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A Look Back At Professional Football In Indiana
Updated September 2, 2014 7:35 AM
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(UNDATED) - This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Colts' arrival in Indianapolis. But they missed being Indiana's first NFL franchise by more than 60 years.

The Hammond Pros and Muncie Flyers were among the 14 original franchises in what was initially called the American Professional Football Association.

When the Evansville Crimson Giants joined the league in 1921, Indiana had three pro teams. But Pro Football Researchers Association vice president Roy Sye says the Indiana teams had trouble generating fan interest. That meant less money to sign top players, and the teams' inability to compete on the field made it even harder to draw crowds.

The Flyers never won a game in two seasons. Sye says Chicago Bears founder George Halas once canceled a scheduled game in Muncie because he concluded the meager gate wouldn't justify the trip.

The Crimson Giants' 3-2 mark in 1921 was the only winning record by an Indiana NFL team until 1987, the Colts' fourth season in Indianapolis.

Sye says Evansville folded after two seasons, after being forced to cancel some home games because they couldn't reserve a field.

The Pros hung on through 1926, when the NFL jettisoned 10 teams from a swollen 22-team league.



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