Would you be Surprised to Know that One of Football’s First Controversy’s Involved Philadelphia?
I think that you would not.
How about that is also involves Pottsville and the University of Notre Dame?
The fact that Pennsylvania once had another NFL franchise that was not the Frankford Yellowjackets?
Or that is has been debated for decades? Now that I have your attention, how shall I explain this one? Let’s give it a try.
The 1925 NFL Championship Controversy (as it is properly known) all started when the Frankford Yellow Jackets scheduled an out-of-league game with the “Notre Dame All-Stars.”
Guy Chamberlain’s Yellowjackets were on the way up in 1925, and fully expected to be on top of the Eastern Division when they scheduled a non-league exhibition game against the Fighting Irish and the Four Horsemen.
Unfortunately for Chamberlain’s team, the Yellowjackets lost a number of close games as well as piled up injuries in 1925 which made them not eligible for the game when they lost to 10–2 Pottsville that season. The Maroons would end up hosting Notre Dame at Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium) that year.
Here is where it gets messy.
Back in the 1920s, no NFL Championship Game yet existed. The team at the top of the standings was in fact, World Champions. When the Maroons defeated the Chicago Cardinals in December of 1925, they believed that the NFL Championship belonged to Pottsville. The celebration was short-lived, however as NFL Commissioner Joseph Carr imposed a suspension as Pottsville had in fact played the Notre Dame All Stars and awarded the 1925 Title to the Chicago Cardinals.
Frankford had protested the game to Carr, who had made his decision.
In 2003, a motion by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell attempted to have the case re-opened, but the motion was outvoted 30–2. The two votes in favor were from the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Contention between Pennsylvania and the NFL survives to this day.
One year later, Guy Chamberlain’s Yellowjackets would win the Championship in 1926.
The day that the world knew the Frankford section of Philadelphia.