Green Bay Packers (8-5) 13, Providence Steam Roller (5-4-1) 10
Sunday December 6th 1925 (at Providence)






THE PROVIDENCE STEAM ROLLER
The Providence Steam Roller (also referred to as the Providence Steam Rollers, the Providence Steamroller and the Providence Steamrollers) was a professional American football team based in Providence, Rhode Island in the National Football League from 1925 to 1931. Providence was the first New England team to win an NFL championship. The Steam Roller won the league's championship in 1928. They are the last team to win a championship and no longer be in the league. Most of their home games were played in a 10,000-seat stadium that was built for bicycle races called the Cycledrome.
History
The Steam Roller was established in 1916 by members of the Providence Journal; sports-editor Charles Coppen and part-time sports-writer Pearce Johnson. Three men shared in the ownership and management of the team: Coppen, James Dooley, and Peter Laudati. Meanwhile Johnson stayed on as the team's manager for each year of its existence. The team soon became a regional power and by the mid-1920s was known as the best independent team in the country. By 1919 the team was drawing in more spectators than Brown University by a margin of 2–1, due to newspaper reports at the time. However it seemed unlikely since the Steam Roller crowd was on average 3,000 spectators a game. The players' wages were lower than those of Indiana and Ohio, so it was harder for the Steam Roller to bring in " ringers". Several college football players did play for the Steam Roller, but under aliases, so as to not jeopardize their amateur status. In 1924, Providence's schedule featured several NFL teams. The Steam Roller posted a 3–2–1 record against those teams, defeating the Rochester Jeffersons (3–0), Minneapolis Marines (49–0) and Dayton Triangles (10–7). Both of their two losses came against the Frankford Yellow Jackets (21–10) and (16–3). The team also posted a scoreless tie against the Columbus Tigers. The 1924 Steam Roller then went on to win the mythical "undisputed championship of the Northeast". The team's success that season was enough to make Steam Roller management and fans start thinking about playing in the NFL.
NFL years
Providence joined the NFL in time for the 1925 season. By that time only three players from the 1924 team were still in the line-up when the team's first practice of 1925 was held on September 17. In fact, only about a dozen of them wore Steam Roller colors for the team's debut in the NFL. The Steam Roller had played mediocre football in their first two NFL seasons, but posted a strong 8–5–1 record in 1927 with Jim Conzelman as the team's head coach. For his per game salary of $292, Conzelman not only coached the team but also played quarterback in the single-wing formation. The star player for Providence was halfback George "Wildcat" Wilson, a 1925 All-American from the University of Washington who had spent the 1926 season as the head of the traveling Los Angeles Wildcats of the AFL.
1928 championship season
Providence opened its 1928 season against Red Grange and the New York Yankees, Wilson's rival from the AFL. The Steam Roller led the Yankees 20–7 at halftime and held that score throughout the second half. However the team's next game resulted in a 10–6 loss to the Frankford Yellow Jackets. However the team soon rebounded with a four-game winning streak over the Dayton Triangles (28–0), Yankees (12–6), Pottsville Maroons (13–6) and Detroit Wolverines (7–0). The Steam Roller faced the Yellow Jackets again at Frankford Stadium on November 17, which resulted in a scoreless tie. However a week later, at the Cycledrome, Providence finally avenged its only loss of the season with a 6–0 victory over the Yellow Jackets. The team would then post wins over the New York Giants (16–0) and Pottsville (7–0), before ending its season with a 7–7 tie, against the Green Bay Packers. Providence was named the 1928 NFL Champions. Prior to the 1932 season, the NFL team with the best winning percentage was named the NFL Champions. Despite the Yellow Jackets winning 3 more games than the Steam Roller and posting an 11–3–2 record, Providence was awarded the title due to having a better winning percentage. A "victory banquet" at the Biltmore Hotel took place a week later. At the banquet, each player was rewarded with a gold watch. It was also at this event that Conzelman was given a trophy and named the team's "Most Valuable Player". Five of the Steam Roller players gained All-NFL honors when the league issued its official honor roll on December 23. Wildcat Wilson and Clyde Smith were named to the first team, while Curly Oden, Milt Rehnquist, and Gus Sonnenberg were placed on the second team.
NFL firsts
Over the course of the next seven years, the team not only won an NFL championship but also established three league "firsts." In 1925, Providence was the first NFL team to play its home games in a bicycle racing stadium (a velodrome). In 1929, the Steam Roller established two NFL "firsts." In the six-day period between November 5 and November 10, 1929, Providence played four games. The marathon string began against the Staten Island Stapletons, the Chicago Cardinals and concluded with a two-game series against the Frankford Yellow Jackets. Although the Steam Roller made history, their 0–3–1 record during that six-day stretch proved to be a scheduling disaster. During the second game of that four game series, Providence hosted the Cardinals on November 6. The game was played at night at nearby Kinsley Park, where floodlights recently had been installed. The teams had originally been scheduled to play on Sunday, November 3, but heavy rains made the Cycledrome field unplayable. Since neither team wanted to lose a payday, the historic night game was hastily scheduled. Because of this, Providence made history again by being the first team to host an NFL game at night under floodlights. Although the Steam Roller lost 16–0, the game was declared a success because 6,000 fans attended.
Decline
Despite their 1928 championship, the team experienced troubles in 1929. On January 4, 1929, Sonnenberg defeated Strangler Lewis in two straight falls to capture the world heavyweight championship in professional wrestling. This caused Sonnenberg to stay out of football, as he could make better money defending his title. Meanwhile Oden quit pro football to take a job with an insurance company in Boston, and Smith decided to return to his native Missouri and coach football. Conzelman also didn't fully recover from a knee injury sustained in 1928. Rehnquist missed the first half of the season due of illness, and Wildcat Wilson became complacent and turned into an ordinary back. The 1929 Steam Roller struggled to a 4–6–2 record, resulting in a 7th place league finish. This caused the fans, who attended each game during the championship season, to stay home. The team posted a 6–4–1 record in 1930 and a 4–4–3 record in 1931. The lack of interest, coupled with the Great Depression in 1930, caused Dooley, Coppen and Laudati to suspend operations after the 1931 season. The three owners then gave up and turned the franchise back over to the NFL in 1933.
Name origin
During halftime against a game between the Steam Roller and the Providence Pros, Charles Coppen who was getting a hot dog, heard a remark that the opposing team was "getting steam-rolled". Coppen loved the remark so much he named his team the Steam Roller.
Other Steam Roller teams
A team known as the Providence Huskies (the Steam Roller had used a husky-like dog as their mascot, so this team may have been a continuation of or successor to the Steam Roller) played during the 1933 season. The Huskies earned a perfect season, the only season in the professional or semi-professional record books to have not allowed their opponents to score a single point over an entire season. The Steam Roller name was revived by Pearce Johnson, one of the original team's founders. The subsequent Steamrollers played on a near-continuous basis since that point as a semi-pro, minor league, and independent team until 1942, when it moved to Springfield and became the Springfield Steamroller for 1943, and suspended operations shortly thereafter. The last three seasons of a "Providence Steam Roller" team were as a member of the Atlantic Coast Football League; in 1962, the Steamroller team was the league's runner-up, losing in the championship to the Paterson Miners in a double-overtime decision. The assets of the ACFL Steam Roller were bought and taken to the Continental Football League as the Rhode Island Indians, where the team played one last season in 1965. After the 1965 season, the team's franchise rights were turned over to famed baseball player Jackie Robinson and became the "Brooklyn Dodgers," which lasted one season. The name was revived again in 1988 for an Arena Football League team, the New England Steamrollers.
(SOURCE: Wikipedia)
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(PROVIDENCE) - Overcoming the lopsided decisions of three home officials, the Green Bay Packers knocked off the Providence Steam Rollers here Sunday afternoon by the score of 13 to 10 in a game which the natives claimed was the most sensational ever staged in this city. The work of the officials was so rotten that some of the spectators in the south stand let out a yell like this: "Three cheers for the referee." "Hurrah for Jessie James." Early in the game it didn't look as if the Packers could have copped the argument with the entire squad and East high in the bargain.Everytime the Green Bay eleven would gain a few yard, penalties would be called and the Packers were set back farther than they advanced. It was so lopsided that even the spectators began to boo. However, the Packer kept on going despite the hurdles that they had to jump and they breezed home to victory in  the closing minutes of the argument. Rather than have to have another "Cardinal" turmoil, one of the Green Bay followers kept check on the watch when there were only minutes to go. Old "62", the touchdown play that won a lot of games for the Packers this season, "steam rolled" the Providence team. After Laird had booted a field goal in the fourth quarter many of the spectators started homeward, thinking it was all over but the shouting.
PACKERS FIGHT HARD
However, a fighting team can't be beaten and the Packers were fighting as they never fought before on Sunday. Cutting loose with a series of forward passes,
the Bays launched a march down the field that ended in
victory. Pass after pass was thrown and the Providence
team tried everything in the book and out of it to check
the advance, but it was fruitless. Finally the ball was
within scoring distance. Several plays went into the
discard and victory or defeat hung on the next play. The
Packers huddled and then sprung into the line of
scrimmage. Mathys called the old "62" and the ball was
snapped. For a second it didn't seem as if Charlie was
going to be able to make the pass. But he zipped the
ball with bulletlike speed and Crowley dashed out of the
melee with two Providence players trailing him like a
leech. They knocked him partly down but he reeled over
on his back and grabbed the cowhide as it grazed one
of the enemy's hands. It was a bit of super football, even
greater than Tillie Voss' wonderful stab against Racine
last year, and the whole mob got up on their feet and
cheered. Abramson put an additional nail in the 
Providence coffin by kicking the goal after touchdown.
It sure was a sensational finish to a thrilling game. The
Steam Rollers scored early in the struggle. The game
was not long underway when the Packers got in a jam
due to a fumbled punt and a blocked kick. This put the
Bays in a hole and soon after, following a couple of first
downs, Wentworth dashed over tackle on a line split
play for 20 yards and a touchdown. The goal was
kicked.
RAIN FORWARD PASSES
It didn't take the Packers long after this score to find
themselves and they began raining forward passes all
over the lot. There was no scoring for the remaining of
the first quarter and the second but twice the Green
Bay gridders were down within the danger zone only to
have penalties "wished" on them and their chances for
a score went up in smoke. Just before time was called
for the half, the Bays marched down the field, thanks to
a series of well executed forwards. Buck, who was
acting as captain, asked how long there was to play,
the head linesman was keeping time and he told Buck
there was four minutes left. But when the Bays had the
oval only a yard from the Providence goal line, the timer
piped up and said, "ten seconds to play". A pass was
attempted but it was knocked down and the danger was
over. Time was then called. The second half hadn't been
underway very long when Providence attempted a
forward pass from midfield. Eddie Kotal bobbed up on the horizon and intercepted the pass. He started down the field 65 yards away with the whole pack in pursuit. Fritz Pollard and Wentworth, both ten seconds men, led the chase after the former Lawrence star, but he stepped along like a Pennsylvania flyer and they didn't stand a chance to catch him. Abramson missed the goal. A sweeping wind carrying the ball away from the uprights. The story of the rest of the game has been told. The eye spots were Laird's field goal and Crowley's sensational catch of the forward pass. The Bays breathed a sigh of relief when the final whistle blew because every one of the players had been used up. There wasn't an available extra left on the bench ready for an emergency.
EVERYBODY STARRED
It wouldn't be fair to pick out any star in the Packer machine as every member of the squad fought for all that was in him. Injuries crippled the Green Bays but the gang carried on, determined to win at any cost. A toll of the hospital list shows Vergara with a badly injured shoulder. It was the same one he hurt in the Bear game. Lewellen had a bad ankle and the same applies to Basing. Buck can hardly hobble. He played the whole game with water on the knee. Larson's knee is much the worse for wear while Abramson came back to life after being knocked woozy from a blow on the head. The Packers left here at midnight in a special car. They will spend a day seeing the sights of Broadway and then hop over to Washington for 12 hours. the team leaves Washington at 8 p.m. Tuesday night arriving in Chicago the following evening and boarding a midnight train which will get them home Thursday morning. 
GREEN BAY  -  0  0  6  7 - 13
PROVIDENCE -  7  0  0  3 - 10
1st - PRO - Cy Wentworth, 20-yard run (Red Maloney kick) PROVIDENCE 7-0
3rd - GB - Kotal, 60-yard pass interception (Kick failed) PROVIDENCE 7-6
4th - PRO - Jim Laird, 30-yard field goal PROVIDENCE 10-6
4th - GB - Crowley, 3-yard pass from Mathys (Abramson kick) GREEN BAY 13-10
CYCLEDROME - HOME OF THE PROVIDENCE STEAM ROLLER
The Cycledrome was an American football stadium and velodrome located in Providence, Rhode Island. Its name derived from its intended use as a bicycle racing stadium (velodrome) when it was built in 1925 by sports promoter Pete Laudati. The stadium was home to the Providence Steam Roller of the National Football League (NFL) from 1925 to 1933, who played their games in the infield of the velodrome. The football field was snugly surrounded by a wooden track with steeply-banked ends, which cut sharply into the end zones and reduced them to just five yards in depth. During football games, temporary seating was permitted on the straight-away portion of the track, which was so close to the field that players, after being tackled, often found themselves in the stands. In 1930 floodlights were installed at the stadium for night games, and the Steam Roller became the first NFL team to host a game under lights. The Cycledrome had a capacity of 10,000 spectators. The Cycledrome was located off of North Main Street, near the Providence-Pawtucket line. In its later years, the Cycledrome was the location of the E.M. Loewe's drive-in theater. The site is now home to a Shaw's Supermarket and a Peter Pan Bus Terminal.