First Game in the NFL – October 3rd

When the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills kickoff on Thursday night football, it will be interesting to see if the NFL Network makes any mention of the historical significance of October 3rd.

It can be classified as one of those “little known facts” that doesn’t often get talked about within the lore of American sport, but October 3, 1920 marked the very first game within the league that today is one of the most powerful sports and entertainment enterprises in the world.

The league wasn’t actually called the NFL back in those days, but rather the American Professional Football Association.  It changed its name to the National Football League in 1922.  The league was officially named at a meeting in Canton, Ohio, on September 17, 1920, with fourteen teams, most of who had formerly played in the Ohio League or the New York Penn League.

So, 93 years ago today, Triangle Park in Dayton, Ohio, became home to the first contest between two clubs within the newly formed league when the Columbus Panhandles visited.  Unfortunately for the ‘Handles, home field advantage was established early, as the Triangles treated their supporters to a 14-0 victory.

Perhaps the NFL is paying some homage to the significant of October 3, as it is quite fitting that only NFL contest being played on that date this year takes place within the state of Ohio.