New York Yanks
The New York Yanks American football team played in the National Football League under that name in the 1950 and 1951 seasons.
The team originally began as the Boston Yanks, owned by Kate Smith's manager, Ted Collins. He'd originally wanted a team in New York City, but had to be content with one in Boston after the New York Giants refused to let his new team share the New York area. In 1949, however, Collins, suspecting that the All-America Football Conference was on its last legs, finally got permission to move to New York. Rather than a formal relocation, however, Collins asked the NFL to fold his Boston franchise and grant him a new one for New York—most likely as a tax write-off. This new team played as the New York Bulldogs and shared the Polo Grounds with the Giants during the 1949 season.
In 1950, Collins changed his franchise's name to the New York Yanks and moved to Yankee Stadium. For all intents and purposes, however, this was an almost entirely new team. Only four players from the 1949 Bulldogs (Joe Domnanovich, Joe Golding, John Nolan and John Rauch) played for the Yanks in 1950. In contrast, there were 18 players from the New York Yankees of the AAFC (Bruce Alford, George Brown, Brad Ecklund, Don Garza, Sherman Howard, Duke Iverson, Harvey Johnson, Bob Kennedy, Lou Kusseow, Pete Layden, Paul Mitchell, Barney Poole, Martin Ruby, Jack Russell, Ed Sharkey, Joe Signaigo, John Wozniak and Buddy Young). Collins acquired them as a part of a deal in which he bought the rights to most of the Yankees players. The Yanks finished the 1950 NFL season with a winning record. However, the team collapsed back to a single victory in 1951.
The franchise was reported to have been "sold back" to the league following the 1951 season, but it is more likely the franchise was revoked by the league and canceled by the NFL. Shortly afterward, a group of Dallas businessmen bought the Yanks' roster and player contracts—though it was ostensibly a "new" franchise—and moved them to Dallas as the Dallas Texans. That franchise, in turn, failed after only one season, and the remains were awarded to a Baltimore-based group that used it to start the Baltimore Colts. However, the NFL does not consider the Colts (now based in Indianapolis) to be a continuation of the franchise once known as the New York Yanks.
By Dean Hanley
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