1937 American Football League season



The 1937 AFL season is the second and final season of the second American Football League. After the folding of the Syracuse/Rochester Braves in the 1936 seasonHistory of Football in Western New York
and the departure of the
Cleveland Rams The Cleveland Rams were a professional American football team that played in Cleveland from 1936 to 1945. The Rams competed in the second American Football League (AFL) for the 1936 season and the National Football League (NFL) from 1937 to 1945 ...
for the
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league that consists of 32 teams, divided equally between the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The NFL is one of the ma ...
,George Gipe, ''The Great American Sport Book'' (Doubleday 1978) the league added the
Cincinnati Bengals The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football team based in Cincinnati. The Bengals compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. The club's home ...
and the Los Angeles Bulldogs, the latter being the first professional football team to play its home games on the
American West Coast The West Coast of the United States, also known as the Pacific Coast, Pacific states, and the western seaboard, is the coastline along which the Western United States meets the North Pacific Ocean. The term typically refers to the contiguous U.S. ...
. The season got off to a rocky start, with the
Pittsburgh Americans The Pittsburgh Americans or Pittsburgh Amerks were a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1936 until 1937. The team was a member of the major-league American Football League and participated in the league's ...
folding after playing only three games. After a
1936 Events January–February * January 20 – George V of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India, dies at his Sandringham Estate. The Prince of Wales succeeds to the throne of the United Kingdom as King E ...
move from Brooklyn, the Rochester Tigers limped through with a paucity of fan support. The defending champion Boston Shamrocks and 1936 contender
New York Yankees The New York Yankees are an American professional baseball team based in the New York City borough of the Bronx. The Yankees compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. They are one ...
were hit hard by the raiding of their rosters by the NFL, a counterpoint to the latter's method of building its squad; as a result, both wound up with losing records (Boston's 2–5–0 and New York's 2–3–1). Cincinnati's Bengals almost matched the Yankees in their futility, finishing with a 2–3–2 record.Bob Carroll, Michael Gershman, David Neft, and John Thorn, ''Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League'' (HarperCollins 1999) Only two teams in the AFL finished with a .500 or better record in 1937: the Rochester Tigers and the team that was rejected when the NFL admitted the Rams, the Los Angeles Bulldogs''Pay Dirt: The Business of Professional Team Sports
/ref> The West Coast newcomers dominated the league, finishing 8–0–0, the first perfect season (no losses, no ties) by a professional
football Football is a family of team sports that involve, to varying degrees, Kick (football), kicking a Football (ball), ball to score a Goal (sport), goal. Unqualified, Football (word), the word ''football'' normally means the form of football tha ...
team while winning its league championship (the 1948
Cleveland Browns The Cleveland Browns are a professional American football team based in Cleveland. Named after original coach and co-founder Paul Brown, they compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the American Football Conference (A ...
and the 1972
Miami Dolphins The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football team based in the Miami metropolitan area. They compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member team of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) AFC East, East division. The ...
would later match the feat). The Bulldogs had an average 14,000 attendance for its 1937 home games, comparable to the draws of the Rams, Shamrocks, and Yankees the previous year, but Cleveland's absence and decline of the other two 1936 contenders (both on the field and in the stands) proved devastating to the AFL. Of the six AFL teams, only Los Angeles made a profit. With the league owners having lost their optimism, the second American Football League came to an end. The Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Bulldogs continued their existence as independent teams while the other AFL franchises ceased to exist.

Final standings

All-League selections

Bill Moore, Los Angeles (end)
Bill Steinkinber, Cincinnati (tackle)
Pete Meloringer, Los Angeles (guard)
Lee Mullenuaux, Cincinnati (center)
Alex Drobnitch, New York (guard)
Harry Field, Los Angeles (tackle)
Red Fleming, Boston (end)
Harry Newman Harry Lawrence Newman (September 5, 1909 – May 2, 2000) was an All-Pro American football quarterback. He played for the University of Michigan Wolverines (1930–32), for whom in 1932 he was a unanimous first-team All-American, and the r ...
, Los Angeles (quarterback)
Don Geyer, Cincinnati (halfback)
Al Nidelazri, Los Angeles (halfback)
Gordon Gore, Los Angeles (fullback)


See also

* 1936 American Football League season *
1937 NFL season The 1937 NFL season was the 18th regular season of the National Football League. The Cleveland Rams joined the league as an expansion team. Meanwhile, the Redskins relocated from Boston to Washington, D.C. The season ended when the Redskins, ...
{{AFL II American Football League (1936)
American Football League The American Football League (AFL) was a major professional American football league that operated for ten seasons from 1960 until 1970, when it merged with the older National Football League (NFL), and became the American Football Conference. ...