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1920'S Style Football in the QC Sunday

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A replica of a 1920's "melon style" football.

  Hoping to highlight the pro football history of the Quad Cities, a group of dedicated volunteers will play a 1920's style game this weekend. They'll play as members of the Rock Island Independents and the Moline Universal Tractors, two early professional teams.

  With a love of football, and history, Simon Herrera created a website about the Independents, and soon was contacted to set up a game by Tractors enthusiast, Chris Zimmerman. 

Herrera says the major differences between then and now include the larger and rounder "melon style" football, and in the 20's after the other team scored, you had the option of kicking or receiving.

  Drop kicks, while still legal, were much more common in pro football 90 years ago.

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We'll encourage drop kicks to help make the game authentic.

Herrera says they'll also wear replica jerseys and helmets, but instead of tackle, the two teams will play flag football. 


The Rock Island Independents was one of the original members of the NFL when it was formed in 1920, while the Moline Universal Tractors are famous for being the first opponent of the Decatur Staleys, later known as the Chicago Bears.

Pre-game festivities begin at 1:30 pm Sunday in Douglas Park in Rock Island, with kickoff at 2. Admission is free. 

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A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.