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The Beginning of the NFL 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 APFC 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 Islands 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
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