Sunday, October 15th, 2017, brought the 3rd Annual 1920’s Vintage Football Game to the lawn of Hauberg Estate in Rock Island, Illinois. It is the yearly celebration of Quad Cities football heritage, with the Rock Island Independents playing the Moline Universal Tractors.
Both teams were quite active in the 1920’s, with the Rock Island Independents being a part of the National Football League (NFL) from 1920-1925. Because of this, the vintage game is played by the 1920 rules of the game and the players use old-fashioned equipment, such as a wider, replica melon football, and wear classic football uniforms featuring sweaters and dog ear leather helmets.
The backdrop for the event is the beautiful and historic Hauberg Estate, built in 1911. The estate belonged to Susanne and John Hauberg until 1955, their children donated it to the City of Rock Island in 1956. It is now managed by the Rock Island Parks and Recreation division and maintained by the Friends of the Hauberg Civic Center Foundation, comprised of community volunteers.
The Quad Cities Vintage Football Game is one of the many events the city and the foundation hold to increase community education and participation in keeping this historic home open and available.
Despite a chill in the air, the event was well attended, with about 150 people there; it is a family-friendly day, with the field sitting right next to a playground. There were food and beverage concessions available from Hy-Vee and Bent River Brewing Co., two sponsors of the match.
There were also other vintage highlights of the day, with old automobiles and tractors, jazz music, and team merchandise available for purchase. Hauberg Estate was open for walking tours as well. The program given for the day let attendees know of what was available, the history of football in the Quad Cities, and 1920’s terminology including rules for the game.
This was a great way to spend a fall afternoon, learning about Hauberg Estate and the past of the Quad Cities, all while supporting the community and mingling with people. I look forward to attending again and keeping up with other future events at this beautiful, local gem.