Russell Method, crack backfield man

Russell G. Method, a running back from West Duluth who went on to play in the National Football League for six seasons, appears on the sports page of the Duluth Herald 100 years ago today — July 29, 1921. The caption notes he had signed to play “with the K. C. gridiron squad” that fall.

It’s not clear what “K. C.” stood for during the barnstorming days of pro football.

Method’s early pro career included a season with the West Duluth team in 1916 and the Duluth city team later that year, after the West Duluth team disbanded. Newspaper accounts seem to indicate he played for the U.S. Army circa 1918, but with World War I still happening there wasn’t likely to have been much of a season. Method returned to the Duluth city team in the fall of 1919. He was also employed by U.S. Steel Duluth Works at the time. He played for the Kelley-Duluth team in 1922, the year before it joined the NFL.

Method’s NFL career begins in 1923 with Kelley-Duluth, according to Pro Football Reference. The team changed it’s name to the Eskimos in 1926. Method’s last year with the team was 1927. He played one more NFL season in 1929 with the Chicago Cardinals.

Method died in Two Harbors in 1971, according to Wikipedia.

Here’s Russell Method, crack local backfield man, who has been signed to play with the K. C. gridiron squad this fall. Method is considered bv many local sports followers to be the equal of any football player in the state. Rutledge, former Ames star, is scheduled to coach the team.



about 3 years ago

I did some searching on the Library of Congress and discovered that the "K.C. gridiron squad" refers to the Duluth Kaysee (or Kaysees) football team. The Nov. 17, 1921 issue of The Rock Island Argus includes a recap of the Duluth - Minneapolis game, which included a touchdown scored by Russell Method.

From there, I found the football schedule for the Minneapolis Marines, which included a game against the Duluth Knights of Columbus football team (hence the "K.C.") on Nov. 11, 1921 in Duluth. A search for "1921 Duluth Knights of Columbus" led me to their season schedule.

What's notable about that season is Duluth's schedule included two teams (Minneapolis and Rock Island) that were part of the AFPA, which was renamed the National Football League the following year. I haven't been able to find any information on the Kaycees beyond 1921 but it's really interesting to discover that Duluth had a connection to the NFL even prior to the 1923 Kelleys.

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

Ahhhh ... Knights of Columbus! 

When I played junior league football in Duluth, K.C. stood for Kenwood-Chester.  Trying to guess what it meant in 1921 is more than my mind could take.

Fun fact regarding the K.C. team of 1921, based on the linked schedule with scores: When playing Minnesota and Wisconsin teams at Athletic Park in Duluth, the team was undefeated and outscored opponents 278-0. One game out of town resulted in a 0-28 loss.


about 3 years ago

The Nov. 21, 1921 edition of the Rock Island Argus includes a wonderful writeup of Duluth's only loss of the season.

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