Above photo: Taken at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1946. Los Angeles Dons fullback Bus Mertes flubs a catch at the goal line against the Chicago Rockets. The game ended in a 17-17 tie.
The Los Angeles Dons was the city’s first professional football team. It was organized in 1946, two weeks before the formation of its rival, the Los Angeles Rams. While the Rams were part of the National Football League (NFL), the Dons were part of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC), which included the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Colts, and the San Francisco 49ers. The AAFC, however, didn’t last long. In 1949, the Dons played their final season before the AAFC merged with the NFL. The Dons then merged with the Rams.
The Chicago Bears playing the Los Angeles Rams at the Coliseum, October 30, 1949. The Rams won 27-24. (LAPL 00096229)