The Ubangi Blackhawks were a predominantly
black semipro football team in Seattle who played for the Community
League in the 1930s. Sponsored by nightclub owner "Noodles" Smith, who
was said to be present for every game, the team was also helped by Bruce
Rowell who looked after the team's financial and physical health.
In 1937 the Blackhawks were considered the most sensational team in the
league, and during this time the community rallied behind such players
as George "Switchy" Height, Rhino Nakamura, Brennan King, and Joe Staton.
The Blackhawks won the first six games of the season without allowing a
single score, and this led many to think they were unstoppable. There
was some question as to whether the nightlife of some of the players and
internal dissent among the team would sabotage their season, after they
were upset by the National Guards in the seventh game of the season.
There were no such misgivings after the Blackhawks came back and beat
the National Guards 13-0 in the league finals; they won the Community
League football title. After the game Brennan King was awarded the
James Scavotto trophy, which he promptly gave to "Noodles" Smith.
The Blackhawks were so popular at this time that after their league
finals game the New Enterprise claimed "that there will not be another
performance of any kind in the near future that will draw the number of
colored fans that the Ubangi championship game did."
Players (in picture - back row)
Dave (Babe) Wilson, Joe Staton, Scotty Brown, Bob
(Red) Parsons, Sammy Bruce, Ernie Lewis, Reino Nakamura, Brennan King,
Bob Flowers, Bill Dozier, Otis Reese, Frank (Doghouse) Houston, Danny
Allen, George (Switchy) Height, Paul Chappell, Abby Perkins, Carl
Bentley, Lester Catlett, Mark Allen, Bert Allen, Harber Gaston, Jack
Tanner, and Paul Chinn.
1937 Schedule/Results (7-1):