Ever since Mag Senior Writer Dave Fleming's book Breaker Boys hit the shelves, the good people of Pottsville, PA have been engaged in a full-out battle to regain the 1925 NFL title they say is rightfully theirs. (It's currently held by Bill Bidwell and the Arizona Cardinals from back when the Cards played in Chicago). Fleming's recent article in The Mag (Can't Beat 'Em? Curse 'Em) further stoked the fires.
Yes, there was revolution brewing in Pottsville Nation.
Then a couple of weeks ago the Pro Football Hall of Fame sent an official to a debate in Pottsville to discuss the issue with Fleming (check out the video here.) It seems that the title had originally been awarded to the Cardinals because the Maroons played an exhibition game against a team of Notre Dame stars that was deemed a violation of the NFL's territory policy.
Fleming argued that the NFL was such a newly formed body that at the time they were making up rules as they went. He went on to point out that there is still no documentation for any "territory policy" and that the Maroons were the victim of exclusion by the other owners. He won the debate unanimously. (Sure, it was in Pottsville, but still...)
The exact stipulations of NFL law are, of course, up to the NFL. But who was the better team? To help clarify that matter USA Today statistician Jeff Sagarin ran the numbers on the two teams looking at the strength of their schedules that year. The results speak for themselves. The Maroons were the better team.