Today we discover…The History…Of Pro Football!
Volume One – A League Crawls From Its Mother’s Bloody Womb
So there was this place called America, and they just had, like a Civil War or something, so everyone was kinda bummed out. And global trade wasn’t what it is today, so nobody had any pot to smoke. Eveveryone felt pretty shitty. A lot of dudes were playing soccer and rugby, but those both kinda sucked. Then some really smart people mushed them together and made this other sport, and they called it football. It was rad. Soon after, team owners were paying money to get the best players on their teams, probably since old cigars and moustache-laden BJs only seemed to influence the wealthy industrials of the day. The first documented professional footbal player was Pudge Heffelfinger. In 1892, he was paid $500 for one game, which is like 15,000 lap dances when adjusting for inflation.
So pro football was born out of the industrial pockets in Ohio. Or Pennsylvania. One of those two. Anyway, the first football players were usually descendants of rich industrialists, and were considered spoiled by general members of society. The football used was usually rounder than today’s pigskin, and there was no forward pass.
The game, by all accounts, was in its infantile stages, and the athletes of the day did not enjoy the status of their counterparts today. Most players lost out on their towns’ quality tail to those on local baseball teams, and could only score decent premarital nookie through extensive social connections and town whores. You know, like the rest of us. Players like Georgie Hattefield didn’t ever wear hard protective gear. They also pioneered social innovations such as treating women without dignity or respect, and imbibing in alcohol and general lewdness after games.
The game began to grow around the turn of the century, and franchises began to take hold in the enormous metropolitan citites like Canton, Dayton, and Massillon. The game became more specialized, and outside coaching became an emerging trend. Massillon coach Mickey Copernicus (highlighted) led the Tigers to a 4-0-1 record in 1899. Copernicus was an ardent student of the game, and would often be found by himself in prolonged study at the local library. Mickey would leave football in 1901 to fight in the Spanish-American war, and become a combat vet.
In 1920, the American Professional Football Association
was formed. This precursor to the NFL was formed standardize rules for member teams. As the season progressed, teams out of contention disbanded. The league changed its name to the “Eastern American Federation Of Ellipsoid Tossers,” then re-changed it to the “United States Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat League,” before finally settling on “National Football League.”
The most popular player of the 1920s was Harold “Red Ass” Grange, who was also a hugely popular college player at…somewhere. His inspiring play attracted huge crowds and was said to give opponents “the red ass,” thus the moniker. When Grange joined the NFL with the Chicago Bears in 1925, the prissy outfit shortened Grange’s nickname to “Red.” Grange retired from football in 1928 during a contract dispute while filming his silent movie, “The Figuratively Unsanitary Group Consisting of Twelve Persons.” He never played again.