From Ohio History Central
In 1920, the American Professional Football Association formed. This organization became the National Football League in 1922. Among its original fourteen teams was the Cleveland Tigers, which formed on August 20, 1920, in Cleveland, Ohio. Following the 1920 season, the Tigers became the Cleveland Indians. This new team played in only the 1921 season before disbanding.
Eventually, two other Cleveland Indians teams formed. Both of these later Indians teams played in the National Football League. Samuel H. Deutsch, a jeweler in Cleveland, formed one of the teams on July 8, 1923. During the 1923 season, the Cleveland Indians won three games, lost one game, and tied three, finishing fifth in the league, which had twenty teams. After the 1923 season, Deutsch purchased the Canton Bulldogs for $2500.00. The Canton Bulldogs had won the National Football League championship in 1922 and 1923. Deutsch combined the Cleveland Indians with the Canton Bulldogs, creating a new team, the Cleveland Bulldogs. The Cleveland Bulldogs won the league championship in 1924, winning seven games, losing one, and tying one. On July 12, 1931, the third Cleveland Indians team joined the National Football League. This professional football team existed only for the 1931 season and played its home games in Cleveland as well.