1920 Rochester Jeffersons season

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1920 Rochester Jeffersons season
Head coach Jack Forsyth
General manager Leo Lyons[1]
Owner Leo Lyons[2]
Home field Baseball Park
Results
Record 6–3–2
Division place 6th APFA
Playoff finish No playoffs in APFA
Timeline
Previous season Next season
1919 1921

The 1920 Rochester Jeffersons season was the franchise's inaugural season in the American Professional Football Association (APFA) and thirteenth as an American football team. The Jeffersons entered 1920 coming off a six-win, two-loss, two-tie (6–2–2) record in the New York Pro Football League (NYPFL) where it lose the championship game to the Buffalo Prospects. Several representatives from another professional football league, the Ohio League, wanted to form a new national league, and thus the APFA was created.

Ownership, roster, and coaching nearly stayed the same for the 1920 season. The team opened the season with a 10–0 victory over the non-APFA All-Buffalo. The only time the Jeffersons played a game against an APFA team was week six, when they lost to the Buffalo All-Americans. The team ended with a 6–3–2 record, which was good enough for them to finish sixth place in the final standings. The sportswriter Bruce Copeland compiled the 1920 All-Pro list, but no players from the Jeffersonss were on it. As of 2012, no player from the 1920 Rochester Jeffersons has been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Offseason[edit]

The Rochester Jeffersons finished 6–2–1 in their 1919 season.[3] It lost the NYPFL championship to the Buffalo All-Americans.[4] After the 1919 season, representatives of four Ohio League teams—the Canton Bulldogs, the Cleveland Tigers, the Dayton Triangles, and the Akron Pros—called a meeting on August 20, 1920 to discuss the formation of a new league. At the meeting, they tentatively agreed on a salary cap and pledged not to sign college players or players already under contract with other teams. They also agreed on a name for the circuit: the American Professional Football Conference.[5][6] They then invited other professional teams to a second meeting on September 17.

At that meeting, held at Bulldogs owner Ralph Hay's Hupmobile showroom in Canton, representatives of the Rock Island Independents, the Muncie Flyers, the Decatur Staleys, the Racine Cardinals, the Massillon Tigers, the Chicago Cardinals, and the Hammond Pros agreed to join the league. Representatives of the All-Americans and Rochester Jeffersons could not attend the meeting, but sent letters to Hay asking to be included in the league.[7] Team representatives changed the league's name slightly to the American Professional Football Association and elected officers, installing Jim Thorpe as president.[7][8][9] Under the new league structure, teams created their schedules dynamically as the season progressed, so there were no minimum or maximum number of games needed to be played.[10][11] Also, representatives of each team voted to determine the winner of the APFA trophy.[12]

Schedule[edit]

1920 Rochester Jeffersons schedule[13][14]
Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance Record
1 No game scheduled
2 October 3, 1920 vs. All-Buffalodagger 10–0 W Baseball Park 2,000 1–0
3 October 10, 1920 vs. Fort Porterdagger 66–0 W Baseball Park N/A 2–0
4 October 17, 1920 vs. Utica Knights of Columbusdagger 0–0 T Baseball Park/Canisius Field[A] N/A 2–0–1
5 October 24, 1920 vs. Syracuse Starsdagger 21–7 W Baseball Park N/A 3–0–1
6 October 31, 1920 at Buffalo All-Americans 17–6 L Canisius Field 7,500 3–1–1
7 November 7, 1920 vs. Utica Knights of Columbusdagger 27–7 W Baseball Park N/A 4–1–1
8 November 14, 1920 vs. All-Tonawanda Lumberjacksdagger 6–0 L Baseball Park N/A 4–2–1
9 November 21, 1920 vs. Rochester Scalpersdagger 16–0 W Baseball Park N/A 5–2–1
10 November 25, 1920 vs. All-Tonawanda Lumberjacksdagger 14–3 L Baseball Park 2,500 5–3–1
November 28, 1920 vs. Rochester Scalpersdagger 7–6 W Baseball Park N/A 6–3–1
11 December 5, 1920 vs. Rochester Scalpersdagger 0–0 T Exposition Park N/A 6–3–2
12 No game scheduled
13 No game scheduled
A dagger (dagger) indicates teams not affiliated with the APFA.

Standings[edit]

1920 APFA standings[15]
W L T PCT DIV PF PA STK
Akron Prosdagger 8 0 3 1.000 6–0–3 151 7 T2
Decatur Staleys 10 1 2 .909 5–1–2 164 21 T1
Buffalo All-Americans 9 1 1 .900 4–1–1 258 32 T1
Chicago Cardinals 6 2 2 .750 3–2–2 101 29 T1
Rock Island Independents 6 2 2 .750 4–2–1 201 49 W1
Dayton Triangles 5 2 2 .714 4–2–2 150 54 L1
Rochester Jeffersons 6 3 2 .667 0–1 156 57 T1
Canton Bulldogs 7 4 2 .636 4–3–1 208 57 W1
Detroit Heralds 2 3 3 .400 1–3 53 82 T2
Cleveland Tigers 2 4 2 .333 1–4–2 28 46 L1
Chicago Tigers 2 5 1 .286 1–5–1 49 63 W1
Hammond Pros 2 5 0 .286 0–3 41 154 L3
Columbus Panhandles 2 6 2 .250 0–4 41 121 W1
Muncie Flyers 0 1 0 .000 0–1 0 45 L1

  dagger  Awarded the Brunswick-Balke Collender Cup and named APFA Champions.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Western New York Committee 2007, p. 1
  2. ^ Quirk & Fort 1997, p. 430
  3. ^ "1919 Rochester Jeffersons". The Pro Football Archives. Maher Sports Media. Retrieved October 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ Crippen 2001, p. 3
  5. ^ PFRA Research 1980, pp. 3–4
  6. ^ Siwoff, Zimmber & Marini 2010, pp. 352–353
  7. ^ a b PFRA Research 1980, p. 4
  8. ^ "Thorpe Made President" (PDF). The New York Times. September 19, 1920. 
  9. ^ "Organize Pro Gridders; Choose Thorpe, Prexy". The Milwaukee Journal. September 19, 1920. p. 24. 
  10. ^ Peterson 1997, p. 74
  11. ^ Davis 2005, p. 59
  12. ^ Price, Mark (April 25, 2011). "Searching for Lost Trophy". Akron Beacon-Journal. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  13. ^ NFL History 2003, pp. 1–7
  14. ^ Western New York Committee 2007, pp. 2–9
  15. ^ "NFL – 1920 Regular Season". National Football League. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Akron Pros Buffalo All-Americans Canton Bulldogs Racine Cardinals
Chicago Tigers Cleveland Tigers Columbus Panhandles Dayton Triangles
Decatur Staleys Detroit Heralds Hammond Pros Muncie Flyers
Rochester Jeffersons Rock Island Independents