The Providence Steam Roller

New England’s First NFL Team

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SKU: 9781476694948 Categories: ,

About the Book

This is the story of the Providence Steam Roller, an early and defunct National Football League franchise in the Renaissance City that brought major league sports to Rhode Island for the first time. The team thrilled thousands of fans at a bicycle arena known as the Cycledrome. For one glorious season it sat atop the pro football world, and a few short years later ceased to exist.
This book brings the Providence Steam Roller back to life in the first thorough examination of one of the most unique franchises in NFL history. The team toiled in the NFL from 1925 to 1931 and spent nine years prior to joining the NFL playing as an independent professional football team. The Steam Roller achieved many firsts in NFL history: it was the first NFL team in New England, hosted the first night game in NFL history, and is the last defunct team to win an NFL championship. Its place in the early evolution of professional football is significant. Many who wore the black and orange uniform played professional football not for the money but for the love of the game and to represent the city of Providence.

About the Author(s)

Greg D. Tranter is a prominent sports historian, curator and author with a specialized expertise in Buffalo Bills history. He has authored five books on Buffalo sports history and writes for three magazines. He is the assistant executive director of the Pro Football Researchers Association and the managing editor of The Coffin Corner magazine.

Bibliographic Details

Greg D. Tranter
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 40 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9494-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5340-2
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “This superb history of the Steam Roller masterfully integrates the team within the broader communal context of Providence and New England during the region’s ‘golden age of sports.’ Tranter’s comprehensive research and eloquent writing enliven the players, games, and statistics that produced New England’s first championship NFL team. Undoubtedly, the best book on the Steam Roller.”—Robert Cvornyek, professor emeritus of sport history at Rhode Island College and author of Black Grays and Colored Giants: A Compressive History of Black Baseball in Rhode Island, 1870-1949

• “Rhode Island has punched above its weight in any number of departments for much of the past 400 years and none more so when the Providence Steam Roller reigned as champions of the NFL in 1928. Greg Tranter has captured the story of this remarkable team and franchise in his thoroughly researched and engaging book. A must-read for both football and New England sports fans.”—Richard Johnson, curator, The Sports Museum