Los Angeles Dons
1946: With World War II complete, transcontinental travel became easier, as jet planes were beginning to take over trains as the primary mode of transportation. This opened the door for California to get a Professional Football team. The newly formed All-American Football Conference placed two teams in the Golden State, one in San Francisco and another in Los Angeles. At the same time the Cleveland Rams were moving to the Los Angeles Coliseum, they would share the stadium with an AAFC team called the Los Angeles Dons. The Dons were owner by Benjamin Lindheimer, a Chicago real estate and race track executive, and also had several celebrity owners including Louis B. Mayer, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Don Ameche. Coached by Dudley DeGroot, the Dons defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers 20-14 in their first game on September 13th. After a 30-14 win over the Miami Seahawks, the Dons played the Buffalo Bisons to a 21-21 tie in their first road game. Following a 21-9 road win over the Chicago Rockets, the Dons came home and lost their first game to the San Francisco 49ers 23-14, starting a three game losing streak. The Dons would be one of just two teams to beat the Cleveland Browns, winning 17-16 at the Coliseum on November 3rd. However, two losses to the 49ers would leave them in third place with a record of 7-5-2 at season’s end.
1947: It would be another up and down season for the Los Angeles Dons, in their second year in the AAFC as they posted a record of 7-7 and again, placed third in the AAFC’s Western Division. The disappointing part of the Dons season would see them once again come up empty handed in the battle of California, losing twice to the San Francisco 49ers. However, the Dons again beat the Cleveland Browns, winning in Cleveland 13-10 on October 12th. It would be the only loss the Browns would suffer on the way to winning a second straight AAFC Championship.
1948: The Los Angeles Dons continued to wade in the waters of mediocrity, posting a record of 7-7 for the second straight season. Once again the Dons came up empty handed against the rivals from Northern California, losing both games to the San Francisco 49ers for the third straight season. However, they would not be able to beat the Cleveland Browns for a third straight season, as the league’s most dominant team waltzed to a 14-0 season and a third straight championship.
1949: The Los Angeles Dons started the season with a 49-17 win over the Baltimore Colts. However, any hopes for a playoff berth took a big hit when they lost their next four games. The Dons would only string together four wins, in what would be their final season posting a record of 4-8. Once again they would be swept by the San Francisco 49ers, losing all eight games to the Niners in their four year existence. The 49ers, along with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Colts would go on to join the NFL. However, with a the LA Rams already in the NFL, a second team in Los Angeles would not be in the league’s agenda as all AAFC teams that played in cities with NFL teams already in existence were not considered for an invitation to join the NFL after the AAFC folded.
©MMXV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Football League. This site is not affiliated with the Los Angeles Dons or the AAFC. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on March 13, 2015. Last updated on March 13, 2015 at 9:55 pm ET.