I had to read it a few times myself...but it's true!

Courtesy of Mike Bonner and Carl Lamendola, Collecting Vintage Football Cards

There was once a professionally-licensed football team that only lasted for ONE game in the NFL...and they were from Tonawanda!

The Tonawanda Kardex Lumbermen (also known as the Tonawanda Lumbermen and the All-Tonawanda Lumberjacks) were active from 1916 and joined the NFL in 1921 for a brief time...a VERY brief time (more on that in a second).


The team played home games at Tonawanda High School, garnering sometimes as many as 3,500 fans!  Lead by head coach Walter "Tam" Rose, the team beat the Rochester Jeffersons in a state championship game, and went on the make state playoffs in 1919, losing the semifinals to the Buffalo Prospects, who later took home the title.

In 1920, the then "All-Tonawanda Lumberjacks" had a 7-1 record against two American Professional Football Association teams (the predecessor to the NFL).  After officially joining the NFL in 1921, their sole away game was the first -- and last -- game they played.

That game was November 6, 1921 in Rochester against the Rochester Jeffersons.  It was the worst game in the team's history...a 45-0 blowout in front of 2,700 fans.  The team folded after that, in part due to trouble scheduling games with a lack of opponents.  Plus, the NFL's hefty franchise fee of $1,000 (increased from $50 in 1922...today, it's closer to hundreds of MILLIONS of dollars) made it too hard for them to play a second NFL season.

While the NFL team is no more, the "Lumberjacks" name lives on as the mascot of North Tonawanda High School.

And now you know.