Today In NFL History – October 3 (98 years ago was the FIRST NFL game)

The Dayton Triangles beat the Columbus Panhandles 14-0. And the Rock Island Independents beat Muncie Flyers 45-0 in the first ever NFL (then American Pro Football Association) games.

The game kicked off at Dayton’s Triangle Park in Ohio on Oct. 3, 1920.

Four thousand people paid $1.75 for admission and players were paid $50 each.

Three factories founded by Dayton industrialists Edward Deeds and Charles Kettering sponsored the team first.

A story in the morning newspaper at the time touted the gridiron skills of the hometown team before the game: “Everyone knows that the passing game is one of the strong points of the Triangle team.”

 The front page of the Oct. 3, 1920 Dayton Daily News gave a preview of the first professional football game held photo

Lou Partlow, the Triangles running back, scored the first touchdown in that game and was known for his unusual and intense conditioning methods.

To stay fit he ran through the woods bordering the Great Miami River leaping over roots and occasionally ramming his shoulder into a tree, a primitive and immovable form of blocking sled.

“The old favorites were on the job every minute. The spectacular work of Bacon, the usual ground gaining of Partlow, the squirming of Norb Sacksteder, the generalship of Mahrt, the speed and tackling of Fenner, Thiele and Reese, the defense of Kinderdine and the sturdy holding of the various athletes who were in at guard and tackle made the opening play of the season something nifty for the fans to watch.

“But it was more than a victory which tickled the folks, Sunday. The all-around work of the Triangles was excellent.”

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