Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 17, Number 1, Spring, 2005 Page: 40
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GONE AND FORGOTTEN
The Dallas Texans of 1952
BY THOMAS H. SMITH
he first NFL team in North Texas, the
Dallas Texans, has been labeled the worst
team in pro football history or, more mockingly,
a promising venture that ended as a joke.
Considering the circumstances under which the
team was put together, the Texans would have
been a poor team at best.While its single 1952
win in twelve games came after the team quit
Dallas, analytical hindsight can best explain the
team not as a noble experiment looking for
acceptance in a Southern clime but rather as a
poor team caught in a period when the professional
game was transitioning from being a sport
to a serious business that would soon be driven
Giles Miller and his brother, Connell, along
with twelve other Dallas businessmen, bought a
very badly mauled, defunct franchise, the New
YorkYankees, from the National Football League
in late January 1952 and brought it to Dallas.The
idea was Gordon McLendon's. A radio entrepreneur
and broadcaster who was named the 1952
Pro-Football Radio Announcer of the Year,
McLendon owned KLIF radio in Dallas and
among other things, produced two cult movies,
"The Giant Gila Monster" and "The Killer
Shrews." McLendon built one of the most successful
early nationwide sports shows with his
"Game-of-the-Day" broadcast over his Liberty
Network that boasted 458 affiliated stations.
Between 1948 and 1952, from KLIF's studio in
Oak Cliff, McClendon and four others (including
Wes Wise, who later became mayor of Dallas)
recreated baseball games by interpreting coded
messages telegraphed into the station's sound
Dallas radio entrepreneur Gordon McLendon had the idea
of a pro football team to Dallas, but NFL Commissioner
Bert Bell would have nothing to do with him.
proof studio from a major league ballpark,
applied appropriate sound effects, and sent out
across the land a pitch-by-pitch description of a
professional baseball game. However, as major
league teams began to broadcast their own
games and ended their relationship with Liberty
Network, McLendon, seeing his brilliant empire
vanishing, sued Major League Baseball. To shore
up his vast radio network, he speculated that by
introducing professional football to Dallas and
40 LEGACIES Spring 2005
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Dallas Historical Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 17, Number 1, Spring, 2005, periodical, 2005; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35090/m1/42/: accessed October 4, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.