The Providence Steam Rollers (also referred to as the Providence Steam Roller, the Providence Steamroller and the Providence Steamrollers) was a professional American football team based in Providence, Rhode Island in the National Football League from 1925 to 1931. Providence was the first New England team to win an NFL championship. The Steam Roller won the league's championship in 1928, to date, this is the latest NFL championship win by a defunct team. Most of their home games were played in a 10,000-seat stadium that was built for bicycle races called the Cycledrome.
The Steam Roller was established in 1916 by members of the Providence Journal; sports-editor Charles Coppen and part-time sports-writer Pearce Johnson. Three men shared in the ownership and management of the team: Coppen, James Dooley, and Peter Laudati. Meanwhile, Johnson stayed on as the team's manager for each year of its existence.
The team soon became a regional power and by the mid-1920s was known as the best independent team in the country. By 1919 the team was drawing in more spectators than Brown University by a margin of 2–1, according to newspaper reports at the time. However, it seemed unlikely since the Steam Roller crowd was on average 3,000 spectators a game. The players' wages were lower than those of Indiana and Ohio, so it was harder for the Steam Roller to bring in "ringers". Several college football players did play for the Steam Roller, but under aliases, so as to not jeopardize their amateur status.
In 1924, Providence's schedule featured several NFL teams. The Steam Roller posted a 3–2–1 record against those teams, defeating the Rochester Jeffersons (3–0), Minneapolis Marines (49–0) and Dayton Triangles (10–7). Both of their two losses came against the Frankford Yellow Jackets (21–10) and (16–3). The team also posted a scoreless tie against the Columbus Tigers. The 1924 Steam Roller then went on to win the mythical "undisputed championship of the Northeast". The team's success that season was enough to make Steam Roller management and fans start thinking about playing in the NFL.