Probably the thing I enjoy most about electric football is painting figures and creating displays. I especially enjoy painting figures and teams from the defunct professional leagues that have challenged the NFL for the market and fan base of professional football.
Featured here are some Wooden Plaque Displays featuring the major professional football leagues that challenged the NFL prior to the 1960 American Football League. The figures used are custom painted Munro figures.
The first American Football League was formed in 1926 out of a response to the controversial ending of the NFL’s 1925 season and a ruling by the NFL to disallow a franchise application by C. C. Pyle for a team in New York in direct competition with the New York Giants. Teams were the Boston Bulldogs, Brooklyn Horsemen, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Panthers, Los Angeles Wildcats, Newark Bears, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Quakers, and Rock Island Independents. The League lasted only one season and the Quakers won the one and only Championship.
The next League to Challenge the NFL was the second American Football League and played for 2 seasons in 1936 and 1937. Teams were from Boston, Brooklyn (later Rochester), Cleveland, , New York, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Cincinnati and Los Angeles.
A third American Football League played in 1940 and 1941. America’s entry into WW II is the reason this league did not survive. Teams where located in Boston, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Columbus, Milwaukee and New York. The Columbus Bullies won both Championships.
The All-America Football Conference (AAFC) began play in 1946 and lasted for 4 years. It came at a time when many soldiers were returning from service in WWII and many had played on service teams. The 1946 teams were located in New York, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Miami (moved to Baltimore in 1947), Cleveland, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Baltimore, Cleveland and San Francisco merged into the NFL for the 1950 season. The Cleveland Browns were by far the best team in the league, winning all four Championships and probably the reason the league folded due to their dominance. They continued that dominance by winning their first NFL game against the reigning league champion Philadelphia Eagles and then beating the Los Angeles Rams for the 1950 NFL Championship. They appeared in every NFL Championship game for the next 5 years, winning twice more.