As the NFL season gets set to kick off, I stumbled upon this great footage of a Detroit Lions home game from 1939 in full color.

In 1939, color film was rare, and even more so for home film like this, which was shot by a fan in the stands. A rich fan, evidently.

The game was played between the Lions and the Brooklyn Dodgers (yup, that was a FOOTBALL team as well as a baseball team) on September 24, 1939. The Lions won the game 27-7 en route to a 6-5 season. (In first place on October 22, the team ended the season with four straight losses, sound familiar?)

The team played their home games at the now defunct University of Detroit Stadium, which was located on the college campus at Livernois and McNichols. (There is now a turfed athletic field where the old stadium was, used by the University of Detroit-Mercy soccer teams and club football team. Football is no longer a varsity sport at UDM.)

One thing to note in the video is the officials, who back then wore white shirts with a bow tie (and one wearing a jaunty cap).

While the game moves the same, it is interesting to note how much smaller and slower the 1939 players were. Also, note the two goal posts, as back then, the pro goal posts were located on the goal line, which I'm sure caused a few injuries from people running into them.

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