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Tigers by the River: A True and Accurate Tale of the Early Days of Pro Football (Paperback)
The Memphis Tigers were a professional football team in the early years of professional football. They were first organized by Early Maxwell, a well known Southern sportswriter, who quickly gave way by selling his interests to the wealthiest entrepreneur in Memphis, Clarence Saunders, who founded the Piggly-Wiggly grocery chain, the first self-service grocery stores in America. In keeping with the times, Saunders quickly bought the services of the finest players available, several of whom are early inductees of the NFL Hall of Fame, scheduled the best teams in the country, including the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. In fact, in 1929 their last game of the season was against the NFL champions Green Bay Packers, whom the Tigers beat before a packed stadium in Memphis to proclaim themselves as the national professional ball champions.
This is a story of the early years of professional football when players moved from team to team and the owners scratched out a living. Appearing throughout the manuscript are some of the most illustrious names in professional football: George Halas, Wellington Mara, Johnny Blood McNally, Curly Lambeau, Bronko Nagurski, Red Grange, and many others who are no less interesting if not so famous. It was a different time, the late 1920s and early 1930s, a segregated American society but with great changes happening that are reflected in this story. The research was extensive, microfilms of old newspaper, and yielded much gold.