Wednesday, December 31, 2008

OE Knows Illinois - The wonderful NFL championship game of 1940

Ah, politics.

As junior Senator from Illinois, I will be expected to take pride in all of Illinois' achievements, including this one.

Through the first eight weeks of the '40 season, the Bears were 6-2 and set for a showdown with George Preston Marshall's Washington Redskins. On that November 17th in Washington, Chicago lost 7-3, and Marshall was quoted in the paper as calling Halas and his Bears "front-runners," "quitters" and "crybabies".

Using Marshall's printed words as a catalyst, Chicago scored 78 points in its final two games. Chicago and Washington's records set up an NFL Championship Game showdown in Washington on December 8. Prior to the game, Halas distributed clippings of Marshall's comments to his players, and said "Gentlemen, this is what George Preston Marshall thinks of you. I think you're a great football team, the greatest ever assembled. Go out on the field and prove it."

Fifty-five seconds into the game, Osmanski swept left and scored on a 68 yard touchdown. Late in the game, the officials pleaded with Halas to not kick for extra points as they were running out of footballs that had flown through the uprights into the crowd.

In the end, the score was 73-0, the largest margin of defeat in NFL history.

Ooh, this is gonna be tough, inasmuch as I'm a Redskins fan - whoops, I'm a former Redskins fan.

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