The NFL Is Bringing the Draft to Rock Island
The NFL is coming back to Rock Island. There's a sentence I bet you didn't expect to see. The league is honoring some of the select cities where it started and they're going to honor Rock Island, home of the Rock Island Independents, a charter member of the NFL in 1920. This according to a report in the Quad City Times.
One of the focuses of the NFL's visit will be to conduct round six of the NFL draft. This will happen April 27, 2019 at Augustana College. The rest of the festivities are still being worked out, however, the focus of those will be The Rock Island Independents and their home field Douglas Park. Organizers hope to include former NFL great and Augustana College hall of famer Ken Anderson.
I'll be the first to admit I'm a very casual football fan. So when I think of pro football's origins I think of the Decatur Staleys, who would move to Chicago and become the Bears. The Bears - Packers rivalry. Papa Bear Halas. Then pretty much jump to the formation of the American Football League in 1960.
That said, on September 26, 1920 800 people came out to Douglas Park in Rock Island and saw the Independents beat the St. Paul Ideals 48-0 in what's recognized as the first NFL football game. According to the Quad City Times the Independents played in the NFL for six years and had a "thriving rivalry" with the Chicago Bears.
The Rock Island Park District is working with the NFL to put this great community event together. We'll pass along more details to you when we get them. One thing is for sure, it's certainly going to be a fun day for football fans in the Quad Cities. The only thing that might make it better might be a Bears Super Bowl victory!