Pro football is the latest sport to have a season like no other.
But there have been very unusual football seasons before.
Like in 1943, when two teams that would normally compete against each other joined forces.
This was during World War II, of course, a time when many pro athletes left their sports to serve in the military.
But the leagues wanted to carry on, to give people at home something to watch and enjoy.
For the NFL, the only way to avoid having too few teams for a season was to bring together players from two teams that were each short a few players, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles.
The new team was known as the Steagles, and they split their home games between Shibe Park in Philadelphia and Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.
The two sets of players – athletes that, for various reasons didn’t qualify for military service, managed to turn themselves into a single team pretty well.
Unfortunately, Eagles head coach Greasy Neale and Steelers coach Walt Kiesling, who were both in charge of the team, didn’t see eye to eye at all, which was a big problem given that they were, y’know, a team.
Nonetheless, the Steagles, who played their first game on this day in 1943, managed a 5-4-1 record.
Not bad for their one season as two teams in one.
Today is also World Smile Day.
Thanks to Harvey Ball, who in 1963 designed the yellow smiley face that has certainly put a few smiles on faces over the years.
Hope you have a lot to smile about today!
The Steagles: An Unforgettable 1943 Season (Philadelphia Eagles)