- 1936 American Football League season
The 1936 American Football League season is the first season of the second American Football League, the formation of which was announced by
Harry March, former personnel director of the NFL's New York Giants, on December 15 1935. Fifteen cities bid for charter franchises; on April 11 1936, franchises were awarded to eight cities: Boston, Cleveland, Jersey City, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, and Syracuse. [Bob Carroll, Michael Gershman, David Neft, and John Thorn, "Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League" (HarperCollins 1999) ISBN 0-060-39232-0] By mid-summer, Jersey City, Philadelphia, and Providence withdrew; soon afterwards, Rochester was given a franchise, only to have it relocated to Brooklyn, despite the lack of availability of a home stadium at the time. [Bob Carroll, Michael Gershman, David Neft, and John Thorn, "Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League" (HarperCollins 1999) ISBN 0-060-39232-0]
The league began its existence by raiding NFL rosters for its players, [George Gipe, "The Great American Sports Book" (Doubleday 1978) ISBN 0-385-13091-0] with a new New York Yankees team signing members of the
New York Giants, the Cleveland Ramstaking Chicago Bearsstar Damon Wetzelas their coach, and the Pittsburgh Americanssnaring members of the crosstown Pirates. On the other hand, eventual AFL champions Boston Shamrocks pretty much ignored the roster of the crosstown Boston Redskins, while the Brooklyn Tigers and Syracuse Bravesopted for "home grown" talent. [George Gipe, "The Great American Sports Book" (Doubleday 1978) ISBN 0-385-13091-0]
The race to the 1936 AFL championship quickly narrowed down to three teams (Boston, Cleveland, and New York) as the Syracuse team was moved to Rochester after a deafening lack of fan support while it lost every game. The former Syracuse Braves became the Rochester Braves in early October 1936 — and folded after their game on
November 1. Two weeks later, the Brooklyn Tigers moved to Rochester and became the Rochester Tigers. [ [http://www.billsbackers.com/1936.htm History of Football in Western New York] ] The two Rochester teams finished in the bottom of the league standings.
In contrast to the following year, the majority of the AFL had winning records in 1936 (the two Rochester teams had one win combined). The Pittsburgh Americans finished with a 3-2-1 record despite averaging only 2500 fans in the
Forbes Fieldstands; the Boston Shamrocks (8-3-0) won the title by defeating both the Cleveland Rams (5-2-2) and the New York Yankees (5-3-2) in the season's final weeks.
1936 NFL season
1936 Cleveland Rams season
1937 American Football League season
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