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1930s & Earlier / Oorang Indians
The Oorang Indians were a travelling team in the National Football League from LaRue, Ohio (near Marion). The team was named after the Oorang dog kennels. It was basically a novelty team put together by the kennels' owner, Walter Lingo, for marketing purposes. All the players were Native Americans, with Jim Thorpe as its star. The Indians played the 1922 and 1923 NFL seasons. Of the 20 games they played over those two seasons, only one was played at 'home' in nearby Marion, OH. Only four games were won by the team. With a population well under 1,000 people, LaRue is easily the smallest town ever to have been the home of an NFL franchise. The Indians were the first NFL team to have a halftime show. (It featured the kennels' dogs.) The team's owner was not too concerned about fielding a competitive squad--and it showed. Discipline was lax on road trips and the players routinely engaged in heavy drinking binges at speakeasies. In one famous incident in St. Louis, the Indians commandeered a trolley car to get them back to their hotel. Since the trolley was headed in the wrong direction, the players simply lifted it, and turned it around on the tracks.