Portsmouth Spartans

    The Portsmouth Spartans were an American football team based in Portsmouth, Ohio. The team began play in 1929 as an independent professional team, one of many such teams in the Ohio and Scioto River valleys. For the 1930 season, the Spartans formally joined the National Football League (NFL) as the other area independents folded because of the Great Depression. Despite success within the NFL, they could not survive in Portsmouth, then the NFL's smallest city. The team was purchased and moved to Detroit for the 1934 season.

    Football Almanac is pleased present a comprehensive Portsmouth Spartans history menu which includes links to every Portsmouth Spartans roster in history (every roster has every player who appeared in a game so this means every Portsmouth Spartans player is just a click away as well), some Portsmouth Spartans franchise facts, Portsmouth Spartans regular season records, Portsmouth Spartans Hall of Famers and other Portsmouth Spartans historical facts.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: See Detroit Lions team page for a comprehensive franchise history. This page ONLY contains data about the team while it was in Portsmouth, and not during its franchise.

"Six thousand fans sweltered in the blistering sun here this afternoon and liked it, as they watched the Spartans, the new edition of Potsy Clark, open their National Professional League season with a victory over the Brooklyn Dodgers, 14 to 0. Scoring twice in the second quarter, the 'Purple Herd' shattered the record of six consecutive victories established by Brooklyn, carried over from last season. Though looking ragged in spots, the Spartans showed well in their first contest of the year, and in addition to displaying enough punch to chalk up the victory, they were successful in holding the visitors in the pinches." - Sportswriter Charles Krell in the Portsmouth News (09/14/1931)

Portsmouth Spartans

Portsmouth Spartans History by Football Almanac

Year Established:

1929

Team Colors:

                   

Home Town:

Portsmouth, Ohio [1929-1933]

Mascot:

None

Year League Conference Team Rosters Wins Losses Ties Coach(es)
1933 NFL Western 1933 Portsmouth Spartans 6 5 0 Potsy Clark
1932 NFL 1932 Portsmouth Spartans 6 2 4 Potsy Clark
1931 NFL 1931 Portsmouth Spartans 11 3 0 Potsy Clark
1930 NFL 1930 Portsmouth Spartans 5 6 3 Hal Griffen

Year

League

Conference

Spartans Rosters

Type

H/A

Opponent Rosters

Score

n/a

n/a

n/a

No Postseason Appearances

n/a

n/a

n/a

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Portsmouth Spartans in the Hall of Fame

 

Portsmouth Spartans Retired Numbers

Year

Name

Position

 

Number

Name

1963

Dutch Clark

QB/HB

 

n/a

No Retired Numbers

Portsmouth Spartans History by Football Almanac


Did you know that in 1929 the Portsmouth Spartans played as an independent professional team called the Portsmouth Spartans? In 1930 they joined the National Football League, and despite their success on the field, poor revenues and the Great Depression threatened the Spartans' survival. In 1934, a group led by Detroit radio executive George Richards (owner of Detroit's powerful WJR) bought the Spartans and moved them to Detroit. Richards renamed the team the Lions, as a nod to the Detroit Tigers. He also said that the lion was the monarch of the jungle, and he intended for his team to be the monarch of the NFL.

The Portsmouth Spartans played only four years in the National Football League, but had an overall record of 28-16 with only one losing season in team history.

Who was the best Spartans player in team history? Was it Gene Alford, Chuck Bennett, Dutch Clark, Roy Lumpkin or Glenn Presnell? Tell us your opinion on Pigskin Fever today!