The Columbus Panhandles: A Complete History of Pro Footballs Toughest Team, 1900-1922

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Despite his injury, he continued to play for the Triangles until the team was sold in This will help the visitor relate to one of the important figures in the history of the team as well as provide a unique, memorable detail about him that will lead some visitors to want to learn more about the Dayton Triangles. Furthermore, other interpretive signs along this asphalt path will give visitors the context in which the Dayton Triangles existed. They will make the team relevant to visitors by relating the game that the Triangles played to the modern NFL, of which the majority of park visitors will at least be familiar.

In its early years, football more resembled rugby than the popular college and professional game today. Even though the forward pass was legalized in , it was still seldom used until much later. This also allows visitors to see the Dayton team and others like it as an integral part of the evolution of the game they know today. Other interpretive panels will inform visitors of the relationship that existed between professional football and college football in this early time.

In the early 20th century, universities and professional teams grappled with issues of amateurism that are still controversial today. A sample of this interpretation will include: As professional football grew and became more competitive, teams tried to entice the best college players to their ranks. While other professional teams at the time disregarded the rules against college athletes taking money to play football, the Dayton Triangles never recruited collegiate talent.

Finally, in , the team was sold to Brooklyn businessmen William B. Dwyer and John C.

The Columbus Panhandles A Complete History of Pro Football's Toughest Team, 1900-1922 PDF

Depler who moved the team there and renamed it the Dodgers. For the visitor reaching this panel, if he or she has read them all to this point, will have learned about the entire history of the Dayton Triangles.

This will create a sense of the past and the present meeting since even though the Dayton Triangles no longer exist, the place where they played is still maintained and used for sports and recreation. The visitor will also understand the important role that Dayton played in the In addition to interpretive text, these panels will include period photographs taken at the park or of the individuals mentioned.

Using photographs will help visitors to visualize what Triangle Park looked like during the s as well as what the players would have looked like at that time. Photographs like this will help the visitors connect the ground on which they are standing to people and events that occurred on that ground decades earlier. In the holdings of Dayton History, several photographs exist, some of which have been digitized, which will be used to enhance the interpretive panels at the park.

Live Interpretation Since football is an active, fast-paced and dynamic sport, there will be live interpreters to bring the game of the s to life for visitors. A small group of men in period football uniforms will visit the park to talk with visitors about the Triangles and their history. They will demonstrate the equipment as it was used in the early years of professional football and show visitors how it was the same, and how it was different from the modern game.

For safety concerns, game action would have to be carefully scripted and slowed. However, the baseball field will be marked in the gridiron pattern for football to help visitors visualize what a football game at the park would have looked like. Since Howell Field is currently used for baseball games in the spring and summer, these demonstrations would take place at times coinciding with the football season in the fall and early winter.

Using sports such as football to teach history will reach students in a way that makes the past relevant to them by linking it to something many, if not all, of them are already familiar with, NFL football. An example of re-enactments of early football exists today in Mansfield, Pennsylvania in which the first night football game was played on September 28, About years later, the town started a tradition every fall in which volunteers re-enact that game as closely as possible with uniforms and equipment from While the form of football re-created in Mansfield is different from the game the Triangles played, it provides a useful example.

Scripted plays are used and, while the action is still physical, it is greatly slowed down to prevent injury. Demonstrations at Triangle Park will take the form of team practice sessions in which the team will run plays from the s. An example of a common play run during this time period was the Double-Wing. While the direct snap is still used today, there were still some rule differences in the game that few people today would be familiar with. Passing plays could be run in which the ball lands incomplete in the end zone, resulting in the defense taking possession of the ball.

Also during passing plays, any offensive player could go downfield so the defense was responsible for determining who the eligible receivers were. Gameplay and rule differences such as these could be demonstrated to visitors in a scripted, slowed down way to help visitors understand what is happening as well as to minimize the likelihood of injury. During the s, there were few regulations around uniforms in professional football. Teams issued wool jerseys and socks to their players who had to supply their own protective equipment.

As such, the type and amount of protective equipment varied widely among players with some opting to wear leather helmets while others grew out their hair to protect their heads from impacts. Pants worn during games were usually plain brown canvas. Leather shoulder pads and rubber nose guards were also sometimes used. The football itself was also very different at that time. Compared to modern footballs, the ball during the s was shorter and wider and also made of leather.

Also, individual interpreters, costumed or not, will lead group tours of the park, which could be either adult visitors or students from local schools. The city should charge a nominal fee to help with the associated costs but this would attract new users to the park who have an interest in local history as well as the history of professional football. Volunteers will be well-suited to the task of live interpretation with the Dayton Clodbusters Base Ball Club serving as an excellent example of volunteers interpreting a sport with historic rules and equipment.

They will require training as would volunteer interpreters in any other area. Dayton History as an organization has extensive experience in training interpreters and would be able to assist in training any volunteers. Since Howell Field is currently used for baseball, no football demonstrations would take place during the baseball season in the spring and summer months. An example of baseball and football teams sharing a field can be found at the professional level with the The Coliseum in Oakland used for baseball and football In keeping with historical accuracy, Howell Field would look different from the modern example pictured above.

The markings on football fields of the s were much simpler, with a chalk outline of the field and lines on a regular interval with no numbers or hash marks as are seen on modern NFL fields. Goal posts were also set in front of the end zone and were wider at that time. Should issues such as cost or safety concerns prohibit this, the goal posts could be omitted from the park without significantly impacting the historic interpretation.

Using Howell Field for football demonstrations will ensure that the field, and Triangle Park, will be put to use during a larger portion of the year. Due to cooler weather, most people do not use outdoor parks as much during the fall and winter. Historic football demonstrations and tours will entice people to visit the park during these usually slow times of the year.

This will make it easier for interpreters to draw connections between professional football as played by the Dayton Triangles and modern NFL. Development and Recommendations Generally, Triangle Park is exceptionally well-maintained. There are, however, some facility improvements to be made in order to draw in more visitors and enhance their experience. The first such improvement is simple.

The lines in the parking lot at the park have been worn away so that they are nearly invisible. This makes a poor first impression upon the visitor, especially for someone who has never before been to Triangle Park. The solution is to paint new lines for parking in yellow paint. This is an easy, inexpensive way to improve the visitor experience as soon as he or she arrives at the park. The walkway will need to be replaced both for safety concerns and for aesthetics. The brick walkway will continue to deteriorate as time passes, increasing the safety risk to visitors, therefore, this is an important part of the interpretation at Triangle Park.

Installing a new brick walkway and removing the current one will prove one of the more costly areas of improvement. Add to cart. Sold by thrift. About this product Product Information "In this book, Chris Willis incorporates original interviews and actual newspaper accounts to recreate the largely forgotten story of the Columbus Panhandles. He shows how the team manager, future NFL commissioner Joseph Carr, used the perks of free railroad travel for employees and the gate attraction of the famous Nesser brothers to build pro football's most successful traveling team.

Willis provides a season-by-season account of the team's spectacular triumphs and crushing losses.


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Full of descriptive newspaper quotes, anecdotes, and original photos, The Columbus Panhandles profiles a number of principal figures in the team's history. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. It's a thoroughly researched and well-documented team history by Chris Willis of the NFL Films research library. The almost complete history of the Columbus Panhandles is a marvelous addition to the literature about the early days of professional football. Historians and sport journalists will appreciate the historical portrayal of the Panhandles, while general football enthusiasts will be captivated by the stories of Nesser brothers and their role in the early stages of professional football.

Along with materials from the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Ohio Historical Society, he uses interviews with family members of players and newspaper accounts to tell the story of each season and profile key players in the team's history. Also discussed are important places and events.

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The Columbus Panhandles : A Complete History of Pro Football's Toughest Team, 1900-1922

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