Victorious in 1932
by a score of 19-0. In the game known as the “iron man game” because the Spartan
coach, Potsy Clark, refused
to use a substitute
in restitution for the Green Bay Packers
being named champions of the NFL in 1931 after they refused to play Portsmouth
in a championship game. The Spartans were admitted to the NFL in 1930. The first
night football game in the NFL was played between the Spartans and the Brooklyn
Dodgers in 1930. The first NFL Championship game and the first indoor football
game was played in December 1932 between the Portsmouth Spartans and the Chicago
Bears. Dutch Clark, former Spartan, is a Charter Member of the National Professional
Football Hall of Fame. The Portsmouth Spartans franchise became the Detroit Lions
in 1934. In 1935, the Lions, with mostly former Spartans in their starting line-up,
won the NFL Championship.
“The Portsmouth Spartans” is a
20’ x 35’ mural painted on the floodwall in Portsmouth, Ohio by Robert Dafford
in 1994. The mural depicts the NFL “iron man” contest in 1932 when the Spartans
defeated the Green Bay Packers, 19 to 0.
Game: The weather
was brutal, so the first “unofficial” NFL Championship Game between the Chicago
Bears and Portsmouth Spartans was moved inside to Chicago Stadium in 1932.
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