The Boston Redskins

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The Boston redskins were an American football team that played in the NFL from 1932 to 1938. The team is a predecessor to the Washington Redskins of today.

How did the Boston Redskins Start up?

In 1932, following the folding of the Newark Tornadoes, the NFL granted the city of Boston the vacated slot. George Preston Marshall would be the custodian of the new team and he bought the Tornadoes roster from the NFL. He named the new team Boston Braves after the baseball team by the same name and with whom they shared a home ground (the Braves Field). In 1933, the team relocated to Fenway Park and were renamed the Boston Redskins. The highly controversial name was picked by Marshall as a tribute to several members of the team’s roster including Coach William Dietz who were Native Americans.

The Boston Redskins in Competition

During their first season, playing as the Braves, they hit the ground running, winning their very first game 14-6 over the New York Giants on October 2, 1932. They finished the season with a 4-4-2 record. In 1933 they alternated wins and losses all season, eventually ending the season with a 5-5-2 record. In 1934, the Redskins finished in second place with a 6-6 record. The next season, they would see their performance wane considerably, scoring just 65 points to end the season with a 2-8-1 record. They started the 1936 poorly and were average for most of the season but would recover to win the final three games, clinching the Eastern Division after posting a 7-5 record. However, they were beaten 21-6 by the Green Bay Packers in the Championship game.

Boston Redskins’ most Notable Moments

The defining moment in the Redskins poor reception in Boston came in the second from last game of the 1936 season. A very important game by virtue of the fact that the Redskins were playing for the NFL Eastern title, owner George Marshall was shocked that less than 5,000 fans showed up at Fenway Park. After beating the New York Giants in the next game to clinch the division title, the still infuriated Marshall lobbied the league to allow the championship game against the Packers to be played at the Polo Grounds in New York. These events were largely credited with helping Marshall to make up his mind on relocation.

Boston Redskins’ most notable Players

Halfback Cliff Battles played for the Redskins from 1932 to 1936. He was an influential figure in the team, helping them to the NFL championship game in 1936. As a rookie in 1932, he was the NFL’s leader in rushing. During a game against the New York Rangers in October 1933, Battles became the first player to pass 200 rushing yards in a single game.

Turk Edwards played defensive tackle for the Redskins from 1932 to 1936. He was selected to the NFL’s All-Pro first team in 1934 and 1936 due to his contributions in the Redskins’ mean defense.

Defensive end Wayne Miller joined the Redskins during the 1936 season, with the team owner George Marshall promising that Miller would deliver the title that season. And he came really close to doing that as his defensive and offensive prowess saw the team progress all the way to the NFL Championship game.

What Happened to the Boston Redskins?

The lack of support for the Redskins in Boston was a very infuriating factor to George Marshall, the Redskins’ owner. Marshall had a poor relationship with the Boston press which he accused of deliberately ignoring his team. His accusations had some sort of credence considering that one time, one of the papers featured a girls field hockey team instead of the Redskins. Marshall thought so little of the home crowd that he actually ceded home ground advantage in the 1936 NFL championship, instead asking for the game to be played at the Polo Grounds in New York.

It was clear to him that there was no future for the team in Boston and sought to move the team in order to cut his losses. When the season concluded, he moved the team to Washington, where it remains to date and renamed it the Washington Redskins. Later, Boston would see a return of the NFL through the short lived Boston Yanks (1944-1948), and would then be the Birthplace of the New England Patriots in 1960. The Patriots who were then known as the Boston Patriots would depart for their current home in Foxborough in 1971 leaving Boston without an NFL team.