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Evansville Crimson Giants

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Title: Evansville Crimson Giants  
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Evansville Crimson Giants

Evansville Crimson Giants
Founded 1921
Folded 1922
Based in Evansville, Indiana, United States
League National Football League (1921–22)
Team history Evansville Crimson Giants (1921–22)
Team colors

Crimson, White

         
Head coaches Frank Fausch
Owner(s) Frank Fausch
Home field(s) Bosse Field

The Evansville Crimson Giants were a professional [1]

Contents

  • History 1
    • Ex-Collegians 1.1
    • Formation of the Crimson Giants 1.2
    • Merger of the Ex-Collegians and Crimson Giants 1.3
    • The NFL 1.4
      • 1921 season 1.4.1
    • Committee of Five 1.5
      • 1922 season 1.5.1
    • End of the Crimson Giants 1.6
  • Social make up of the Evansville teams 2
  • Season-by-season 3
  • References 4
  • Notes 5
  • See also 6

History

Ex-Collegians

The Crimson Giants history is rooted in Evansville's first significant semi-pro team, the Evansville Ex-Collegians, who began play in 1920. The Ex-Collegians played and followed the typical semi-professional template of the era. The team employed mostly local players almost exclusively. They paid those players a small sum based on gate receipts and on a game-by-game basis. The team also operated without any real management oversight, meaning that the players looked after the team's finances, and scheduled games haphazardly. In 1920, group of local businessmen tried to purchase the Ex-Collegians. However, the investors and the players failed to reach a compromise.

After the initial two victories over modest opponents, the Ex-Collegians bragged of possibly playing the most celebrated pro football team in the nation, the [1]

Formation of the Crimson Giants

In 1921 the same unnamed businessmen who failed to take over the Ex-Collegians in 1920 decided to form their own team. [1]

Merger of the Ex-Collegians and Crimson Giants

The remaining Ex-Collegians, led by their quarterback and captain, Menz Lindsey, at first refused to join Fausch and Ingle. The Ex-Collegians wanted instead to continue playing independently. However Fausch need many of those Ex-Collegian players, in order to create his new team. He came to an agreement with Guy Morrison, a popular baseball pitcher with the Evansville Evas of the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League. With Morrison, Fausch arranged for a benefit game that would provide funds for the construction of a World War I veterans' memorial. By doing this the Crimson Giants secured the exclusive use of the only suitable stadium in Evansville, Bosse Field. Lindsey tried to challenged the Giants to a contest in the benefit game, however Fausch refused to respond.

Many professional football players soon flooded to the Crimson Giants. Bourbon Bondurant, an insurance agent with prior pro football experience with the Fort Wayne Friars; Joe Windbiel, a local high school coach who played professionally with the Detroit Heralds; architect Earl Warweg, who had played semi-pro football for five years in Indianapolis; cigar company traffic manager Clarence Specht; and June Talley, an insurance adjuster also with college football experience, soon joined the team.

After finding no other venue in which to play in Evansville, many of the Ex-Collegians joined the Crimson Giants. Soon [1]

The NFL

On August 27, 1921, Fausch traveled to [1]

1921 season

The Crimson Giants won five of their first seven games. The team's first ever league win came at home on October 2, 1921, as the Crimson Giants defeated the Louisville Brecks, 21–0.[2] The team's second league win can a week later against the Muncie Flyers, 14–0. However the Crimson Giants lost to the Hammond Pros 3–0 the very next week. That win was Hammond's first win in the league.[2] During that game, Herb Henderson, later stated that the Hammond players met with him during the game and asked if he could tone down his hits, because the Hammond players still needed to be healthy for work on Monday. Henderson, a high school football coach, refused and stated that he needed to show his players, who were sitting in the stands watching him, "how tackling was done".[3]

However the team, lost a lot of money when it suffered through a series of scheduling mishaps in the second half of November. As a result of the eleven games originally scheduled, only five were actually played. Furthermore, only half of the ten games ultimately played by the Giants were against league opponents. In early November, the Crimson Giants travelled to [1]

Fausch then scheduled a pair of non-league opponents to the schedule. The first game which was to take place in Chicago was cancelled due to heavy snow, while the other game was cancelled by the opposing team. Fausch quickly added a game against the Cincinnati Celts. However when faced with poor field conditions and two days of heavy rain, Fausch made a last-minute cancellation. Rather than play before another small crowd and lose more money, he decided not to play at all.

The Crimson Giants had now cancelled their last three games, one of which was to be played on [1]

Committee of Five

Many of the Crimson Giants' players became upset with management of the team under Fausch after the 1921 season. It was then that several members of the team took matters into their own hands. The "Committee of Five", led by former Ex-Collegians Menz Lindsey and Clarence Spiegel, forced Fausch to surrender management of the team. The "Committee of Five" could not reverse the Crimson Giants' financial fortunes. The Committee lost money in its only contests. Fausch and his American Football Association corporation, lost an estimated ten thousand dollars over the course of the season, despite playing a total of nine games at home and only one on the road. To combat the "Committee of Five", Fausch asserted publicly that it was he who held the franchise rights in the American Professional Football Association, and thus owned the Crimson Giants. And to help improve the team's finances, he suggested that he would play every Crimson Giants game on the road.

However Fausch lost his players. Several former Giants announced they would play for the local [1]

Fausch attended the APFA's meeting in [1]

1922 season

The Crimson Giants played their first three games of the season on the road. Fausch in the meantime had hoped that the Evansville Pros would fold in October, so that he could regain the rights to Bosse Field. Luckily for Fausch, the Pros folded after witnessing poor attendance and an 0–1–1 record. As a result Fausch entered into negotiations with Nee over the sakle of the lease for Bosse Field. However the negotiations between the two clubs broke down and the Crimson Giants cancelled their remaining home games. The team would only play three games in 1922, all on the road. The Crimson Giants lost all three of those games to the [4]

The wins by the Brecks and Maroons became the first in Louisville and Toledo franchise history. Meanwhile the Rock Island Independents became only the second team with two 100 yard rushers in their 60–0 win over Evansville. [4]

End of the Crimson Giants

Fausch talked briefly about re-organizing a new Crimson Giants club for the [1][5]

Social make up of the Evansville teams

The Crimson Giants relied more on outside talent, that their predessors the Ex-Collegians. 17 of the Crimson Giants 30 players in 1921 were from Evansville. By 1922 only 5 of the team's 17 players were locals. In contrast, 22 of 23 players on the 1920 Ex-Collegians were from Evansville. When faced with competition from the Giants in 1921, the Ex-Collegians brought in a few outsiders before folding, but generally semi-pro teams spent little effort on recruiting. Both the Ex-Collegians and the Crimson Giants relied almost exclusively on players with college experience. Both teams consisted overwhelmingly of players from [1]

Season-by-season

Year W L T Finish Coach
1921 3 2 0 6th Frank Fausch
1922 0 3 0 15th Frank Fausch

References

  • Maltby, Marc S. (1992). "The Early Struggles Of Professional Football: Evansville, Indiana" (PDF). Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 14 (4): 1–8. 
  • History of the Evansville Giants
  • PFRA Research. "A Few Loose Ends: 1922" (PDF). Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 0 (0): 1–5. 
  • Bashore, Mel (1993). "More Crimson Giants" (PDF). Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 15 (1): 1–2. 
  • Maher, Tod (1993). "Famous (or forgotten) firsts for every NFL franchise" (PDF). Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 15 (3): 1–9. 
  • Gill, Bob (1991). "Forgotten First" (PDF). Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 13 (5): 1–2. 

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Maltby, Marc S. (1992). "The Early Struggles Of Professional Football: Evansville, Indiana" (PDF). Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 14 (4): 1–8. 
  2. ^ a b Maher, Tod (1993). "Famous (or forgotten) firsts for every NFL franchise" (PDF). Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 15 (3): 1–9. 
  3. ^ Bashore, Mel (1993). "More Crimson Giants" (PDF). Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 15 (1): 1–2. 
  4. ^ a b Gill, Bob (1991). "Forgotten First" (PDF). Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 13 (5): 1–2. 
  5. ^ PFRA Research. "A Few Loose Ends: 1922" (PDF). Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association) 0 (0): 1–5. 

See also

Sports in Evansville

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