1931: After the Newark Tornadoes left the NFL, the league was looking for a team to replace them. The idea was at first to bring a team back to Cleveland. The NFL was founded by the Ohio League and its early years were dominated by teams from the Buckeye State. However, 11 years later there were no teams left in Ohio. The team would be called the Cleveland Indians, borrowing from the baseball team whose stadium they shared, and it was owned and operated by the NFL while new permanent owners were sought. It was the third NFL team in Cleveland each at one time used the name Indians. The first team went by the name Tigers in its first season than became the Indians in its final season in 1921. The next team was the Indians in 1923 and then became the Bulldogs after a merger with Canton in 1924. This was Cleveland’s third try and the NFL. Since there was no owner the Indians would play all but two games on the road, becoming a traveling team, opening the season on September 13th with a 26-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Following a 21-0 loss to the Chicago Bears, the Indians would play their first home game beating the Brooklyn Dodgers 6-0. Following a 13-0 loss to the Portsmouth Spartans the Indians got a second win, beating the Providence Steam Roller 13-6. The Indians would lose their final five games, including a 28-0 loss to the Chicago Cardinals to finish the season on November 28th. Following their 2-8 season, the NFL would let go of searching for a new owner in Cleveland, and sold the franchise rights to George Preston Marshall who would get operate his new team the Boston Braves as an expansion franchise separate from Newark and Cleveland. The Braves would go on to become the Boston Redskins, while Cleveland got another team in 1936 called the Rams who would stay in Cleveland a decade before being chased out when the Cleveland Browns and the AAFC were born.
©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 Cleveland Indians or the NFL. 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 1, 2015. Last updated on March 1, 2015 at 9:55 pm ET.