Monday, December 10, 2012

1940 NFL Championship Game

The 1940 National Football League Championship Game, was the 8th in NFL history. The game was played at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. on December 8, 1940. The Chicago Bears defeated the Washington Redskins, 73-0, the most one-sided victory in NFL history. The game was broadcast on radio by Mutual Broadcasting System, the first NFL title game broadcast nationwide
Washington had defeated Chicago 7-3 in a regular season game three weeks earlier. After the contest, Redskins owner George Preston Marshall told reporters that the Bears were crybabies and quitters when the going got tough. As the Bears prepared for the rematch, Chicago head coach George Halas fired up his team by showing them newspaper articles of Marshall's comments.
Before the game, Halas' friend Clark Shaughnessy, who was concurrently coaching the undefeated Stanford Indians, helped the Bears gameplan. Shaughnessy devised several counters for linebacker shifts that he had noted the Redskins use.
The Bears controlled the game right from the start, using the T formation as their primary offensive strategy. On their second play from scrimmage, running back Bill Osmanski ran 68 yards for a touchdown. Washington then marched to the Chicago 26-yard line on their ensuing drive, but wide receiver Charlie Malone dropped a sure touchdown pass in the end zone that would have tied the game.
Later in the first quarter, Bears Quarterback Sid Luckman scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to increase the lead 14-0. On their third drive, Joe Maniaci ran 42 yards for the Bears' third touchdown of the game.
The Bears held a 28-0 halftime lead and then continued to crush the Redskins, scoring 45 points during the second half. After Halas took the team's starters out, the backup players continued to pile on the points. The Bears ended up recording 501 total yards on offense, 382 total rushing yards, and 8 interceptions—returning 3 for touchdowns.
So many footballs were kicked into the stands after touchdowns that officials asked Halas to run or pass for the PAT on the last two TDs.
This game also marked the last time that an NFL player (Bears end Dick Plasman) played without a helmet.
Redskins quarterback Sammy Baugh was interviewed after the game, and a sportswriter asked him whether the game would have been different had Malone not dropped the tying TD pass. Baugh reportedly quipped, "Sure. The final score would have been 73-7."
The game still marks the most lopsided victory in NFL history. Chicago's 73 points remains the most ever scored by one team in league history, in the regular season or postseason.  Chicago's 7 rushing touchdowns is the second-most touchdowns (by both teams in one game) in league history, and the most ever in a post season game.

“Husked corn in the barn this forenoon.  Rogers came down after dinner and we hitched up the colt and drove him five or six miles.”


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