Those planning to see George Clooney’s newest film Leatherheads will also be treated to a little glimpse into Rochester sports history.
The Rochester Jeffersons were one of eleven teams that were members of the American Professional Football Association during its inaugural season in 1920. Two years later the league would change its name to the National Football League, and the Jeffersons would remain a part of the league until 1925.
The film’s plot is similar to the real life story of the Jeffersons. With attendance sagging and the team struggling, the Jeffersons’ owner/coach/player Leo Lyons tried to sign the biggest name out of college to play for his team – Red Grange.
In the movies, Clooney’s character gets his stud. But In real life Lyons was outbid by George Halas, who owned the Chicago Bears. The rest is history – Grange and the Bears went on to football immortality and the Jeffersons folded after the 1925 season.