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1921 Chicago Staleys season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1921 Chicago Staleys season
Head coachGeorge Halas
Home fieldStaley Field, Cubs Park
Results
Record10–1–1 Overall
9–1–1 APFA
League place1st APFA

The 1921 Chicago Staleys season was their second regular season completed in the young American Professional Football Association. The team improved on their 10–1–2 record from 1920 to a 9–1–1 record under head coach/player George Halas earning them a first-place finish in the team standings and their first league championship. The beginning of the season saw A.E. Staley turn over the team to Halas and Dutch Sternaman, who moved the team to Chicago. The team name was changed from the Decatur Staleys to the Chicago Staleys due to a contract between Staley and Halas. The Staleys were quite dominant, but all of Chicago's games were played at home (including one game in Decatur). Two games were against the Buffalo All-Americans; the first, played on Thanksgiving, was won by Buffalo 7–6, giving the Staleys their only loss of the season.

Ed "Dutch" Sternaman and George Halas starred again, with newcomer Gaylord Stinchcomb also contributing. Sternaman scored 32 points, most by kicking, and threw one touchdown pass. Halas had 3 TD receptions while Stinchcomb led the team with 4 touchdown runs.

De facto championship game

The All-Americans agreed to rematch the Staleys on December 4 on the condition that the game would be considered a "post-season" exhibition game not to be counted in the standings; had it not, Buffalo would have had an undefeated season and won the title. (Buffalo had played, and defeated, the Akron Pros just one day prior.) Chicago defeated Buffalo in the rematch by a score of 10–7. Halas rebutted that the second game was played on December 4 (well before teams typically stopped playing games in those days), and the Staleys played two more games against top opponents, the Canton Bulldogs and Chicago Cardinals after the second Buffalo game (though, at the time of the Buffalo-Chicago matchup, Chicago had played three fewer games than Buffalo).

The league counted the All-Americans game in the standings, against Buffalo's wishes, resulting in Buffalo (9–1–2) and Chicago (9–1–1) being tied atop the standings. The league then implemented the first ever tiebreaker: a rule, now considered archaic and removed from league rulebooks, that states that if two teams play multiple times in a season, the last game between the two teams carries more weight. Thus, the Chicago victory actually counted more in the standings, giving Chicago the championship. Buffalo sports fans have been known to refer to this, justly or unjustly, as the "Staley Swindle."

Future Hall of Fame players

Other leading players

Departed players from 1920

Schedule

Date Opponent Location Result Score Record Attendance
Sunday, Oct 2 Waukegan Legion Staley Field Win 35–0 1-0
Monday, Oct 10 Rock Island Independents Staley Field Win 14–10 2–0 5,000
Sunday, Oct. 16 Rochester Jeffersons Cubs Park Win 16–13 3–0 8,000
Sunday, Oct. 23 Dayton Triangles Cubs Park Win 7–0 4–0 8,000
Sunday, Nov 6 Detroit Tigers Cubs Park Win 20–9 5–0 6,000
Sunday, Nov. 13 Rock Island Independents Cubs Park Win 3–0 6–0 4,000
Sunday, Nov 20 Cleveland Indians Cubs Park Win 22–7 7–0 10,000
Thursday, Nov 24 Buffalo All-Americans Cubs Park Loss 7–6 7–1
Sunday, Nov 27 Green Bay Packers Cubs Park Win 20–0 8–1 7,000
Sunday, Dec 4 Buffalo All-Americans Cubs Park Win 10–7 9–1 12,000
Sunday, Dec. 11 Canton Bulldogs Cubs Park Win 10–0 10–1 3,000
Sunday, Dec 18 Chicago Cardinals Cubs Park Tie 0–0 10–1–1 2,000
  • Game in italics was against a non-league opponent

Standings

APFA standings
W L T PCT PF PA STK
Chicago Staleys 9 1 1 .900 128 53 T1
Buffalo All-Americans 9 1 2 .900 211 29 L1
Akron Pros 8 3 1 .727 148 31 W1
Canton Bulldogs 5 2 3 .714 106 55 W1
Rock Island Independents 4 2 1 .667 65 30 L1
Evansville Crimson Giants 3 2 0 .600 89 46 W1
Green Bay Packers 3 2 1 .600 70 55 L1
Dayton Triangles 4 4 1 .500 96 67 L1
Chicago Cardinals 3 3 2 .500 54 53 T1
Rochester Jeffersons 2 3 0 .400 85 76 W2
Cleveland Indians 3 5 0 .375 95 58 L1
Washington Senators 1 2 0 .334 21 43 L1
Cincinnati Celts 1 3 0 .250 14 117 L2
Hammond Pros 1 3 1 .250 17 45 L2
Minneapolis Marines 1 3 0 .250 37 41 L1
Detroit Tigers 1 5 1 .167 19 109 L5
Columbus Panhandles 1 8 0 .111 47 222 W1
Tonawanda Kardex 0 1 0 .000 0 45 L1
Muncie Flyers 0 2 0 .000 0 28 L2
Louisville Brecks 0 2 0 .000 0 27 L2
New York Brickley Giants 0 2 0 .000 0 72 L2

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Awards

References

Preceded by
Akron Pros
1920
NFL Champion
1921
Succeeded by
Canton Bulldogs
1922
This page was last edited on 28 December 2019, at 13:43
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