Quad Cities volunteers to play 1920’s style football game

Aug 20, 2015

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.

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.