Brooklyn Horsemen

Brooklyn Horsemen

The Brooklyn Horsemen was a professional football team that competed in the American Football League during the 1926 season.

On November 12 1926, the team withdrew from the AFL and merged with Brooklyn Lions of the National Football League. The new team created by the merger was initially called the Brooklyn Lions and competed in the NFL from November 22 1926. For the last three games of the 1926, the merged team competed as the Brooklyn Horsemen. After three consecutive losses by shutout, the merged team winked out of existence. [David S. Neft, Richard M. Cohen, and Rick Korch, "The Football Encyclopedia: The Complete History of Professional Football, From 1892 to the Present" (St. Martin’s Press 1994), ISBN 0-312-11435-4]

Brooklyn Horsemen (AFL)

The Horsemen of the first AFL were owned by sports promoter Humbert Fugazy and played their home games in Brooklyn's Commercial Field. ["A.F.L. Fields Nine Teams", "New York Times", July 17, 1926] Coached by Eddie McNeely, the Horsemen got the team name after McNeely's signing of Elmer Layden and Harry Stuhldreher, two of Notre Dame's Four Horsemen. While the team's first game was decided by a 60-yard touchdown pass from Stuldreher to Ed Harrison, the team had trouble maintaining a steady offense (and, ultimately maintaining a fan base). After losses to the Los Angeles Wildcats and Boston Bulldogs in front of decreasing crowds, a scheduled game at Ebbets Field against league leader (and eventual champion) Philadelphia Quakers was cancelled due to inclement weather. On November 7, 1926, the Horsemen played their last AFL game, a 21-13 loss to the New York Yankees, and then merged with their NFL cousins, the Brooklyn Lions, to complete the season in the NFL as the Brooklyn Horsemen.

NOTE: Final NFL standings: official franchise won-lost record combines the wins and losses of the Lions with the results of the games played by the merged Brooklyn Horsemen

Team roster

The following people played for the Lions for at least one game in the 1926 NFL regular season, the only one of the team’s existence. [ David S. Neft, Richard M. Cohen, and Rick Korch, "The Football Encyclopedia: The Complete History of Professional Football, From 1892 to the Present" (St. Martin’s Press 1994), ISBN 0-312-11435-4]

H Was on Brooklyn Horsemen AFL team roster prior to merger with the NFL Lions

1 Also played tailback
2 Also played center
3 Position later known as quarterback
4 Started season with Hartford Blues
5 Finished season with Frankford Yellow Jackets
6 Finished season with New York Yankees (AFL)
7 Also played end
8 Also played tackle
9 Played wingback and blocking back
10 Also played wingback
11 Started season with New York Giants
12 Also played guard

"Horse-Lions": The Brooklyn Horsemen (NFL)

The result of the merger was derisively dubbed the Horse-Lions by the local media, but initially (November 14, 1926) the merged team played under the Brooklyn Lions banner. The new team, with eight members of the now-defunct AFL team, trounced the Canton Bulldogs 19-0 in front of a small crowd in Ebbets Field. In a last-ditch effort to attract paying fans, the Lions then adopted the Horsemen nickname of the old AFL team... and lost the last three games of their existence by shutout.

Horsemen who were also Lions

Eight men played for both the Horsemen in the AFL and the Lions/Horsemen in the NFL:

Fullback Earl Britton
End Ted Drews
End Ed Harrison
Guard Red Howard
Center Ted Plumridge
Tailback Harry Stuhldreher
Guard Tarzan Taylor

In addition, guard Hec Garvey was on the rosters of no fewer than four teams in the AFL or NFL in 1926: the Hartford Blues (NFL), the Horsemen (AFL), the Lions (NFL), and the New York Yankees.


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