The Chicago Wildcats were a charter member of the AFA. Of those original clubs from 1920, only the Wildcats, the Dayton Dusters and the Cleveland Finches were still around in '28 (though the Detroit Maroons would argue that they were also a charter member - having their roots in Rochester in 1920, but that team folded and was reformed in Detroit as a new entity - according to the AFA - so to this day people still argue the matter). The Wildcats had often been among the AFA's best clubs but 1928 might have been their best year yet. 

Coach-owner-and-end Carl Boon was still playing. His former partner, Joe Barrell, had retired the previous year and gone to California to play Tarzan in the movies. But Joe's brother, Jack Barrell was back in the fold after running the Chicago Chiefs of the FAA for a year, and teaming with Harry Alexander and Tom Carroll in the backfield running behind a line that boasted such stalwarts as Neil Robirds and Rufus Gill, the Wildcats were nearly unstoppable. 

On the field, the Detroit Maroons were the class of the league, going 10-0-0 and allowing a meager 42 points behind the league's best defense. The big cities dominated as the "little brothers" in Dayton, Buffalo and Milwaukee were firmly ensconced in the basement, with Buffalo playing just five games before pulling the plug on their season while Milwaukee posted an 0-9-0 mark and Dayton went just 1-6-1. The Maroons' dominance meant that for once there was no controversy over the AFA championship, though the voices clamoring for some kind of playoff or championship continued to rise. Only ties with Detroit and their new crosstown rivals the Chicago Zephyrs prevented the 'Cats from being perfect. As it was, they led the league in scoring with 219 points against just 83 allowed and racked up an 11-0-2 mark to earn the 1928 AFA Championship.

Three teams had folded before the season: Buffalo (who had packed it in midseason in 1927), Milwaukee and Pittsburgh (again). The AFA awarded a second team to Chicago - the aforementioned Zephyrs - with Carl Boon's blessing. Boon was a big proponent of the AFA being a big city circuit. Unfortunately, the Zephyrs lasted only a year. The team had signed good players, paying them accordingly and posted a 7-2-1 mark. But the hearts of Chicago football fans belonged to the Wildcats and the Zephyrs' attendance was terrible. Awash in red-ink, the Zephs called it a day at the end of the season.

 

FINAL STANDINGS

Team W L T PF PA
Chicago Wildcats 11 0 2 219 83
Boston Minutemen 10 1 0 174 39
Philadelphia Hornets 9 7 0 180 118
Chicago Zephyrs 7 2 1 181 91
Detroit Maroons 6 6 1 121 75
New York Gothams 5 8 0 127 207
New York Stars 3 10 0 97 176
Baltimore Browns 2 8 0 57 136
Dayton Dusters 1 6 0 23 160
Cleveland Finches 0 6 0 23 117

WEEKLY RESULTS

Date Visitor   Home  
23-Sep Chicago Wildcats 21 Cleveland Finches 7
23-Sep Philadelphia Hornets 7 Detroit Maroons 9
29-Sep Dayton Dusters 0 Philadelphia Hornets 28
30-Sep Chicago Wildcats 7 Detroit Maroons 7
30-Sep New York Stars 13 Baltimore Browns 7
30-Sep New York Gothams 0 Boston Minutemen 23
7-Oct Dayton Dusters 20 Cleveland Finches 3
7-Oct New York Stars 3 Detroit Maroons 20
7-Oct New York Gothams 10 Baltimore Browns 7
7-Oct Philadelphia Hornets 6 Boston Minutemen 20
13-Oct New York Gothams 7 Philadelphia Hornets 21
14-Oct New York Stars 12 Chicago Wildcats 24
14-Oct Cleveland Finches 0 Detroit Maroons 23
14-Oct Chicago Zephyrs 24 New York Gothams 7
14-Oct Dayton Dusters 0 Boston Minutemen 38
20-Oct Dayton Dusters 0 Philadelphia Hornets 10
21-Oct Detroit Maroons 0 Chicago Wildcats 7
21-Oct New York Stars 3 Chicago Zephyrs 17
21-Oct Boston Minutemen 17 New York Gothams 0
28-Oct Chicago Zephyrs 21 Chicago Wildcats 21
28-Oct Dayton Dusters 3 Detroit Maroons 23
28-Oct New York Stars 13 New York Gothams 14
28-Oct Baltimore Browns 0 Boston Minutemen 13
3-Nov Chicago Zephyrs 10 Philadelphia Hornets 0
4-Nov New York Gothams 3 Chicago Wildcats 20
4-Nov Baltimore Browns 0 Detroit Maroons 13
4-Nov Philadelphia Hornets 14 New York Stars 6
4-Nov Chicago Zephyrs 3 Boston Minutemen 13
6-Nov Baltimore Browns 6 New York Stars 13
10-Nov Baltimore Browns 0 Philadelphia Hornets 27
11-Nov Dayton Dusters 0 Chicago Wildcats 27
11-Nov New York Gothams 13 Detroit Maroons 0
11-Nov Chicago Zephyrs 17 New York Stars 3
11-Nov Philadelphia Hornets 3 Baltimore Browns 12
17-Nov Boston Minutemen 13 Philadelphia Hornets 7
18-Nov Baltimore Browns 7 Chicago Wildcats 17
18-Nov New York Gothams 16 Chicago Zephyrs 21
18-Nov Detroit Maroons 13 New York Stars 0
18-Nov Philadelphia Hornets 14 Boston Minutemen 6
24-Nov Cleveland Finches 7 Philadelphia Hornets 13
25-Nov Chicago Zephyrs 13 Chicago Wildcats 14
25-Nov Cleveland Finches 6 New York Gothams 20
25-Nov Detroit Maroons 10 Baltimore Browns 12
25-Nov New York Stars 0 Boston Minutemen 7
29-Nov Cleveland Finches 0 Chicago Wildcats 20
29-Nov Dayton Dusters 0 Chicago Zephyrs 31
29-Nov Detroit Maroons 0 Philadelphia Hornets 3
29-Nov Boston Minutemen 17 Baltimore Browns 6
2-Dec Philadelphia Hornets 7 Chicago Wildcats 14
2-Dec New York Gothams 6 New York Stars 17
2-Dec Detroit Maroons 3 Boston Minutemen 7
8-Dec New York Stars 0 Philadelphia Hornets 14
9-Dec Detroit Maroons 0 Chicago Wildcats 13
9-Dec Chicago Zephyrs 24 New York Gothams 14
15-Dec Chicago Wildcats 14 Philadelphia Hornets 6
16-Dec New York Stars 14 New York Gothams 17

1928 AFA ALL-PRO TEAM

QB: Garland Goddard, Chicago Zephyrs
HB: Harry Alexander, Chicago Wildcats
HB: Bulldog Henderson, Boston Minutemen
FB: Ron Carson, Philadelphia Hornets
LE: John Danner, Detroit Maroons
LT: Gary Dougher, Boston Minutemen
LG: Gus Ziegler, New York Gothams
C: Steve Stover, Chicago Zephyrs
RG: Rufus Gill, Chicago Wildcats
RT: Henry Ulrich, Chicago Zephyrs
RE: Jerry Ungar, New York Stars