1925 NFL season

Last updated

1925 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 20 – December 20, 1925
A controversial ruling by the NFL suspended the Pottsville Maroons from all league privileges, including the right to play for the NFL championship.
Champions Chicago Cardinals

The 1925 NFL season was the sixth regular season of the National Football League. Five new teams entered the league: New York Giants, Detroit Panthers, Pottsville Maroons, Providence Steam Roller, and a new Canton Bulldogs team. The Kenosha Maroons folded, with the Racine Legion and Minneapolis Marines mothballing.

National Football League Professional American football league

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is usually held in the first Sunday in February, and is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

New York Giants National Football League franchise in East Rutherford, New Jersey

The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in the New York metropolitan area. The Giants compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. The team plays its home games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which it shares with the New York Jets in a unique arrangement. The Giants hold their summer training camp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.

Pottsville Maroons

The Pottsville Maroons were an American football team based in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, in the Northeastern part of the state. Founded in 1920, they played in the National Football League (NFL) from 1925 to 1928. In 1929 they relocated to Boston, where they played one season as the Boston Bulldogs.


Teams and head coaches

Twenty teams competed in the NFL during the 1925 season.

First season in NFL *Last active season ^ Last season before hiatus, rejoined league later §
Team jumped to the AFL Rejoined the NFL **
TeamHead coach(es)
Akron Pros Scotty Bierce
Buffalo Bisons Walt Koppisch
Canton Bulldogs ** Harry Robb
Chicago Bears George Halas
Chicago Cardinals Norman Barry
Cleveland Bulldogs § Cap Edwards
Columbus Tigers Red Weaver
Dayton Triangles Carl Storck
Detroit Panthers * Jimmy Conzelman
Duluth Kelleys Dewey Scanlon
Frankford Yellow Jackets Guy Chamberlin
Green Bay Packers Curly Lambeau
Hammond Pros Fritz Pollard (1 game) and Doc Young (4 games)
Kansas City Cowboys Roy Andrews
Milwaukee Badgers Johnny Bryan
New York Giants * Bob Folwell
Pottsville Maroons Dick Rauch
Providence Steam Roller * Archie Golembeski
Rochester Jeffersons ^ Tex Grigg
Rock Island Independents Rube Ursella

1925 NFL Championship controversy

Controversy surrounds who actually won the 1925 NFL Championship. Officially, the Chicago Cardinals are listed as the 1925 NFL champions because they finished with the best record; however, many Pottsville fans at the time claimed that the Maroons were the legitimate champions. The Maroons and the Cardinals were the top contenders for the title, with Pottsville winning a late-season meeting between them, 21–7. But the Maroons scheduled a game against a team of University of Notre Dame All-Stars in Philadelphia (and winning 9–7) on the same day that the Frankford Yellow Jackets were scheduled to play a game in the same city. Frankford protested, saying that it was violating their protected territory rights.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish football American college football team

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team is the intercollegiate football team representing the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. The team is currently coached by Brian Kelly and plays its home games at the campus's Notre Dame Stadium, which has a capacity of 77,622. Notre Dame is one of six schools that competes as an Independent at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Bowl Subdivision level; however, they play five games a year against opponents from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which Notre Dame is a member of in all other sports except ice hockey.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Frankford Yellow Jackets

The Frankford Yellow Jackets were a professional American football team, part of the National Football League from 1924 to 1931, though its origin dates back to as early as 1899 with the Frankford Athletic Association. The Yellow Jackets won the NFL championship in 1926. The team played its home games from 1923 in Frankford Stadium in Frankford, a section in the northeastern part of Philadelphia, noted for the subway-elevated transit line that terminates there.

Although NFL president Joe Carr warned the Maroons in writing that they faced suspension if they played in Philadelphia, the Maroons claimed that Carr approved the game during a telephone call, and played anyway. In response, Carr fined the club, suspended it from all league rights and privileges (including the right to play for the NFL championship), and returned its franchise to the league.

Joseph Carr American football executive, owner

Joseph Francis Carr was an American sports executive in American football, baseball, and basketball. He is best known as the president of the National Football League from 1921 until 1939. He was also one of the founders and president of the American Basketball League (ABL) from 1925 to 1927. He was also the promotional director for Minor League Baseball's governing body from 1933 to 1939, leading an expansion of the minor leagues from 12 to 40 leagues operating in 279 cities with 4,200 players and attendance totaling 15,500,000.

In 2003, the NFL decided to again examine the case regarding the 1925 championship. In October of that year, the NFL voted 30–2 not to reopen the case, with only Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the league's two Pennsylvania-based teams, voting in favor. Thus, the Cardinals are still listed as the 1925 NFL champions. [1]

Philadelphia Eagles National Football League franchise in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) East division. In the 2017 season the team won Super Bowl LII, their first Super Bowl win in franchise history and their fourth NFL title overall, after winning the Championship Game in 1948, 1949, and 1960.

Pittsburgh Steelers National Football League franchise in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC.

Had the current (post-1972) system of counting ties as half a win and half a loss been in place in 1925, the Maroons would have won the championship with a win percentage of .833, while the Cardinals would have finished runner-up at .821.


NFL standings
Chicago Cardinals *1121.84622965W2
Pottsville Maroons *1020.83327045W5
Detroit Panthers 822.80012939W1
New York Giants 840.66712267W1
Akron Pros 422.6676551L2
Frankford Yellow Jackets 1370.650190169W2
Chicago Bears 953.64315896W3
Rock Island Independents 533.6259958L1
Green Bay Packers 850.615151110W1
Providence Steam Roller 651.545111101L1
Canton Bulldogs 440.5005073L1
Cleveland Bulldogs 581.38575135L1
Kansas City Cowboys 251.2866597W1
Hammond Pros 140.2002387L3
Buffalo Bisons 162.14333113L4
Rochester Jeffersons 061.00026111L5
Dayton Triangles 071.000384L7
Duluth Kelleys 030.000625L3
Milwaukee Badgers 060.0007191L6
Columbus Tigers 090.00028124L9

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
* The Pottsville Maroons were suspended from the league in December, resulting in the Chicago Cardinals being named the NFL champions.

The 1925 Pottsville Maroons season was their inaugural season in the National Football League. The team finished a 10–2 league record and a 13–2 overall record. The team initially won the 1925 NFL championship, however a controversial suspension cost them the title, forcing the team to finish in second place.

The 1925 Chicago Cardinals season resulted in the Cardinals winning their first NFL championship. The 1925 championship is contested and never awarded by the NFL after the Pottsville Maroons were suspended.

All star team

NFL league president Joseph Carr chose an all-star team for 1925, including players from Red Grange's tour. [2]

Red Grange American football player

Harold Edward "Red" Grange, nicknamed "The Galloping Ghost", was an American football halfback for the University of Illinois, the Chicago Bears, and for the short-lived New York Yankees. His signing with the Bears helped legitimize the National Football League (NFL). He is a charter member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.








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  1. "Pottsville Maroons: NFL owners refuse to reconsider 1925 ruling". Archived from the original on October 21, 2009.
  2. Chris Willis (2010-08-19). The Man Who Built the National Football League: Joe F. Carr. p. 217. ISBN   9780810876705.