1918 Chicago Maroons football
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
1918 record4–6–1 (0–5 Big Ten)
Head coachAmos Alonzo Stagg (27th season)
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1919 →
1918 Big Ten football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Illinois § 4 0 0     5 2 0
Michigan § 2 0 0     5 0 0
Purdue § 1 0 0     3 3 0
Iowa 2 1 0     6 2 1
Minnesota 2 1 0     5 2 1
Northwestern 1 1 0     2 2 1
Wisconsin 1 2 0     3 3 0
Indiana 0 0 0     2 2 0
Ohio State 0 3 0     3 3 0
Chicago 0 5 0     4 6 1
§ – Conference co-champions

The 1918 Chicago Maroons football team was an American football team that represented the University of Chicago during the 1918 Big Ten Conference football season. In their 27th season under head coach Amos Alonzo Stagg, the Maroons compiled a 4–6–1 record, finished in last place in the Big Ten Conference, but still outscored their opponents by a combined total of 128 to 91.[1][2] No Chicago players were selected to the first team of that All-America or All-Big Ten teams.


October 12 Chicago Naval Reserve *L 7–14
October 16 Crane J.C. *
  • Stagg Field
  • Chicago
W 46–0
October 18 Hyde Park High *
  • Stagg Field
  • Chicago
W 41–0
October 29 Loyola Academy *
  • Stagg Field
  • Chicago
W 6–0
November 2at Purdue (rivalry)L 3–7
November 6 Crane J.C. *
  • Stagg Field
  • Chicago
T 0–0
November 9 Michigan
L 0–13
November 16at Northwestern L 6–21
November 19 Chicago YMCA *
  • Stagg Field
  • Chicago
W 19–0
November 23 Illinois
  • Stagg Field
  • Chicago
L 0–29
November 30 Minnesota
  • Stagg Field
  • Chicago
L 0–7
  • *Non-conference game

Quarantine and travel restrictionsEdit

In late September 1918, the Big Ten's faculty committee suspended the conference's activities as a controlling body during the period of emergency and agreed to be governed by any rules of the War Department.[3]

In early October, the War Department announced quarantine and travel restrictions which included the following: (1) a prohibition on more than one-and-a-half hours per day of football practice; (2) a prohibition on football games during the month of October that required absence from campus "for a longer period than from noon to taps on Saturday" (thus eliminating games that required lengthy travel); and (3) making allowance for only four November games per school, two at home and two on the road, "which shall in no case involve longer absences than from retreat Friday to taps Sunday."[4]

The restrictions threatened to "kill" football in the west, where lengthy travel was required.[5] Many games were cancelled, and concerns over spread of the 1918 flu pandemic also led to limitations on public gatherings and resulted in some games being cancelled and others being played in stadiums with closed gates and no spectators.

Games summariesEdit

On Saturday, October 12, 1918, Chicago lost to Chicago Naval Reserve by a 14–7 score at Stagg Field in Chicago.[6] The Naval Reserve School was established on Chicago's Municipal Pier in June 1918.[7]

On Wednesday, October 16, 1918, Chicago played the first of four midweek practice games. The Maroons defeated Crane Tech College, 46–0, at Stagg Field in Chicago. Amos Alonzo Stagg, Jr., made his college football debut in the game. Due to the influenza epidemic, city official forbade further athletic contests after this game.[8]

On Friday, October 18, 1918, in an "unadvertised crowdless practice game", Chicago defeated Hyde Park High School, 41–0. Amos Alonzo Stagg, Jr., "ran the team for three quarters."[9]

On Tuesday, October 29, 1918, Chicago played the second of four midweek practice games. This time, the Maroons defeated the Loyola Academy prep school, 6–0. Amos Alonzo Stagg, Jr., sustained a broken collar bone in the game.[10]

On Saturday, November 2, 1918, Purdue defeated Chicago, 7–3, at Lafayette, Indiana. The Purdue victory broke a 20-game losing streak against Chicago dating back to 1898. According to a newspaper account, Chicago's coach Stagg "used everything at his command to put a winning score across, but the plucky Purdue men foiled him."[11]

On Wednesday, November 6, 1918, Chicago played the third of four midweek practice games. The Maroons played a scoreless tie with the Crane College S.A.T.C. on the Midway practice field. The game ended five minutes into the second half, because the Crane soldiers had to return to their barracks. A "ghost ball" was put into play late in the game because of the darkness on the field.[12]

On Saturday, November 9, 1918, Michigan defeated Chicago, 13–0, at Stagg Field in Chicago. The two teams, which had been one another's principal rivals from 1892 to 1905, had not met for 13 years.[13] The game was played as negotiations were underway to end World War I, and the Chicago Daily Tribune wrote: "While the nations of the world are hoping for an armistice, the resumption of hostilities between forces guided by Gens. Yost and Stagg brought joy to thousands of football fans, and the opening battle attracted approximately 7,000 of them."[14] Chicago's Stegman attempted a dropkick from the 45-yard line, but Goetz broke through the Chicago line and blocked the kick. Goetz picked it up an returned it 55 yards for a touchdown.[15][16][14]

On Saturday, November 16, 1918, Northwestern defeated Chicago, 21–6, in the rain, fog, and mud before a crowd of 8,000 at Evanston Field.[17]

On Wednesday, November 19, 1918, Chicago played the fourth of four midweek practice games. The Maroons defeated a YMCA college team, 19-0, at Stagg Field in Chicago.[18]

On Saturday, November 23, 1918, Illinois defeated Chicago, 29–0, at Stagg Field in Chicago.[19]

On Saturday, November 30, 1918, Minnesota defeated Chicago, 6–0, in Chicago. Gus Ekberg scored the game's only points on a run in the second quarter. The result was Minnesota's fifth consecutive victory over Chicago.[20]


  1. "1918 Chicago Maroons Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  2. "University of Chicago Football Media Guide". University of Chicago. 2016. p. 22. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  3. Walter Eckersall (September 27, 1918). "Big Ten Turns Sports Control Over to War Department: Offers to Help Conduct Games or Offer Advice". Chicago Tribune: p. 18. open access
  4. "Colleges Permitted To Play Four Games, All in November: Rules to Guide Football Teams Are Made Known". The Lima Daily News: p. 31. October 4, 1918. open access
  5. "Football May Die in the West: Quarantine and Ban on Long Trips May Kill Gridiron Season". The Washington Herald: p. 8. October 4, 1918. open access
  6. "Pier Bluejackets Crush Maroons in Opening Game, 14–7: Stagg's Eleven Unable to Stop Navy's Attack". Chicago Tribune: pp. 2–5. October 13, 1918. open access
  7. "United States Naval Reserve". The University Record (University of Chicago): p. 108. 1919.
  8. Walter Eckersall (October 17, 1918). "A. A. Stagg Jr. Pilots Maroons To Victory Over Crane, 46–0: 'Old Man's' Son Varsity Player for First Time". Chicago Tribune: p. 14. open access
  9. "Hyde Park High Boys Battle Maroon Team, But Lose by 41 to 0". Chicago Tribune: p. 9. October 19, 1918. open access
  10. "Stagg Jr. Breaks Collarbone as Maroons Beat Loyola, 6–0: Scrappy Preps Put 5 Names on Casualty List". Chicago Tribune: p. 11. October 30, 1918. open access
  11. "Purdue's Long Losing Streak Finally Ended". Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette: p. 20. November 3, 1918. open access
  12. "Poor Maroon! Held to 0–O Tie by Crane Team". Chicago Tribune: p. 11. November 7, 1918. open access
  13. Dick Heath (November 10, 1918). "Story of the Scoring in Chicago Grid Battle". Detroit Free Press.,+1918&author=DICK+HEATH&pub=Detroit+Free+Press+(1858-1922)&edition=&startpage=19&desc=STORY+OF+THE+SCORING+IN+CHICAGO+GRID+BATTLE. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Joe Davis (November 10, 1918). "Michigan Downs Chicago After 12 Year's Armistice, 13–0: Old Grid Rivals Battle Before Crowd of 7,000". Chicago Daily Tribune: pp. 2–5. open access
  15. Harry Bullion (November 10, 1918). "Goetz Puts Eleven Into Early Lead by 55-Yds Run to Goal: Michigan Tackle Picks Up Blocked Kick, With Nine Minutes Gone, and Races to Posts—Other Score Is Due to Consistent Play by Entire Team—Backfield Does Great Work, With Perrin Scintillant Star". Detroit Free Press.,+1918&author=HARRY+BULLION&pub=Detroit+Free+Press+(1858-1922)&edition=&startpage=19&desc=GOETZ+PUTS+ELEVEN+INTO+EARLY+LEAD+BY+55-YDS+RUN+TO+GOAL. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  16. "Michigan Beats Chicago". The New York Times. November 10, 1918. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  17. Evan Stone (November 17, 1918). "Purple Triumphs Over Maroons on Gridiron by 21 to 6: Rival Elevens in Hard Battle Played in Rain". Chicago Daily Tribune: pp. 2–5. open access
  18. "Stagg Cripples Manage to Beat 'Y' College, 19-0". Chicago Tribune: p. 13. November 20, 1918. open access
  19. "Illini Crush Maroon Team and Claim Title of Big Ten". Chicago Tribune: p. 5. November 24, 1918. open access
  20. Fred R. Coburn (December 1, 1918). "Gophers Wind Up Season with Close Victory Over Chicago, 7 to 0: Ekberg Scores Lone Touchdown; Stagg's Players Threaten Often". The Minneapolis Tribune: p. 10. open access
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