Before The League

The story of the people and towns that made pro football America's biggest sport.

The 6-part documentary story of the people and towns that made pro football America's biggest sport.

“Before the League” examines how small towns like Canton and Massillon, Ohio were the blueprint for fielding early pro teams as well as fostering healthy rivalries. As precursors to the NFL, teams like the Akron Pros, Dayton Triangles, Portsmouth Spartans, Ironton Tanks, Shelby Blues, Oorang Indians, Rochester Jeffersons, Buffalo All-Americans, Milwaukee Badgers and Columbus Panhandles laid the groundwork for the successes of today’s big city teams.

The story of the people and towns that made pro football America's biggest sport

After years of research, production, and filming across the United States, a new documentary series on the history of professional American football and the origins of the NFL will debut in November on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.

“Before the League” examines how small towns like Canton and Massillon, Ohio were the blueprint for fielding early pro football teams as well as fostering healthy rivalries. As precursors to the current day NFL, teams like the Akron Pros, Dayton Triangles, Portsmouth Spartans, Ironton Tanks, Shelby Blues (Ohio), Oorang Indians (Ohio), Rochester Jeffersons (NY), Buffalo All-Americans, Milwaukee Badgers and Columbus Panhandles laid the groundwork for the successes of today’s big city NFL teams.

2-night event - November 17-18


BEFORE THE LEAGUE TRAILER

Make no mistake, the game as we know it, was built upon the shoulders of the men who dared to dream.
— Joe Horrigan, Pro Football Hall of Fame

"Before the League" tells the story of one of the first professional athletes to break the color barrier; the controversy of football’s first paid player; the only all-Native American professional football team; the site of the first NFL game (Dayton, OH); the origins of some of today’s biggest football franchises; the impact on current high school athletics.

Featuring interviews with: Chris Willis, NFL Films; Kate Buford, Jim Thorpe Biographer; Joe Horrigan, Pro Football Hall of Fame; Floyd Little, former NFL player and Hall of Fame Running Back; Jack Park, Football historian and many others. With unparalleled access granted to the archives at the Hall of Fame, Before the League includes over 1,000 archived and privately held photographs, footage and original memorabilia.

© 2015 Before The League, LLC.