The 1941 American Football League season was the second season of the third American Football League. After deeming the 1940 season to be a success, the league made overtures of expansion, even going to the point of having a press conference to announce the addition of new teams (July), but when the press conference was held, the Boston Bears had withdrawn from the league and the new Detroit franchise deferred entry for the 1942 season (interests representing Philadelphia and Baltimore also applied for membership and were denied).
The New York Yankees were sold to promoter and agent Douglas Hertz in January; by mid-summer, the AFL revoked the franchise in light of controversies involving Hertz’s finances. A syndicate headed by William Cox was awarded the franchise in August, but Hertz kept the name for his new independent team (which later in the season became a traveling team in the American Association). Cox and the new owners of the AFL franchise redubbed the team the Americans. In Buffalo, a less contentious change of ownership resulted in the Indians becoming the Tigers.
The Columbus Bullies successfully defended their 1940 AFL championship. Their 5-1-2 record edged the 5-2-1 of the Americans and the 4-3-1 of the Milwaukee Chiefs