Mention pro football in 1920 and you’d get either a quizzical look or one of outright dismissal. The game simply hadn’t existed outside high school and college campuses. In 1920, though, organizers in Ohio got serious. Four teams from the state would form a small league that would eventually morph into the NFL.
According to meeting minutes taken in the fall of 1920, they were to receive a “silver-loving cup”, donated to the Association by a “Mr. Marshall”.
Akron lost its team just a few years later due to lack of interest, while teams in Green Bay and Chicago blossomed. Still, the trophy awarded to what the NFL considers its first league champions would be priceless…if anyone knew where it was.
What became of the Brunswich-Balke Collander Cup remains a mystery. Mark J. Price of Ohio.com chronicles the team–and the missing football artifact.