Frankford Yellow Jackets (11-1-1) 20, Green Bay Packers (6-3-2) 14
Thursday November 25th 1926 (at Frankford)
In November of 1925 the Green Bay Packers made their first trip to Pennsylvania. The purpose of that visit? To play two of the newest and strongest teams in the National Football League: the Pottsville Maroons and Frankford Yellow Jackets. The Packers fell victim to the Maroons on Thanksgiving, and two days later suffered another setback at the hands of the Yellow Jackets. In retrospect, the game in Frankford was probably the more meaningful of the two contests. For when the Packers returned to the Keystone State the following season, it was to face the Yellow Jackets on Thanksgiving, and that game witnessed the beginning of what quickly became an annual holiday tradition. Thanksgiving Day rivalries have never been common in the NFL, which is somewhat surprising, especially considering the fact that individual clubs arranged their own schedules during the league’s first decade. Certainly the most notable holiday rivalry of that period was between the Bears and Cardinals, who met every Thanksgiving from 1922 thru 1932 to decide the city championship of Chicago. The only other holiday rivalry to even come close was that of the Green Bay Packers and Frankford Yellow Jackets. At its onset the Yellow Jackets were at the height of their prowess, poised to capture the 1926 NFL championship. By the time of their final Thanksgiving Day battle in 1930, it was the Packers who stood atop the NFL in the midst of a three-year reign as league champions. It’s not entirely clear why this particular rivalry developed, or that either team originally intended to make it an annual event. The most likely reasons are that the Packers, like most clubs around the league, recognized the Yellow Jackets as both the strongest team in the East and an emerging power in the NFL. The Yellow Jackets also had a large and enthusiastic fan base that turned out for games. This made them a desirable opponent, as the visitor’s share of the gate at Frankford was often more than an average team might expect to earn at home. The fact that the Packers usually played only away games once the calendar turned November may also have been a contributing factor, and is almost certainly the reason these holiday games were all played at Yellow Jacket Field. From Frankford’s perspective, Green Bay fielded a strong club and hailed from the Midwest. Long considered the heartland of professional football, opponents from that region had always appealed to Yellow Jackets’ fans. But whatever the reasons for the initial Thanksgiving Day contest, it was undoubtedly the competitiveness of the game that set the stage for a rematch the following year. Although Frankford was the stronger club at the beginning of the affair and Green Bay toward the end, neither team truly dominated the series. The Packers held a slight 5-4-1 edge in overall games between the teams, but on Thanksgiving it was an even 2-2-1 split. And the holiday contests were usually good ones, almost always having some bearing on the outcome of the season for one or both clubs. 
1926 - Their inaugural Turkey Day tilt occurred in 1926. By late November of that year the Chicago Bears (10-0-1) sat atop the league standings, but the Yellow Jackets (10-1-1) were hot on their heels. A loss to Green Bay on the holiday would likely have knocked Frankford out of contention, making the outcome of this particular contest all the more important. As one might expect, the game proved no easy affair. The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 13-0 first quarter lead on the strength of their running game. But the Packers responded with a touchdown through the air in the second quarter, and moved ahead with another early in the final period. Then, in the closing minutes of play, the Yellow Jackets scored a game-winning touchdown on a long pass play of their own. That 20-14 victory set the stage for a showdown with the Bears the following week. A 7-6 Frankford victory in that slugfest put the Yellow Jackets in the cat-bird’s seat, and ultimately led to an NFL championship.
1927 - By mid-November of 1927, the Packers (6-2-1) were playing solid football and well on the way to their most successful season since joining the league. The defending champion Yellow Jackets (5-7-1), on the other hand, were in the middle of their first losing season in recent memory. That year’s holiday match-up seemed to reflect the teams’ respective fortunes. Although Frankford jumped out to a 9-0 lead, Green Bay closed the gap to 9-7 by the end of the first half. Then the Packers turned up the aerial attack to dominate the final two quarters, riding their passing game a 17-9 victory.
GAME RECAP (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE)
(FRANKFORD) - The Frankford Yellowjackets defeated
the Green Bay Packers here this afternoon at the
Frankford national professional football league grounds
by a score of 20 to 14. It was the most exciting and
interesting game witnessed on these grounds this year.
About 10,000 persons saw the game. After getting off
to a poor start in the first period when Frankford crashed
through for touchdowns by the liberal use of her aerial
system. The Big Bay Blues, champions of Wisconsin,
came back in the second, third and part of the fourth
periods with sensational rallies which brought the score
to 14 to 13 in favor of the Packers and it looked as 
though that was going to be the final score.
YELLOWJACKETS RALLY
The Yellowjackets came back with a vicious attack in
the waning moments of the closing quarter. With the
ball on Green Bay's 45-yard line, Stockton threw a long
forward pass across the field to Homan who was on 
Green Bay's left end around the 10-yard mark and he
had a clear field for a touchdown, which brought the
score to 20 to 14 in favor of Frankford and this was the
final score despite all the Packers could do to offset it.
Green Bay did not have much luck with her aerial attack
in the first half, most of her passes being incompleted
or knocked down by one of Frankford's men. But things
began to change for the better in the second, third and
early part of the fourth quarter, when passes from
Captain Lambeau, Lewellen and Purdy were good for
long gains and resulted in two touchdowns which for a
time was thought to be the winning score.
GOOD CROWD SEES GAME
Purdy's all around work and kicking was a feature of the
game. It could not have been a better day for the game.
The weather was clear and just cold enough to make
the day ideal. The stands were jammed with spectators,
out to see the Yellowjackets retain their place in the
standings of the league. If Green Bay had succeeded in
tumbling them, it would have knocked the Yellowjackets
out of a chance to beat the Chicago Bears out of the
championship.
GREEN BAY -  0  7  0  7 - 14
FRANKFORD - 13  0  0  7 - 20
1st - FR - Tex Hamer, 18-yard run (Kick failed)
FRANKFORD 6-0
1st - FR - Ben Jones run (Johnny Budd kick)
FRANKFORD 13-0
2nd - GB - Lidberg run (Purdy kick) FRANKFORD 13-7
4th - GB - Flaherty pass from Lambeau (Purdy kick)
GREEN BAY 14-13
4th - FR - Two-Bits Homan, 38-yard pass from Hust Stockton (Paul Hogan kick) FRANKFORD 20-14
GREEN BAY-DETROIT GAME TO BE SHOWN AT COLUMBUS CLUB
NOVEMBER 26 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Green Bay-Detroit professional football game at Navin field, Detroit, Sunday will be shown on the gridgraph at
the Columbus club beginning at 1 o'clock. The doors
will be open at 12:30 o'clock and there will be seats for
everyone. The Detroit Panthers have one of the
strongest clubs in the league and a tough battle is
predicted for Sunday when the Michiganders seek
revenge for the 21-0 licking handed them here. Green
Bay has lost two close games during the past week,
but according to advices received here from the team,
the players are not downheartened and can be 
counted on to give a good account of themselves on
Sunday. The admission price will be 50 cents. The
proceeds of the gate will go to the Green Bay Football
corporation. A special Western Union telegraph wire
will carry the play by play story of the game.
PRO FOOTBALL GOSSIP
NOVEMBER 26 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The 
Canton Bulldogs and Chicago Bears are booked to
resume their gridiron feud on Sunday. In the olden
days, this always was one of the big games of the
year but these Bulldogs appear to have lost their bite...
Kansas City is going to stop off at the Cardinal park in
Chicago en route home to joust with Chris O'Brien's
gridders. For a traveling team these Cowboys under
Doc Andrews sure have been playing bang up ball...A
battle royal should be on tap Sunday at the Polo
Grounds when the Giants have it out with Hartford. The
Blues took a close margin licking early in the season
at the hands of the Broadwayites and hope for revenge.
..Duluth is making its longest hop east this weekend
as the Eskimos exhibit their gridiron wares in Providence. The Polar Bear have taken a couple of lickings of late but just the same are a good gate attraction...Brick Muller, Imlay and Maul, those three super footballers, who headline the Columbus club, are billed for action in Columbus Sunday. The Far Westerners have a corking good eleven and they should fill the park...The Green Bay Packers will play their last game of a 3-joust trip at Detroit. In the opening game of the season, the Badger state champs booked Conzelman and his Panthers for a decisive 21 to 0 defeat at the Bay...Brooklyn will be at home to the Akron club. This year the Neidmen have been "in and outers" but if they have one of their "on" days the revamped Dodgers will have to step lively to put across another victory...The scheduled games of the Dayton and Louisville clubs have been tossed into the discard. Racine has called quite and the Ohioans are without a game and the same story holds good at Milwaukee where Louisville was booked...The Chicago Bears make their annual trip east on December 5 and 6. This is the hop that has broke more than one club this season. On the fifth, the Bruins muss with the Yellowjackets and the next day tackle New York...Pottsville is keeping close on the heels of the leaders in the National league chase. The Providence jinx upset the Miners a game during midseason but right now the Maroons are going just as fast as any spoke in the loop...After traveling all around the circuit, Los Angeles will soon hit the trail for home. The Pacific coast team is booking a number of games for late December and January. Several of the clubs are going to travel out there...There is another Mahrt bobbing into the spotlight with Dayton this year. The newest members of the football clan is Lou and he has turned out to be a classy halfback. The youngster is a product of Dayton university...Johnny Bryan, manager of the Milwaukee club, has returned to his first love, the Bears. The Badgers have finished up for the season and Bryan got an attractive offer to play with the Bruins in their remaining contests...Honest to goodness rooting is always on tap at the Yellowjacket park in Philadelphia. Youthful cheerleaders from Frankford high go through their paces and Chamberlain's followers raise the roof with their yells...Murphy, a wingman from St. Thomas college in Minnesota, who started this season with Racine, is now seeing some action as a member of the Duluth club. Murphy is a first class pass receiver besides being a savage tackle...Bieberstein, former All-Western conference guard at Wisconsin, is the newest addition to the Green Bay Packers. This is his first year of pro football because during 1925 he was an assistant to George Little at Madison...According to a bulletin issued by President Joe Carr of the NFL, business is as good as could be expected around the circuit considering the number of rainy Sundays on tap the past two months...Dunc Annan, who has plenty of pro football, has been one of the mainstays of the Akron backfield this fall. Annan hasn't lost any of this surefire pep and still shows lots of ability to pick a hole in the line...Hoots Flanagan, Wentz and Ernst, a trio of veteran backfielders, have counted many markers for Pottsville this fall. This combination with Tommy La Tone as the other carrier is hard to bear in the National grid wheel...Green, who saw some service with the Cardinals in the first part of the schedule, is now playing a tackle for Louisville. This youngster from Loyola is a rugged customer and seems to have the makings of a pro star...Koppisch, Columbia All-American, who ran the Buffalo club in 1925, has been showing flashes of his collegiate form with the Gianrs. Behind the New Yorkers' study forward wall, Koppsich should travel like a house-a-fire...Lauer is giving good service at an end for the Detroit Panthers. Conzelman was a bit short of wing material so he shifted the backfielder out to an extremity post. Lauer can stand a lot of banging and is a good pass catcher.
​PACKERS BOAST HEAVIEST LINE
NOVEMBER 27 (Detroit Free Press) - Green Bay Packers will send the heaviest football line in the world against the Detroit Panthers at Navin Field Sunday afternoon. While Canton and the Chicago Bears can present a set of forwards who weigh well over 200, the Packers still have a wide margin over either of those teams. Green Bay's line Sunday will average 230 1/2
pounds from tackle to tackle. The ends, being only 200
pounders, will bring the average for the line from end to
end down to 221. The Packers will have such 
heavyweights as Earpe, 240 pounds, Jean, 224 1/2
pounds, Cahoon, 234 pounds, Gardner, 224 pounds,
Woodin, 208 pounds, Rosatti, 216 pounds, Cyre, 214
pounds. The Packers defeated the Panthers, 21 to 0,
at Green Bay in the first game of the season. All three
touchdowns were scored on long forward passes, 
thrown by Curly Lambeau, captain of the Packers,
O'Donnell, left end, taking two of them. In the backfield
with Lambeau will be Pid Purdy, Lew Lewellen, former
Nebraska star, and Swede Lidberg, All-Conference
fullback two years ago. Purdy is center fielder for the
Chicago White Sox during the summer and is rated as
the equal of Paddy Driscoll in dropkicking. He is a
sensational broken field runner. The Panthers will need
all their reserve strength for the Packer game as they
play the Frankford Yellowjackets in Philadelphia 
Saturday and will arrive back in Detroit just an hour
before the time for the Green Bay game. This will be
the last National league game of the season here.
GREEN BAY PACKERS MAY PLAY CHICAGO BEARS
ON DECEMBER 19
NOVEMBER 27 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The
football season may be over tomorrow for the Green
Bay Packers after all. According to advices received
from Chicago today, there is a strong possibility that
the local professional eleven will lock horns with the
Chicago Bears on December 19 at Soldier's field,
Chicago, in a benefit game. The proceeds from the gate would go to the annual Christmas basket fund, organized by the late Patrick J. Carr, Cook county treasurer, several years ago. A.B. Turnbull, president of the Green Bay Football corporation, is in Chicago today conferring with George Halas, manager of the Bears and a definite announcement will probably be made Monday. Halas is anxious to have the Packers participate in the benefit game because of their excellent showing there on November 21 against the Bears. Green Bay is the best drawing card in the Middle West and the spectators would be assured of a great battle because the teams are closely matched and there is a great spirit of rivalry between them, Manager Halas says.
BEARS, PACKERS PLAN PRO GAME FOR CHARITY
NOVEMBER 27 (Chicago Tribune) - Representatives of the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers, National pro league football teams, will meet in the office of the county treasurer this morning to complete plans for the benefit game at Soldiers' Field December 19, the proceeds from which will be devoted to the annual Christmas basket fund organized several years ago by the late P.J. Carr. The permanent organization of the P.J. Carr Memorial Fund was completed yesterday, and letters of incorporation have been issued by the secretary of state.
PACKERS DETERMINED TO WALLOP DETROIT PANTHERS SUNDAY
NOVEMBER 27 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Green Bay Packers arrived here last night from Philadelphia for their game Sunday against the Detroit Panthers at Navin Field. The Packers came out of the Philadelphia game in fairly good shape and have high hopes of bringing home at least one victory from their road trip. The two games lost so far were no disgrace. The Green Bay pro eleven battled every minute against the Chicago Bears and the Frankford Yellowjackets and had victory in their grasp, only to see it fade away both times. Philadelphia had the finest passing attack that the Packers have seen in a long time, and it was not until the Quakers had scored two touchdowns that it was finally solved...HAD GOOD AERIAL ATTACK: In the first two periods virtually every Philadelphia pass was completed, while in the last two periods the Yellowjacket passes were mostly knocked down, with the exception of the one that Homan grabbed and ran for a touchdown, winning the game with two minutes to go. The Green Bay eleven worked out at Navin Field this morning and another practice session is due this afternoon for Capt. Lambeau is determined to win tomorrow's game of he has to use every man on the squad. Detroit is battling the Yellowjackets today and the Packers figure that when the fast and crushing Pennsylvanians get through with them they won't have much left for Sunday's battle against them. The Green Bay squad will leave Detroit Sunday night and expects to reach home late Monday.
GREEN BAY-DETROIT GAME PLAY BY PLAY WILL START AT ONE P.M.
NOVEMBER 27 (Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Green Bay Packers in their final game this season against the Detroit Panthers should put up an exhibition worthy of the attention of Packer fans, and for this reason the contest will be reproduced in detail on the Gridgraph at the Columbus club community building Sunday afternoon. Fans are warned that the game will start at 1 o'clock, Green Bay time. Those who want to see the game should not permit the old habit of coming down to the auditorium at 2 p.m. get the better of them, or they will probably miss some of the best plays. Although defeated by the Bears, and the Yellowjackets on their Eastern tour, the Big Bay Blues have maintained their reputation as a fighting aggregation and it is expected that they will put up a real battle against Jimmy Conzelman's aggregation Sunday afternoon. Conzelman has always been a good drawing card in Green Bay and no doubt a great many of the Green Bay fans will turn out to see what he can do against the Packers on this occasion.
​PANTHER LINE DUE FOR TEST
NOVEMBER 28 (Detroit Free Press) - Eager to overcome an early season setback, the Panthers engage the Green Bay Packers at Navin Field Sunday afternoon in the closing game of the National league season and thus clear the decks for the city title contest with Gus Nykiel's Tigers next Sunday. To conquer Green Bay, Detroit must show more than it did against Brick Muller's Californians in line play or the Wisconsin eleven is apt to repeat its success of the last meeting, which it won 21 to 0. The heaviest line in professional football is boasted by Green Bay, a forward wall that averages well above 200 pounds, and a stonewall through which few teams have been able to gain with any consistency during the season. It was the strong line that turned the Panthers back in the opening fray of the season...PANTHERS STRENGTHENED: Since that meeting Detroit has bolstered its line, but whether it will measure up to the visitors only can be determined when the teams collide. Only one team has been able to dent the Panther line in the last six games and the wearers of the blue and gold are confident that the Wisconsin team will be turned back in its every attempt to penetrate the first line of defense. Weather conditions will play a major role in determining the outcome. The Panthers boast a more varied attack, but the vaunted overhead game is apt to be tossed into discard should the field be in the same condition it was last Thursday. Dinger Doane, who reached the peak of his plunging ability against California, will be called upon to carry the burden after the first period, when Marion is to start testing the line...TO START SAME TEAM: Virtually the same team that started against Brick Muller's aggregation will face the Packers and, unless the field is in a sloppy condition, the contest should be a fitting climax to a hard season.
1928 - The following year the Packers and Yellow Jackets squared-off twice. Their first meeting was in the season opener, which ended 19-9 in Frankford’s favor. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around the Yellow Jackets (9-2-2) had thoroughly rebounded from the previous season’s woes and were making another strong run at a title. After getting off to a slow start, the Packers (5-3-2) also seemed to be moving in the right direction. That season’s holiday game was a defensive struggle in which neither offense made much any headway. Indeed, Frankford’s 2-0 margin of victory was the result of a fluke play – a safety born of an errant Green Bay snap into the end-zone during a botched punt attempt. But the effort put forth left the Yellow Jackets weakened and affected their play when, on just two days rest, they faced the Chicago Bears the following Sunday. The 28-6 thrashing they suffered that afternoon at Wrigley Field effectively took them out of contention.
1929 - 1929 was perhaps the Packers best season ever, as the team posted a remarkable 12-0-1 record while en route to capturing the first of their record 12 NFL championships. But that is not to say they didn’t have at least one close call. Green Bay had defeated Frankford handily in mid-October. But by Thanksgiving the Yellow Jackets (9-2-3) were playing well, and a victory on the holiday would bring both the Packers (10-0-0) and another league championship within striking distance. Early in the first quarter Frankford drove to the Green Bay 2-yard line before losing possession on a grounded pass. After that the game turned into a defensive stalemate in which neither team was able to gain an upper hand. Indeed, the Packers never penetrated any farther than the Yellow Jackets’ 20-yard line. The scoreless draw that resulted put an end to any chance Frankford might have had at challenging for the title and proved to be the lone blemish on an otherwise perfect 1929 season for Green Bay.
1930 - The defending champion Packers opened the 1930 season with a string of eight consecutive victories. The Yellow Jackets, in contrast, started with just two. They then proceeded to lose their next ten in a row, including a 27-12 defeat at Green Bay. That year’s Thanksgiving Day showdown was simply more of the same. The Packers dominated with a strong passing attack and took full advantage of Yellow Jackets’ miscues, scoring 14 points off of turnovers. Their 25-7 victory at Frankford was just another stop on Green Bay’s road to a second NFL title.
1931 - In 1931 the Packers picked-up right where they’d left off at the end of the previous season, handily winning their first nine games. Once again, it was different story for the Yellow Jackets. The onset of the Great Depression and an off-season fire that destroyed Frankford Stadium left the club in dire straights. When the two teams met at Green Bay in October, the Packers notched a 15-0 shutout. That loss was Frankford’s fourth in five outings, and the road ahead wasn’t looking any easier. Indeed, within a month financial distress would force the Yellow Jackets to disband, pre-empting that season’s holiday classic with the Packers. Green Bay rescheduled, playing the Providence Steam Roller on Thanksgiving Day. The 38-7 blowout victory they scored that afternoon all but clinched their third consecutive NFL championship. The Frankford Yellow Jackets, on the other hand, never took to the field again.