1921: After the first year of the American Professional Football Association, several new teams join the league. One of those was the Washington Senators, who were founded at a meeting at the Arlington Hotel on May 19th. The Senators would play a full slate of games, including four games within the league as they looked to make a big impact in pro football right away. After starting the season with eight non league games, with the Senators winning six they would face the Canton Bulldogs in their first league game on November 27th, losing 15-0. The Senators were scheduled to host the Rochester Jeffersons on December 5th. However, Rochester Manager Leo Lyons refused to play the game rather than risk injury to his players on a snowy field. Although Lyons later suggested it was that the attendance was low and his players would only get $200 instead of the standard $800 under the league contract. After a long argument the league awarded a win to Washington in a forfeit. However, the decision would later be reversed by league President Joseph Carr. The Senators would later beat the Cleveland Indians 7-0 for their only league win, before ending with a 1-2 league record after losing a rematch with Canton. The Senators would chose to compete independently in 1922, playing several games against NFL teams but none of which would count in the standings. The NFL would return to Washington in 1937 when the Boston Redskins moved to old DC. The Senators who would become the Professionals would continue to operate on a semipro level until 1941.
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Page created on February 3, 2015. Last updated on February 3, 2015 at 9:55 pm ET.