Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The First NFL Thanksgiving Day Game

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
Most will recognize the name Jim Thorpe, he was an early-20th Century sports figure who made a name playing professional football and baseball and lets not forget his 2 Gold medals in the 1912 Olympics. He made great strides for the Native American movement in professional sports spending most of his time playing for the Canton Bulldogs in the NFL and the for the New York Giants in the MLB and he even played also among the first inductees in to the NFL Hall of Fame when it opened in 1963.

Most people probably will not recognize the name Fritz Pollard though. Fredrick “Fritz” Pollard, along with Bobby Marshall, became the first African-American player in the NFL. He later went on to become the first African-American coach in the NFL. He was also part of the success of the 1920 Akron Pros who went undefeated and won the NFL Championship. He was eventually enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame in 2005.

I decided to create a card containing both Jim Thorpe and Fritz Pollard because of their connection together. One was among the first African-American players in the NFL and the other was among the first Native American players in the NFL. Both players were dominant during their playing days and they met to play in the first NFL Thanksgiving Day game. It was November 25th, 1920, 91 years ago today, and the game ended in a 7-0 win for Pollard and the Akron Pros on their home field League Park.

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