As a child growing up just north of Dayton, Ohio, I had no idea that I lived within walking distance of professional sports history. Much later in life, I learned that Triangle Park in Dayton, near my childhood home, was the site of the first game played between members of what became the National Football League. On October 3, 1920, the Dayton Triangles defeated the Columbus Panhandles by a score of 14-0.
I began to wonder: who were these Triangles? What was their story? As I looked more closely, I found myself asking other questions. What was life like in the Triangles’ heyday? I set out to answer these questions for myself with the intention of writing a book. I hoped to publish the book on or before the 100th anniversary of that first game in 2020.
However, when the NFL announced plans to celebrate its 100th season and honor the original teams in 2019, I realized that I couldn’t finish and publish the book in time to coincide with that celebration. I decided the next best thing would be a documentary podcast.
What’s hosted at this site is the result of that effort. “Triangles: The Life and Times of an NFL Original Team” traces the history of the team from the formation of its nucleus at what is now the University of Dayton through its 25th anniversary in 1941. Along the way, we’ll meet colorful characters and unsung heroes. I hope to give you a sense of what life and football were like 100 years ago.
Although I call this a “documentary” podcast, let me make one thing clear: I’m no journalist. As I learned more about the team and the men who played for it, I came to cheer for them. I hope that you will, too.