1932 was a turning point in pro football history. While the full set of teams that would march into the "modern" era (or more accurately the Post-WWII era) was not quite complete, the framework that the league would use to reach a point of stability was in the final stages of forming. Yes, Harrisburg and Rhode Island, two "small-time" cities were still around, but their days were numbered. Those small city teams probably rejoiced a bit when it was announced that three "big city" teams: the Boston Minutemen, Pittsburgh Miners and Philadelphia Hornets, were folding. 

Left with a seven-team circuit, AFA President Jack Kristich was tempted to add another smaller city to the circuit, keeping some balance between big and small, which was his long-time preference. But the memory of the "Reds' Revolution" of 1931 when Rhode Island had refused to play the Detroit Maroons in what would have been a de facto championship game, still rankled even Kristich's fair-minded heart. Losing three large markets, he decided that the proper thing to do would be to replace one of those teams with a new club, one with no baggage and a fresh economic start. So Jack went with Boston where a consortium that included both hockey owner Frank Denny and baseball owner Jesse Barton put together a team that would be called the Boston Americans. The Americans would play at Barton's ballpark which would henceforth include some temporary football-only stands built by Denny's construction company giving the Americans arguably the best sightlines of any AFA club.


The effect of the Great Depression hit the AFA hard in the offseason between the 1930 and '31 seasons. St. Paul and Newark folded, and both the usually reliable Boston Minutemen and Philadelphia Hornets were in dire straits financially. Revenues were down all over - the New York Stars cut payroll, and unsurprisingly saw a drop-off on the field as well. Detroit, one of the league's healthier clubs financially, held firm as owner Rollie Barrell put his Finance degree to good use, while Carl Boon quietly sought - and could not find - a silent partner (or two). 

As summer wore on, the Harrisburg and Rhode Island clubs were the last of the "small" teams still afloat. The league office announced its intention to field a scaled-down ten team circuit for '31 and found a new club in the Pittsburgh Miners. The Miners, taking their name from the baseball club in the same city, were really just a re-branding of the old Pittsburgh Pros/Toledo Tigers/Pittsburgh Bulldogs franchise that had been off-and-on members of the AFA for most of the previous decade. Boon, Barrell and Brooklyn owner Dudley Townsend pressed AFA President Jack Kristich on focusing on big city teams and given the financial situation world-wide, it finally appeared they would get their wish.