|From 1930 to 1944 there was a Brooklyn Dodgers football team in addition to the baseball team. In this AP photo, New York Giants halfback Tuffy Leemans breaks away for a four-yard gain against the Brooklyn Dodgers in a 1937 game at the Polo Grounds.|
Bill Dwyer and John Depler bought the Dayton (Ohio) Triangles of the National Football League (NFL) from Carl Storck and transferred the franchise to Brooklyn. The football Dodgers played in Ebbets Field, just like their baseball counterpart, but their very first NFL game was away, vs. the Bears at Chicago’s Wrigley Field on Sept. 21, 1930. The game ended in a scoreless tie.
On Dec. 7, 1941, “a day which will live in infamy,” the Brooklyn football Dodgers were playing a game at the Polo Grounds against the New York Giants. Broadcasts of the game were interrupted by bulletins through which millions of Americans learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. During the second half, numerous public address announcements at the ballpark called military personnel and reservists to their units as America began the greatest mobilization in its history. (Incidentally, the Dodgers won 14-7.)
It was Nov. 30, 1930, that the Dodgers met the Giants for the first time and defeated them 7-6. But two weeks later the Giants beat the Dodgers, 13-0, at Ebbets Field, concluding a 13-4 season, the only one in which four New York-area teams (Newark and Staten Island being the other two) operated in the NFL. Green Bay took the league title for the second straight year, finishing 10-3-1, including a split of two games with the Giants.
On Oct. 22, 1939, the Dodgers played the Philadelphia Eagles in the first televised NFL game. The Dodgers won 23-14. A live audience of 13,057 at Ebbets Field far outnumbered those watching over NBC’s W2XBS.
The Brooklyn football Dodgers remained in the NFL until the 1944 season.