Learn About Ohio’s Football Roots

Ohio Football


When the NFL kicks off its centennial year in 2020 it’s honoring the 13 towns that had the first league teams in 1920. Five of those towns are in Ohio, including Dayton near Kettering. We’re proud of Ohio’s football legacy and want to share that history with you. Take a look at Ohio’s football roots with Bob Ross Buick GMC.

Ohio’s 1920 Football Teams

When the NFL — originally named the American Professional Football Association — formed in 1920, five of the first 13 teams were based in Ohio:

  • Akron Pros
  • Canton Bulldogs
  • Cleveland Tigers
  • Columbus Panhandles
  • Dayton Triangles

Fun Ohio Football Facts

That first season was full of historic moments every Ohio football fan should know. If nothing else they’ll make you a ringer on your trivia team. Take a look at some of these NFL firsts and follies that happened with Ohio football teams:

  • The Akron Pros were the first NFL (APFA) champions, and they did it without winning a championship game. The championship game with the Buffalo All-Americans was a scoreless tie, but the win was given to the Pros because they had a better season record.
  • The prize for the championship game was called the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Cup.
  • Fritz Pollard led the Akron Pros. He was also the first Black player and coach in the league. Of course, he’s in the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.
  • The Canton Bulldogs were the first team to hold the record for the longest winning streak, with 25 games. Three of them were ties.
  • Jim Thorpe, the first Native American to win Olympic gold, was a member of the Canton Bulldogs. He was also the league’s first president.
  • Jim Thorpe founded the Oorang Indians in LaRue, Ohio, an all Native American team.
  • The Cleveland Tigers only scored two touchdowns in that first season.
  • The first league game was between the Columbus Panhandles and Dayton Triangles on October 2, 1920 at Triangle Park in Dayton. The Dayton Triangles won 14-0.
  • The Columbus Panhandles changed their name to the Tigers, but it didn’t help their luck. They disbanded after eight seasons.

Let Bob Ross Buick GMC Be Your Local Guide!

We love Ohio and want to share our favorite parts from Springboro to Bellbrook with you. Check our Centerville guide for more Ohio history and fun.

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85 Loop Rd. Centerville, OH

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