The tenth season of the AFA began with its annual ritual of comings-and-goings amongst its membership. The overextended Chicago Zephyrs found they couldn't afford to go it alone and merged with the New York Stars, with the team keeping the Stars' name & location. This instantly made the New Yorkers the favorites to win the title - and convinced the owners of the New York Gothams to fold their team. The Baltimore Browns had also fallen on hard times and were short on cash so they made the... interesting... decision to leave Baltimore and move to Albany, NY, of all places. The AFA expanded back to 12 teams as the Buffalo Nickels returned and the Newark Knights, Harrisburg Generals and St. Paul Apostles joined in as well.

Meanwhile, Rollie Barrell's Detroit Maroons kept things on an even keel. Barrell knew the new "Stars" team would live up to its nickname, and indeed, New York was loaded on offense. But defensively, they were less talented. Barrell's team on the other hand, had one of the league's best defenses and an offense that was nearly as good as New York's. Barrell also felt the defending champion Wildcats would be a factor as he prepped his team for what he assumed would be a three-way fight for the crown. He was right, but not in the way he believed. He bolstered the Maroons by adding perhaps the best two-way lineman in the sport in former Gotham Gus Ziegler, the kind of move that didn't make headlines but made the team much better.

The Wildcats fell - hard - from the catbird seat in 1929. The defense, which had been a strength in '28, fell apart and Chicago allowed more points than any other AFA club. Carl Boon was furious, but there was little he could do. Though the offense was still good, Jack Barrell's once prodigious athletic abilities had begun to fade (likely due to his playing both football and hockey at the highest level and taking a pounding in both sports) and though the offense scored 177 points - fourth-best in the AFA - the defense was so porous that the Wildcats followed their unbeaten season with a dismal 3-11-1 campaign in 1929.

Into that void stepped the Philadelphia Hornets who went 12-5-2 with a "we'll play anyone, anywhere, anytime" approach. Philly's 19 games was impressive, but also wore out its players. The New York Stars, bolstered with the arrival of high-priced, and highly-skilled talent from the Chicago Zephyrs, went 12-3-0 and scored more points (296) than anyone else. But as Rollie Barrell had foreseen, the Stars defense was good, but not great, allowing 100 points. The Detroit Maroons had it going on both sides of the ball, scoring 264 points (2nd-best) and allowing just 37 points to run the table at 13-0-0, recording the most impressive season seen thus far in pro football history. Years later Rollie Barrell would note with pride that the 1929 Maroons were his favorite among the many strong Detroit clubs he fielded during his time owning the team.

FINAL STANDINGS

Team W L T PF PA
Detroit Maroons 13 0 0 264 37
New York Stars 12 3 0 296 100
Philadelphia Hornets 12 5 2 238 169
Albany Knickerbockers 6 2 0 114 47
Harrisburg Generals 6 4 0 123 87
Cleveland Finches 6 5 2 177 113
Boston Minutemen 4 7 1 156 157
Newark Knights 3 7 2 66 144
Chicago Wildcats 3 11 1 132 258
Buffalo Nickels 1 7 1 57 173
Dayton Dusters 0 6 0 0 146
St. Paul Apostles 0 9 1 50 242

WEEKLY RESULTS

Date Visitor   Home  
22-Sep Dayton Dusters 0 Detroit Maroons 38
22-Sep St. Paul Apostles 6 Chicago Wildcats 24
28-Sep Dayton Dusters 0 Philadelphia Hornets 19
29-Sep Cleveland Finches 10 Buffalo Nickels 10
29-Sep Chicago Wildcats 0 Detroit Maroons 23
29-Sep New York Stars 24 Newark Knights 0
29-Sep Dayton Dusters 0 Boston Minutemen 14
5-Oct Buffalo Nickels 6 Philadelphia Hornets 20
6-Oct Philadelphia Hornets 20 Buffalo Nickels 0
6-Oct Cleveland Finches 6 Detroit Maroons 14
6-Oct Chicago Wildcats 13 St. Paul Apostles 13
6-Oct Albany Knickerbockers 3 Newark Knights 10
6-Oct New York Stars 20 Boston Minutemen 9
6-Oct Dayton Dusters 0 Harrisburg Generals 7
13-Oct Dayton Dusters 0 Albany Knickerbockers 30
13-Oct Chicago Wildcats 7 Buffalo Nickels 21
13-Oct Philadelphia Hornets 0 Detroit Maroons 20
13-Oct Cleveland Finches 13 St. Paul Apostles 12
13-Oct Harrisburg Generals 7 New York Stars 14
13-Oct Newark Knights 13 Boston Minutemen 10
19-Oct Newark Knights 3 Philadelphia Hornets 14
20-Oct Newark Knights 7 Albany Knickerbockers 15
20-Oct Cleveland Finches 17 Chicago Wildcats 3
20-Oct St. Paul Apostles 0 Detroit Maroons 44
20-Oct Philadelphia Hornets 10 New York Stars 3
20-Oct Buffalo Nickels 7 Boston Minutemen 17
26-Oct Harrisburg Generals 6 Philadelphia Hornets 23
27-Oct Buffalo Nickels 3 Albany Knickerbockers 21
27-Oct St. Paul Apostles 10 Chicago Wildcats 17
27-Oct Detroit Maroons 6 Cleveland Finches 0
27-Oct Boston Minutemen 10 New York Stars 6
27-Oct Philadelphia Hornets 0 Harrisburg Generals 17
29-Oct Newark Knights 0 Albany Knickerbockers 10
2-Nov Cleveland Finches 3 Philadelphia Hornets 14
3-Nov New York Stars 24 Chicago Wildcats 3
3-Nov Detroit Maroons 28 St. Paul Apostles 0
3-Nov Newark Knights 3 Harrisburg Generals 17
5-Nov New York Stars 31 Buffalo Nickels 3
5-Nov Boston Minutemen 10 Harrisburg Generals 12
6-Nov Cleveland Finches 19 Boston Minutemen 17
9-Nov Boston Minutemen 17 Philadelphia Hornets 19
10-Nov Detroit Maroons 13 Chicago Wildcats 0
10-Nov St. Paul Apostles 3 Cleveland Finches 34
10-Nov Newark Knights 0 New York Stars 27
10-Nov Philadelphia Hornets 13 Boston Minutemen 13
10-Nov Albany Knickerbockers 0 Harrisburg Generals 14
16-Nov Chicago Wildcats 10 Philadelphia Hornets 16
17-Nov Buffalo Nickels 0 Albany Knickerbockers 14
17-Nov Detroit Maroons 10 Cleveland Finches 7
17-Nov Chicago Wildcats 6 New York Stars 37
17-Nov Philadelphia Hornets 3 Newark Knights 3
17-Nov St. Paul Apostles 3 Boston Minutemen 26
23-Nov St. Paul Apostles 0 Philadelphia Hornets 17
24-Nov Buffalo Nickels 7 Chicago Wildcats 33
24-Nov Dayton Dusters 0 Cleveland Finches 38
24-Nov Detroit Maroons 21 New York Stars 17
24-Nov Albany Knickerbockers 21 Boston Minutemen 13
24-Nov St. Paul Apostles 3 Harrisburg Generals 26
28-Nov Chicago Wildcats 0 Cleveland Finches 23
28-Nov Detroit Maroons 13 Philadelphia Hornets 7
28-Nov New York Stars 14 Harrisburg Generals 10
1-Dec Philadelphia Hornets 24 Chicago Wildcats 7
1-Dec Cleveland Finches 0 New York Stars 17
1-Dec Harrisburg Generals 7 Newark Knights 20
1-Dec Detroit Maroons 24 Boston Minutemen 0
7-Dec New York Stars 24 Philadelphia Hornets 3
8-Dec Detroit Maroons 10 Chicago Wildcats 0
8-Dec Philadelphia Hornets 9 New York Stars 24
8-Dec Cleveland Finches 7 Newark Knights 7
14-Dec Newark Knights 0 Philadelphia Hornets 7
15-Dec New York Stars 14 Chicago Wildcats 9

1929 AFA ALL-PRO TEAM

QB: Garland Goddard, New York Stars
HB: John Scotten, Detroit Maroons
HB: Dewey Lennon, Harrisburg Generals
FB: Sammy Pitts, Cleveland Finches
LE: John Danner, Detroit Maroons
LT: John Clark, Philadelphia Hornets
LG: Gus Ziegler, Detroit Maroons
C: Steve Stover, New York Stars
RG: Gus Herschlag, Cleveland Finches
RT: Jerry Ungar, Detroit Maroons
RE: Bunky O'Neill, New York Stars