Fort Wayne Friars1Dayton Counting Scales0#
Week 4
17.10.1920Moline Athletics3Chicago Cardinals33
17.10.1920Rock Island Independents0Decatur Staleys7
17.10.1920Canton Bulldogs7Cleveland Tigers0
17.10.1920Dayton Triangles44Hammond Pros0
17.10.1920Chicago Tigers12Detroit Heralds0
17.10.1920Akron Pros13Cincinnati Celts0
17.10.1920Buffalo All-Americans28McKeesport Olympics7
17.10.1920Rochester Jeffersons0Utica Knights of Columbus0
17.10.1920All-Tonawanda10Detroit Maroons0
17.10.1920Fort Wayne Friars14Columbus Panhandles0
Week 5
24.10.1920Rock Island Independents7Chicago Cardinals0
24.10.1920Chicago Tigers0Decatur Staleys10
24.10.1920Akron Pros7Cleveland Tigers0
24.10.1920Dayton Triangles20Canton Bulldogs20
24.10.1920Buffalo All-Americans38Toledo Maroons0
24.10.1920Detroit Heralds6Columbus Panhandles0
24.10.1920Rochester Jeffersons21Syracuse Stars7
24.10.1920All-Tonawanda Lumberjacks42West Buffalo0
24.10.1920Fort Wayne Friars1Cleveland Panthers0#
Week 6
31.10.1920Chicago Cardinals21Detroit Heralds0
31.10.1920Canton Bulldogs0Akron Pros10
31.10.1920Rock Island Independents20Chicago Tigers7
31.10.1920Rockford AC0Decatur Staleys29
31.10.1920Buffalo All-Americans17Rochester Jeffersons6
31.10.1920Cleveland Tigers7Columbus Panhandles0
31.10.1920Cleveland Tigers0#Muncie Flyers1
31.10.1920Detroit Armadas0Toledo Maroons10
31.10.1920All-Tonawanda Lumberjacks12Pitcairn Quakers3
31.10.1920Fort Wayne Friars0Lansing Oldsmobiles0
31.10.1920Evansville Ex-Collegians52Jasper Independents0
Week 7
07.11.1920Chicago Tigers3Chicago Cardinals6
07.11.1920Rock Island Independents0Decatur Staleys0
07.11.1920Akron ProsRDetroit HeraldsR
07.11.1920Buffalo All-Americans35All-Tonawanda Lumberjacks 0
07.11.1920Rochester Jeffersons27Utica Knights of Columbus7
07.11.1920Dayton TrianglesRMuncie FlyersR
07.11.1920Evansville Ex-Collegians1??0#
11.11.1920Champaign0Decatur Staleys20
13.11.1920Thorn Tornadoes7Rock Island Independents7
Week 8
14.11.1920Cleveland Tigers7Akron Pros7
14.11.1920Cincinnati Celts0Chicago Cardinals20
14.11.1920Minneapolis Marines0Decatur Staleys3
14.11.1920Rock Island Independents0Dayton Triangles21
14.11.1920Buffalo All-Americans43Columbus Panhandles7
14.11.1920Fort Wayne Friars0Detroit Heralds0
14.11.1920Rochester Jeffersons0All-Tonawanda Lumberjacks6
14.11.1920Youngstown PatriciansCTPitcairn QuakersCT
14.11.1920Evansville ex-Collegians23Goldberg AA Louisville0
Week 9
21.11.1920Akron Pros13Dayton Triangles0
21.11.1920Decatur Staleys28Hammond Pros7
21.11.1920Canton Bulldogs3Buffalo All-Americans0
21.11.1920Rochester Jeffersons16Rochester Sclapers0
21.11.1920Lansing Oldsmobile0Chicago Cardinals14
21.11.1920Detroit HeraldsCDetroit ArmadaC
21.11.1920Rock Island Independents48Pittsburgh All-Collegians7
21.11.1920Cleveland Tigers14Toledo Maroons0
11.1920Fort Wayne Friars7Pitcairn Quakers0
21.11.1920Youngstown Patricians10St. Edward’s Saints0
21.11.1920Evansville Ex-CollegiansW??L
25.11.1920Akron Pros7Canton Bulldogs0
25.11.1920Chicago Tigers0Decatur Staleys6
25.11.1920Dayton Triangles28Detroit Heralds0
25.11.1920Rochester Jeffersons3All-Tonawanda Lumberjacks14
25.11.1920Gas City Tigers7Muncie Flyers19
Week 10
28.11.1920Chicago Cardinals7Decatur Staleys6
28.11.1920Dayton Triangles0Akron Pros14
28.11.1920Detroit Heralds0Lansing Oldsmobiles0
28.11.1920Rock Island Independents14Chicago Pullman Thorns7
28.11.1920Buffalo All-Americans7Cleveland Panthers0
28.11.1920Youngstown Patricians2Columbus Panhandles0
28.11.1920Rochester Jeffersons7Rochester Scaplers6
28.11.1920Muncie Offers More AC0Muncie Flyers24
11.1920Fort Wayne Friars6Notre Dame Fighting Irish Freshmen18
28.11.1920Evansville Ex-Collegians0Paducah All-Stars6
Week 11Post-Season
04.12.1920Buffalo All-Americans7Canton Bulldogs3
05.12.1920Buffalo All-Americans0Akron Pros0
05.12.1920Decatur Staleys10Chicago Cardinals0
05.12.1920New Haven Washington Glees0Canton Bulldogs0
Week 11City Championships
05.12.2020Detroit Heralds7Detroit Maroons7
05.12.1920Rochester Jeffersons0Rochester Scalpers0
05.12.1920Gas City Tigers7Muncie Flyers13
Week 12Post-Season
11.12.1920Phoenixville Union AA13Canton Bulldogs7
12.12.1920Decatur Staleys0Akron Pros0
Week 13City Championships
19.12.1920Chicago Stayms14Chicago Cardinals14
Unknown Week
1920Dayton TrianglesWCincinnati CeltsL
1920Cleveland Tigers0??7
Major League Football 1920 [Reference: 1-3]


Note: R = Cancelled due to Rain. # Cancelled by the team with the (#) after its score. Considered a forfeit win for the other team by Eirball – Awarded 1-0 (#) CT = Cancelled due to train crash involving visiting Pitcairn team on way to match, no Pitcairn player was hurt. ^ Minor league Opposition thus not counted towards NFL Standings by Eirball.

Note 2: Cincinnati Celts and Minneapolis Marines joined the APFA in 1921 and the Toledo Maroons joined the NFL in 1922.

Note 3: Teams labelled Independent played matches against Official APFA teams. Teams labelled Minor League played matches against “Independents”.

Note 4: While an Official member of the APFA, Muncie Flyers failed the schedule another game after losing heavily to Rock Island Independents on the opening day of the season. Players signed on with other Indiana teams (in particular Muncie Tigers and Wabash AA) as well as APFA team Dayton Triangles. At the end of the season they scheduled three games against Gas City Tigers and Muncie Tigers who both finished the Indiana State Football season with 9-0 records, and the Flyers won all three matches claiming the Indiana State Football Championship in the process. whether their record is to be considered a 3-1 APFA half-season, or an Indiana State Championship season is open to debate. Other APFA teams (Rochester Jeffersons, Hammond Pros, Decatur Staleys, Buffalo All-Americans, Columbus Panhandles, Detroit Heralds and Chicago Cardinals) all also played more non-APFA teams than APFA teams, and other teams in the two seasons the NFL was known as the APFA played a half-schedule: Cincinnati Celts (1-3 in 1920 and 0-4 in 1921), Toledo Maroons (1-3 in 1920) and Tonawanda Kardex (0-2-1 in 1921 with one game cancelled).

Irish Players

Bertie Maher, DE, who was born in Co. Mayo, played Defensive End for the Detroit Heralds in 1920. [2][3]

Bob Nash, DE/OT, who was born in Collinstown, Ireland, Played Defensive End & Offensive Tackle for the Akron Pros in 1920 [2][7]

Allen “Pat” McGinnis, who has an Irish name, was player-manager for the Evansville Ex-Collegians in 1920

Youngstown Patricians appear to be named after St. Patrick. On the 22 November 1920, the day the Patricians defeated St. Edwards Saints for the City Championship, the Youngstown Daily Vindicator’s Front Page Headline was ” Battles in Ireland Follow Bloody Day” (Monday, November 22, 1920). They started off as the Church team in St. Patrick’s Parish, before becoming the city’s team. The team was made up of Irish, Poles and Italians, tough men who worked in the steel mills. [Reference: 45]

Cincinnati Celts are another team with an Irish name,albeit one referencing all Celts. George Roudebush was Quarterback for the Cincinnati Celts and his revolutionary use of the foward pass changed football. He remembered the Celts as a team run “by a bunch of wild Irishmen” and was 93 years old in 1988 when interviewed, with his wits still sharp, remembering dates, names nicknames, figures, events and conversations from the era, making him the oldest living NFL player at the time. [Reference: 42]


After spirallaing wages threatened to destroy the game with players continually jumping from team to team in the Ohio, Pennsylvania & New York Pro Football Circuits, looking for the best pay packet, four teams from Ohio – the Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians & Dayton Triangles, met in Canton, Ohio, to form a Pro Football League, and invited the top teams from Ohio, New York & Pennsylvania to join them in order to play under a common set of rules, and better organise finances. These states were the hotbed of Pro Football in USA, and the League they formed, the American Professional Football Association, changed its’ name for the 1922 season to the National Football League, laying the foundations for the hugely popular, and lucrative NFL of today.

In its early days, the NFL was still a Minor League, second to College Football in terms of status in the eyes of the Media & fans, and far less popular than Baseball. In 1926 it decided to consolidate the best players on the rosters of a fewer teams, reducing the league from 22 teams to 12.

Bert Maher, born in Co. Mayo, played in the first season for the Detroit Heralds. Bob Nash, played six seasons (1920-1925) for the Akron Pros, Buffalo All-Americans, Rochester J effersons & New York Giants. There was an Player-Manager for the Evansville Ex-Collegians in 1920 with an Irish name: Allen “Pat” McGinnis.

Akron Pros won the APFA Championship in 1920 after a series of games at the end of the season between four teams still with Championship aspirations – Akron, Canton Bulldogs, Decatur Staleys and Buffalo all-Americans left them the only undefeated team.

What is interesting about the early seasons of the APFA / NFL is that the teams continued to play against other Pro teams and leagues not officially connected to the NFL, with inter-locking schedules making it possible to create a “Major League Football” season record, with results from both the NFL and AFL / Independent schedules.



[1] National Football League (2014) “Past Standings | 1920-19262014 Official NFL Record & Factbook” pg. 398-399. National football League, Time Home Entertainment. 2014.

[2] The Growth of a Game (2015) The Complete List of European NFL Players [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 11 October 2019]

[3] Pro Football Archives (2019) Detroit Heralds 1920 [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 11 October 2019]

[4] Arizona Cardinals (2020) Schedule [1920] [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[5]  Marc S. Maltby, The Coffin Corner Vol. 14 No. 4, Pro Football Researchers Association (1992) Evansville 1920-1922: The Early Stuggles of Professional Football – [Internet] Available from:   [Accessed 18 September 2020]

[6] Arizona Cardinals | Wayback Machine (2009) All-Time Results [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 september 2020]

[7] Bob Carroll, The Coffin Corner Vol. 4 No. 12, Pro Football Researchers Association (1982) Akron Pros 1920 – [Internet] Available from:  Accessed 18 September 2020]

[8] Chicago Bears (2020) Schedule [1920] [Internet] available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[10] Google News: Youngsown Vindicator, October 4, 1920. Canton Trims Pitcairn Team [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[11] Google News: Youngsown Vindicator, October 11, 1920. pg. 10 Canton Stops Toledo Eleven [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[12] Google News: Youngsown Vindicator, October 11, 1920. pg. 10 Panhandles lose to Akron [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[13] Google News: Toledo News-Bee, October 18, 1920. Canton beats Cleveland [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[14] Google News: Youngstown Vindicator, October 25, 1920. pg. 11 Thorpe saves Canton Eleven with 2 Goals [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[15] Google News: Youngstown Vindicator, November 1, 1920. pg. 15 Akron Takes Canton in Great Game [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[16] Google News: Youngstown Vindicator, November 22, 1920. pg. 15 Canton Downs Buffalo Team [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[17] Google News: The Sunday Chronicle, December 5, 1920. pg. 15 Tigers tame Thorpe’s Bulldogs [Internet] Available from:,1102615&dq=canton+bulldogs&hl=en [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[18] NFL | WAyback Machine (2010) Thanksgiving serves up classic games [Internet] Available from: [accessed 19 september 2020]

[19] New York Times December 5, 1920 All-Americans win Pro Gridiron Game [Internet] Available from: [acessed 19 september 2020] [See PDF]

[20] Pro Football Archives (2020) New Haven Washington Glees [Internet] available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[21] Pro Football Archives (2020) Phoenixville Union AA [Internet] available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[22] Rochester Jeffersons (2020) 1920 Season {Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020][See PDF]

[23] Dayton Triangles (2020) Dayton APFA / NFL Summary [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[24] Dayton Triangles (2020) Dayton APFA / NFL Summary [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[25] Dayton Triangles (2020) Dayton APFA / NFL Clubs Official Games [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[26] Bills Backers | Wayback Machine (2001) History of Pro football in Western New York 1920-1939 [Internet] Available from: [accessed 19 September 2020]

[27] Sports Encyclopedia (2020) Muncie Flyers [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[28] Roy Sye, The Coffin Corner Vol. 24 No. 3, Pro Football Researchers Association (2002) Muncie Flyers 1920 – [Internet] Available from:  Accessed 18 September 2020]

[29] Google News: Toledo News-Bee, November 1, 1920 pg. 11. Brickley Boy Wins for Cleveland [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[30] Google News: Youngstown Vindicator, November 29, 1920. pg. 15 Pat’s defeat Panhandles in last game [Internet] Available from:  [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[31] Case Western Reserve University (2020) Cleveland Tigers [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[32] Google News: Youngstown Vindicator, November 15, 1920. pg. 15 Patricians defeat St. Edwards at Idora 10-0 [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[33] Detroit Free Press. October 11, 1920. p. 13. “Heralds Trim Panthers 40-14: Vogel, Cleveland Star Right Halfback, in Hospital From Injuries”

[34] Detroit Free Press. October 18, 1920. p. 11. “FLUKY KICKS GIVE CHICAGO THE GAME: Detroit Heralds Lose Hard Fought Game, 12 to 0”

[35] Detroit Free Press. October 25, 1920. p. 12. “Heralds Get Lonely Tally: Fitzgerald Intercepts Forward Pass, Runs 85 Yards to Beat Pan Handles; Local Team Plays Good Game as Do the Visitors; Big Crowd Out”

[36] Detroit Free Press. November 1, 1920. p. 15. “HERALDS BEATEN BY LARGE SCORE: Three Blocked Punts Turn Detroit Team Back”

[37] Detroit Free Press. November 15, 1920. p. 14. “Heralds Draw at Ft. Wayne”

[38] Detroit Free Press. November 29, 1920. p. 11. “No Scoring in Title Battle: Neither Lansing Nor Champion Heralds Are Able to Tally on Muddy Gridiron; Visitors Outgain Locals but Long Forward Pass Almost Beats Them”

[39]  Detroit Free Press. December 6, 1920. p. 11. “EACH ELEVEN SCORES ONCE: Heralds and Maroons Go to 7-7 Tie on Muddy Grid Sunday Afternoon”

[40] Rock Island Independents (2020) 1920 R.I. Independents [Read All About It][1920] [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 18 September 2020]

[41] Decatur Staleys (2020) Staleys [Internet] Available from: [accessed 19 September 2020]

 [42] Bob Carroll, The Coffin Corner Vol. 10 No. 4, Pro Football Researchers Association (1988) George Roudebush – [Internet] Available from:  Accessed 19 September 2020]

[43] Jim Quirk, The Coffin Corner Vol. 20 No. 1, Pro Football Researchers Association (1998) The Minneapolis Marines – Minnesota’s Forgotten NFL Team – [Internet] Available from: Accessed 19 September 2020][Also Available at: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[44] Website (2009) Toledo Maroons [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[45] Cleveland (2015) 100 Years ago, were Youngstown Patricians pro football’s world champs? (photos) [Internet] available from: [Accessed 20 September 2020]

[46] Google News: Youngsown Vindicator, October 11, 1920 pg. 10. Akron downs “Pats” in close contest [Internet] Available from: [Accessed 19 September 2020]

[47] Google News: Youngstown Vindicator, October 4, 1920. pg. 14 Sharon beaten by Patricians [Internet] Available from:  [Accessed 20 September 2020]


Thanks to Decy Maher.

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish, North American & World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 20 September 2020

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2020

You may quote this document in part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the authors. All Rights Reserved.

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