There Used To Be An NFL Football Team In Tonawanda
I know, this sounds insane, right? An NFL football team in Tonawanda, NY.
But it's true!
There was an NFL team based in Tonawanda, NY called the Tonawanda Kardex, or Tonawanda Kardex Lumberman. Kardex was the name of a company founded in 1898.
The NFL's first season was in 1921, after its predecessor, the American Professional Football Association was the pro league name before that (until 1920).
The "All-Tonawanda Lumberjacks" began play in 1916 and played at the Tonawanda High School Field. By 1921, they were known as the Tonawanda Kardex, also their final season, but more about that in a bit.
They went 7-1 in 1920 against both independent teams and teams part of the Professional Football Association, before the NFL came into existence.
The Tonawanda team ended up being brought in with the Minneapolis Marines, Evansville Crimson Giants and get this, the Green Bay Packers!
The team intended playing every game on the road.
The sad part, however, is that Tonawanda only played one game in the NFL -- a 45-0 blowout loss to the Rochester Jeffersons. The worst loss in the team's apparent five year history, since there are no records of the team playing after 1921.
Apparently, they had a tough time scheduling games and, by the looks of it, faded away. In total, 13 of the 21 teams in the NFL's 1921 season finished play.
Tonawanda's team is the shortest stint in NFL history, to this day.
Another fun fact -- the Tonawanda pro football team played against Rochester on Thanksgiving Day in 1920 and won (what was then, the American Professional Football League, which turned into the NFL next season). It was the first ever year of the Thanksgiving pro football tradition.
What's even crazier, if you compared Tonawanda and North Tonawanda to Green Bay, both cities were close in population. Who knows, Tonawanda could have been the Green Bay Packers and we probably never get the Buffalo Bills.
How cool is all this!? I had no idea!!
Here are some other former NFL teams that no longer exist.