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RI Versus Moline in Vintage Football

Simon Herrera
the modern day Rock Island Independents

Vintage football will return to the Quad Cities this weekend. On Sunday, the Rock Island Independents will take on the Moline Universal Tractors in their fourth annual re-enactment of how the game was played 100 years ago.

The players will wear vintage-style uniforms complete with small leather helmets and a few small pads, but their one nod to modern times will be, instead of tackle they'll play flag football.

The 9 on 9 game will be played on an 80 yard field, and one of the organizers, Simon Herrera, says turnout for the free game has been between 300 and 500 each year. Douglas Park is the site of the Rock Island Independents first game in 1907. By the 20's, the team was a member of the association that later became the NFL.

Festivities begin at 1 pm Sunday with a jazz band playing as the players warmup. The game begins at 2. So far the Universal Tractors lead the series 2 games to 1. 

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.