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Football changed dramatically in the 1920's. Players such as Red Grange, Jim Thorpe, and Notre Dame's Four Horsemen changed the game forever. With their unique style of play, they escalated football to new heights and more competetive levels. Each had their own style of play, which made other teams try harder to get better and beat the other teams. Other things, such as the forward pass, also changed the game of football in the 1920's. However, it was the players and their talent that forever changed American football.
This is a photograph of Jim Thorpe during his playing days in the old football league.
Jim Thorpe was one of the first to change the game. He was an American Indian who was tremendously talented at football. He became the president of the league after he was done playing on a team. He named the league the NFL, which stands for National Football League. This name still stands today for the name of the league where the pros play.
Red Grange also brought play to a higher level. In one game against Michigan in 1924, he scored five times. The most notable feat accomplished by Grange is that on his first four carries, he scored all four times! This is something no other player has accomplished in American football. He drew thousands of people to the games he played in and gave football a new popularity that it had never gotten before. He also emphasized the importance of other positions besides the running back, such as a defensive lineman to stop a running back.
Next came the Four Hoursemen from Notre Dame. Historians argue that they may have been the best backfield in the history of football. Like Red Grange, they also brought in massive crowds of people, making football more popular. The Four Horsemen weren't big, but they all had speed, agility, and strength. They led Notre Dame to an undefeated season and won the college championship with ease. After they got out of college football, all of them went on to successful coaching jobs improving other teams and making better players. You can see the Four Horsemen below.
Last of all, the foward pass changed football forever. Before it became popular, most teams thought passing was useless. But after a while, passing started becoming the major emphasis in football. No longer did teams have to run the ball all the time, but now they could also pass.
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All in all, the 1920's were a starting foundation for football. The NFL got its name which still stands today. The 20's also brought in new styles of plays, including the pass. The 1920's also started to recognize football as a major sport, drawing in large crowds that previously only baseball had done. Lastly, the unique play of people such as Red Grange, Jim Thorpe, and the Four Horsemen escalated the game to more challenging times. Tony Kyles
Flynn, George. Great Moments in Football. New York. W.H. Smith Publishers Inc. pg. 14-20. 1987