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The Brooklyn Lions were a National Football League team that played in 1926. The team was formed as the league's countermove to the first American Football League, which enfranchised a team called the Brooklyn Horsemen. In the months before the regular season began, both leagues battled with each other for fan support and the right to play at Ebbets Field. The NFL emerged as the winner, as the Lions signed the lease to use the stadium on July 20.[1]

Coached by Punk Berryman, the Lions featured Rex Thomas and Herm Bagby, two members of the backfield who could play either tailback or wingback. On defense, Thomas also snared four interceptions. Unfortunately, the team was only slightly more consistent in its play than the Horsemen, and after the November 7 game against the Kansas City Cowboys (a 10-9 loss at Ebbets Field), the Lions merged with the Horsemen. At the time of the merger, the Lions had compiled a 2-5 won-loss record.[1]

Year W L T Finish Coach
1926 3 8 0 14th Punk Berryman

NOTE: Final NFL standings: official franchise won-lost record combines the wins and losses of the Lions with the results of the games played by the merged Brooklyn Horsemen

"Horse-Lions": The Brooklyn Horsemen (NFL)[]

The result of the merger was derisively dubbed the Horse-Lions by the local media, but initially (November 14, 1926) the merged team played under the Brooklyn Lions banner. The new team, with eight members of the now-defunct AFL team, trounced the Canton Bulldogs 19-0 in front of a small crowd in Ebbets Field. In a last-ditch effort to attract paying fans, the Lions then adopted the Horsemen nickname of the old AFL team... and lost the last three games of their existence by shutout.

Horsemen who were also Lions[]

Eight men played for both the Horsemen in the AFL and the Lions/Horsemen in the NFL:

Fullback Earl Britton
End Ted Drews
End Ed Harrison
Guard Red Howard
Center Ted Plumridge
Tailback Harry Stuhldreher
Guard Tarzan Taylor

In addition, guard Hec Garvey was on the rosters of no fewer than four teams in the AFL or NFL in 1926: the Hartford Blues (NFL), the Horsemen (AFL), the Lions (NFL), and the New York Yankees.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named David S. Neft 1994