Football in Brooklyn

Football in Brooklyn

I have to disagree with Nate Bloom’s comment (Noshes, June 1) that Brooklyn never had a major league hockey or football team. I would agree that Brooklyn never had a major hockey team but there was a Brooklyn Dodger football team in the NFL in the 1930s and early 1940s. There are numerous websites about the Brooklyn Dodgers NFL football team. In fact I saw that team play against the Paterson Panthers football team of the American Professional Football League (a minor football league) in the early 1940s in an exhibition game in my hometown, Paterson.

Nate Bloom replies:

You are correct and I was wrong.

The fact that I, a pretty well informed person, made this mistake is a testament to the lack of a living memory of that team among anyone but a handful of much older fans and real NFL trivia fans.

It has long been my gut feeling – that others can dispute – that the NFL – or perhaps I should say pro football – existed before World War II, in a netherworld between a major league sport and something other. Teams move constantly, and many just folded. The Packers would have joined the latter group, I understand, if the city and its people hadn’t stepped in during the depression.

But reasonable minds can differ about this. I could say that very few remember all these folded and moved teams, and that only the biggest of big fans know about the pre-WWII stars of NFL teams that stayed put and still exist, like the Chicago Bears. On the other hand, pre-WWII baseball stars of still existing teams are much better remembered.

But a football fan could come back and say that very few hometown fans remember the stars of the St Louis Browns, Boston Braves, and Philly A’s. And no one disputes they were major league teams.

Reasonable minds can differ.