The Pottsville Maroons played in the National Football League (NFL) from 1925 to 1928. The team was owned by Dr. J.G. Streigel and played at Minersville Park, now home to the King’s Village shopping plaza. The location of the King’s Village shopping plaza is 2 miles west of Pottsville, PA., across the street from where fumbled.org is published. It is humiliating to see a single sign outside of the plaza in honor of one of the greatest NFL teams in history. A shopping plaza with a â€œFamily Dollarâ€ store, being the center of attention in a â€œcoal crackerâ€ town and a small sports bar â€œMaroonâ€™s Sports Bar & Grillâ€; is not the way to be remembered. However, the Maroons are far from being forgotten.
The picture below is what has become of the historic football field that played host to many NFL games, including the 1925 championship game that was ripped from the hearts of players and supporters.
On December 6, Pottsville defeated Chicago, 21-7, to be awarded the best record in the NFL and seemed to all but officially clinch the NFL championship.
However, two things happened: First, the Cardinals hastily scheduled games against two weak teams which had disbanded for the year. Secondly, NFL President Joseph Carr suspended the Maroons for playing a team of University of Notre Dame All-Stars in Philadelphia (and winning 9-7) on the same day the Frankford Yellow Jackets were scheduled to play a game in Philadelphia, violating Frankford’s franchise rights. Although Carr warned the Maroons in writing that they faced suspension if they played the Notre Dame All-Stars in Philadelphia, the Maroons claim that the league office verbally approved the game during a telephone call (wikipedia).
There is considerable controversy over whether the Maroons should have been awarded the 1925 NFL Championship instead of the Chicago Cardinals. After almost 90 plus years; the city of Pottsville and surrounding areas have begun a revolt to bring back the 1925 NFL Championship challenging the NFL on the issues surrounding the Maroons disqualification. An Online Pottsville MaroonsÂ Petition that you can (and should) sign has been startedÂ (by ESPN and author David Fleming) in hopes of showing the support that the Pottsville Maroons still have.
Recently, interest and support has hit an all-time level. ESPN sports writer David Fleming has written a book about the controversial elements surrounding the 1925 NFL title. He tries to explain what really took place in his book â€˜Breaker Boys: The NFLâ€™s Greatest Team and the Stolen 1925 Championshipâ€™ by providing sufficient evidence that the Pottsville Maroons should be the rightful owners of the 1925 NFL title. The point of the book was to turn the national spotlight over to the constant supporters of the Pottsville Maroonâ€™s legacy. But thereâ€™s moreâ€¦
After signing hundreds of copies of his book for Maroons fans in Pottsville during the three-day â€œMaroons Weekâ€ celebration Oct. 10-13, David Fleming announced ESPN would launch the petition in an attempt to help the team get its National Football League championship back.
Fleming asked all of the supporters and citizens of Pottsville, and all other citizens of surrounding areas for their time dedication and contributions to help the Pottsville Maroonâ€™s get what they deserve.
â€œE-mail it to your friends, put it in blogs, put it up on message boards, let this thing take off in cyberspace,â€ said Fleming, (republicanherald.com).
Fleming was very successful. As of today, the petition to date, contains over 7200 signatures and a new name appears almost every 2 minutes. The local newspaper The Republican Herald has written several articles trying to spark interest in the area and provides information on where to find the petition.
A major break-through took place today (October 23, 2007) in the fight to return the championship. Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney and Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said the still have interesting in settling the dispute over the championship.
â€œIâ€™m all for it. I think that we should make this a national campaign issue,â€ Lurie said. â€œI would love to see that. They deserve it.â€
Cardinals franchise when questions always produces a hostile reaction to any question involving the 1925 championship. Answers like “it is not longer a discussion”, or “this isn’t a topic of interest” are always given in response. The fact is because of all the support the pressure is on. For the city of Pottsville, I personally thank author David Fleming for all the work he has done to re-amp the battle with the NFL.
With the support of NFL players and teams, ESPN, and fellow supporters: Lets keep the pressure on and BRING THE CHAMPIONSHIP BACK TO POTTSVILLE!
Fumbled.org editor â€“Aaron Schimpf