The Story of the NFL's Dayton Triangles

Dayton Triangles Significance in the Formation
of the NFL and Professional Football in America

~  1. The Dayton Triangles professional football team was one of the four charter member teams of the professional football league that was to become the National Football League (NFL).

The Dayton Triangles representative, their manager Carl "Scummy" Storck was at the first professional football meeting in Canton, Ohio August 20, 1920. It was held at Ralph Hay's Hupmobile auto dealership on Tuscarawas Street in Canton, Ohio. Teams represented were, the Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, and Dayton Triangles.

Scummy Storck was at the second organizational meeting held in Canton, Ohio, September 17, 1920. Teams represented were from four states: the Akron , Canton, Cleveland, and Dayton from Ohio, Hammond Pros and Muncie Flyers from Indiana, Rochester Jeffersons from New York, and Rock Island Independants, Decatur Staleys (now the Chicago Bears), and Racine Cardinals (named after the Racine Street neighborhood in Chicago, now the Arizona Cardinals) from Illinois.

The name selected for the league was, "American Professional Football Association" (APFA). The APFA changed its name to the National Football League (NFL) June 24, 1922. 

After the second meeting four more teams joined the league: the Buffalo All-Americans, Chicago Tigers, Columbus Panhandles, and Detroit Heralds.

~  2. On October 3, 1920 the first game matching two APFA teams was held in Dayton, Ohio, at Triangle Park. The APFA changed its name to the National Football League (NFL) June 24, 1922. 

~  3. In this first game the Dayton (Ohio) Triangles defeated the Columbus (Ohio) Panhandles 14-0.

~  4. The first touchdown in the NFL was scored in that game by Lou Partlow and the first extra point was kicked by George Henry "Hobby" Kinderdine of the Dayton Triangles.

The second touchdown was scored by the Triangles' Francis Bacon. "Hobby" Kinderdine kicked the second extra point.

The high point of the Triangles' 1920 season was a 20-20 tie at Triangle Park with the Canton Bulldogs. No other team had been able to score three touchdowns on the Bulldogs since 1915. In the third quarter, Jim Thorpe narrowed the score to 20-17 with a 45-yard dropkick. Then, in the final minutes, he zeroed in on a 35-yard placekick that tied the score.

~  5. On October 1, 1922, the Oorang Indians, an all native-America team with Jim Thorpe, played in their first game at Triangle Park. More than 5,000 people paid $1.75 a ticket to see the Dayton Triangles defeat the Oorang Indians 36-0.

The Oorang Indians' owner Walter Lingo purchased the NFL franchise to publicize his Oorang breed of Airedale dogs and his Oorang Dog Kennels in LaRue, Ohio. To Walter Lingo the Oorang Indians team was there to play football and to participate in helping the Oorang Airedales dogs perform tricks for the half-time crowd. Thus, the first NFL half-time show was provided in Triangle Park Dayton, Ohio.

On October 2, 1927, Red Grange and of the New York Yankees played the Triangles at Triangle Park.

~  6. Dayton provided one the league's organizational founding fathers, the manager of the Triangles, Carl Storck. He participated in all of the league's first organizational meetings and served the NFL for the first 21 years of its existence. He was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the league April 30, 1921.

Storck was the NFL president from 1939 to 1941. He conducted his league business from his office in the Winters Building in downtown Dayton, Ohio.

~  7. The football team won the Dayton city championships in 1913, 1914, and 1915. Under the names: Cadets (1913 and 1914) and Gym-Cadets (1915). The name was permanently changed to the Triangles in 1916.

In 1916, F. B. MacNab, a patent attorney for the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (DELCO), started organizing a recreational football team from among the employees of three downtown Dayton factories. The factories were DELCO, Dayton Metal Products Company (D.M.P. Co.) and Domestic Engineering Company (DECO, later called Delco-Light). These three factories were all founded by Dayton industrialist Edward Deeds and Charles Kettering and formed an industrial triangle of plants in downtown Dayton.

Rather than recruit a complete team from the factories, MacNab got together with Carl Storck to sponsor the Dayton Cadets football team and used players recruited from the three factories to fill out the team roster. Thus, DELCO, D.M.P. Co. and DECO provided players as well as corporate sponsors. The Dayton Cadets became the Dayton Triangles that year. Later the Dayton Wright Airplane Company, another Deeds and Kettering venture, became a fourth corporate sponsor.

The Dayton Cadets football team was a mix of St. Mary's Institute (now the University of Dayton) alumni and other local athletes.

The Dayton Triangles were the only undefeated professional football team in America in 1918 and may claim an unofficial professional football championship.

In the era prior to the formation of the APFA league in 1920. The team went 41 wins, 4 loses, and 4 ties, dominating southwestern Ohio professional football. In 1918 they compiled a record of 8-0-0, scoring 188 points to their opponents' 9, and were the only undefeated professional football team in America. Under their coach and star runner Earle "Greasy" Neale, the Triangles defeated the top professional teams from Detroit (twice), Columbus, and Toledo in that season.


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