Thursday, May 22, 2003

Pottsville Maroons: "We wuz robbed!"

It's amazing what grievances get appealed these days. In order to add something to their anniversary celebrations, the town of Pottsville, Pennsylvania is asking that the National Football League award their old NFL team, the Pottsville Maroons, the 1925 NFL championship.

The link goes to the local paper's story which, I was suprised to read, notes that the governor of Pennsylania, Ed Rendell, personally lobbied an NFL committee on the issue. Even more amazingly, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has appointed a three person committee to investigate the issue, and to report back on whether the team's punishment was too harsh.

(Back in 1925, they had no NFL Championship game, so the team with the best record got the championship. Then commissioner Joe Carr ruled that the Maroons, who finished first, should not get the championship because they played a game in Philadelphia. This was an issue because the NFL rules at the time are said to have banned teams from playing home games in areas that would take away revenue from a local NFL team, in this case the Frankford Yellow Jackets. Frankford is now part of Philadelphia.)

I think that the NFL should wash its hands of this. Hopefully, that's what they will do. This fight should have taken place in 1926, when you could have had a more accurate reading of how the people who were running the NFL then thought of this matter.

At any rate, it will be interesting to read Sports Illustrated's take on this story.