1937 NFL Championship Game

The 1937 National Football League Championship Game was the fifth championship game of the National Football League (NFL), held December 12 at Wrigley Field in Chicago with an attendance of 15,878.[1][2][3][4] The game featured the Western Division champions Chicago Bears (9–1–1) and the Eastern Division champions Washington Redskins (8–3).[5]

1937 NFL Championship Game
Washington Redskins Chicago Bears
28 21
1234 Total
Washington Redskins 70714 28
Chicago Bears 7770 21
DateDecember 12, 1937
StadiumWrigley Field, Chicago
RefereeW.T. Halloran
Wrigley Field is located in the United States
Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field
Location in the United States


Prior to the 1937 season, Redskins owner George Preston Marshall moved the team from Boston to his hometown of Washington, D.C.. The Boston Redskins won the Eastern Division title the previous season, but attendances were very poor in Boston, which forced Marshall to move the 1936 NFL Championship Game from Fenway Park to the Polo Grounds in New York City.[6] The Redskins selected quarterback Sammy Baugh from TCU in the first round of the 1937 NFL draft, and the rookie led the league in passing with a then-record 81 pass completions, and Redskins halfback Cliff Battles led the NFL in rushing with 874 yards.

The Bears had a nine-win season under head coach George Halas, the last for Bears great Bronko Nagurski (other than a brief, one-year return to the Bears in 1943).

Baugh stated that the field conditions were, in his words "the worst field I ever saw. The field had been torn up the previous week, and it froze solid with jagged clods sticking up. I've never seen so many people get cut up in a football game."[6]

Learning from the "Sneakers" game of 1934, both teams were prepared with a supply of basketball shoes in case of slippery field conditions.[7] The temperature at kickoff in Chicago was 24 °F (−4 °C).[8]

Game summary

The Redskins scored first when Baugh led the team down to the Chicago 7-yard line, where he slipped the ball to Battles on a reverse for the game's first touchdown.[6]

The Bears came back, however, as halfback Jack Manders scored the next fourteen points for the Bears: a touchdown run, a touchdown pass reception, and two extra points. Chicago led 14–7 at halftime.[6]

Baugh took over in the second half, mixing short and long passes, shredding the Bears defense. (Baugh would finish the game 18-for-33 passing, for 335 yards; he had led the league in 1937 with an average of 102.5 yards passing per game.[9]) Even using five defensive linemen (most teams used six at the time) and a sixth defensive back, the Bears could not stop the Redskins passing attack.[6]

In the fourth quarter, the score was tied 21–21, before Baugh threw a 35-yard touchdown strike to Redskins wingback Ed Justice to take the lead for good, 28–21.[1]

The First Fifty Years, a 1969 book that chronicles the first half-century of the NFL, listed the game as the second of "Ten [Games] That Mattered."[6] "In his rookie year," the book concludes, "Sammy Baugh had beaten pro football's best with a style of play 15 years before its time. And in his first year in prestigious Washington, George Preston Marshall ran up a championship flag. Pro football was getting its base."

Scoring summary

Sunday, December 12, 1937
Kickoff: 1:15 p.m. CST [10]

  • First quarter
  • Second quarter
  • Third quarter
  • Fourth quarter
    • WAS – Millner 78-yard pass from Baugh (Smith kick), 21–21 tie
    • WAS – Ed Justice 35-yard pass from Baugh (Smith kick), 28–21 WAS


Players' shares

An expected attendance of 40,000 was not reached[7] due the week's poor weather, which kept it under 16,000.[2] Each player on the winning Redskins team received $225, while the Bears received $127 each.[11][12]


  • Referee: Bill Halloran
  • Umpire: Ed Cochrane
  • Head Linesman: Bobby Cahn
  • Field Judge: Tommy Hughitt [1][10]

The NFL had only four game officials in 1937; the back judge was added in 1947, the line judge in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.


  1. ^ a b c Strickler, George (December 13, 1937). "Redskins win pro title; ship Bears 28-21". Chicago Tribune. p. 25.
  2. ^ a b Kirksey, George (December 13, 1937). "Baugh's 'one-man show' brings 'Skins title". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. p. 29.
  3. ^ Kuechle, Oliver E. (December 13, 1937). "Baugh's great passing defeats Bears, 28-21". Milwaukee Journal. p. 2, part 2.
  4. ^ Hilligan, Earl (December 13, 1937). "Washington captures pro grid title". St. Petersburg Times. Florida. Associated Press. p. 9.
  5. ^ "Redskins meet Bears for pro football title". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. December 6, 1937. p. 29.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g The First Fifty Years: A Celebration of the National Football League in its Fiftieth Season, Simon and Schuster, Inc., Copyright 1969, ASIN: B0018NJUO0, p.164-165
  7. ^ a b Kirksey, George (December 12, 1937). "Bears, Redskins clash in pro grid title fray". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. p. 4, sports.
  8. ^ "The weather". Chicago Tribune. December 13, 1937. p. 1.
  9. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1937 NFL Leaders and Leaderboards
  10. ^ a b Strickler, George (December 12, 1937). "Bears face Redskins; world title at stake". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, part 2.
  11. ^ "Redskin stars get $225.90 each". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 13, 1937. p. 14.
  12. ^ "How pro football "gate" was distributed". Youngstown Vindicator. Ohio. United Press. December 13, 1937.

Coordinates: 41°56′53″N 87°39′22″W / 41.948°N 87.656°W

1937 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1937 Philadelphia Eagles season was their fifth in the league. The team improved on their previous output of 1–11, winning two games. The team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.

1938 NFL Championship Game

The 1938 National Football League Championship Game was the sixth championship game played in the National Football League (NFL). It was played on December 11 at the Polo Grounds in New York City, with an attendance of 48,120, a record crowd for a title game.The game matched the New York Giants (8–2–1), champions of the Eastern Division, against the Western Division champion Green Bay Packers (8–3–0). The Giants had won the regular season game with Green Bay 15–3 at the Polo Grounds three weeks earlier on November 20, but Green Bay was without hall of fame end Don Hutson; there was no clear favorite for the title game.This was the Giants' fourth championship game appearance, their previous victory was in the famous "Sneakers game" of 1934 and they were runners-up in 1933 and 1935. It was the Packers' second trip, winning in 1936. New York also won the 1927 NFL title when the championship was awarded to the team with the best season record. Green Bay had similarly won three straight league titles in 1929, 1930, and 1931.

After trailing two points at halftime, Green Bay took the lead in the third quarter with a short field goal, but New York responded with a touchdown and held on through a scoreless fourth quarter to win, 23–17.With the victory, the Giants became the first team to win two championship games since the league split into two divisions in 1933. The two teams met again in the title game the following year in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with different results.

The Giants' next title was in 1956, won at Yankee Stadium.

Bears–Lions rivalry

The Bears–Lions rivalry is a National Football League (NFL) rivalry between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions. The franchises first met in 1930 when the Lions were known as the Portsmouth Spartans and based in Portsmouth, Ohio. They moved to Detroit for the 1934 season. The Bears and Lions have been division rivals since 1933 and have usually met twice a season since the Lions franchise began. The two teams play in the two largest metropolitan areas in the Midwest. Chicago and Detroit’s home stadiums, Soldier Field and Ford Field, are 280 miles apart and both are easily accessible from I-94.

This rivalry is the longest-running annual series in the NFL as both teams have met at least once a season since 1930. (Due to the 1982 strike, the Bears–Packers rivalry, which began in 1921, was not played that season.)

The Bears lead the overall series 99–74–5. The Bears won the only playoff meeting between the two teams, the 1932 NFL Championship Game, 9–0.

Bill Young (American football lineman)

William A. Young Jr (May 20, 1914 – January 21, 1994) was an American football player and coach. He played a lineman in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins. Young served as the head football coach of Furman University from 1950 to 1954.

Chicago Bears statistics

This page details statistics about the Chicago Bears American football team.

History of the Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins have played over 1,000 games. In those games, the club has won five professional American football championships including two NFL Championships and three Super Bowls. The franchise has also captured 15 NFL divisional titles and five NFC championships.The Redskins won the 1937 and 1942 Championship games, as well as Super Bowl XVII, XXII, and XXVI. They also played in and lost the 1936, 1940, 1943, and 1945 Championship games, as well as Super Bowl VII and XVIII. They have made 24 postseason appearances, and have an overall postseason record of 23 wins and 19 losses. Only five teams have appeared in more Super Bowls than the Redskins: the New England Patriots (eleven), Dallas Cowboys (eight), Pittsburgh Steelers (eight), Denver Broncos (eight), and the San Francisco 49ers (six); the Redskins’ five appearances are tied with the Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, and Green Bay Packers.All of the Redskins’ league titles were attained during two ten-year spans. From 1936 to 1945, the Redskins went to the NFL Championship six times, winning two of them. The second period lasted between 1982 and 1991 where the Redskins appeared in the postseason seven times, captured four Conference titles, and won three Super Bowls out of four appearances in that time frame.The Redskins have also experienced failure in their history. The most notable period of failure was from 1946 to 1970, during which the Redskins did not have a single postseason appearance. During this period, the Redskins went without a single winning season between 1956 and 1968. In 1961, the franchise posted their worst regular season record with a 1–12–1 showing.According to Forbes Magazine, as of 2015, the Redskins are the third most valuable franchise in the NFL, valued at approximately $2.85 billion, having been surpassed only by the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. As of 2016 they are also the world’s eighth most valuable sports team. In 2014, they generated an estimated of $439 million in revenue and reportedly netted $125 million. They have also broken the NFL’s mark for single-season attendance six years in a row from 1999 to 2005.

NFL playoff records (team)

This is a list of playoff records set by various teams in various categories in the National Football League during the Super Bowl Era.

Ray Buivid

Raymond Vincent Buivid (August 15, 1915 – July 5, 1972) was an American football player who played quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Bears.

A versatile player, Buivid played quarterback, halfback, and defensive back for the Marquette Golden Avalanche football team. He threw 13 touchdowns his junior year (1935). In 1936, he finished third in the voting for the Heisman Trophy and was a consensus All-American as a halfback, though he completed over 50% of his passes as quarterback as well. Marquette finished 20th in the country, and played in their first ever bowl game, the first Cotton Bowl Classic. They lost 16–6 to TCU led by Sammy Baugh.

Buivid signed with the Chicago Bears on October 11, 1937 after missing the first three games of the season. In the season finale against the cross-town rival Chicago Cardinals, he became the first player to throw five touchdowns in a single game, and also caught one. Despite this performance, he appeared in just six games that season, all behind starting quarterback Bernie Masterson, attempting just 35 passes. The 9–1 Bears won the Western division, and played in the 1937 NFL Championship Game against the Washington Redskins, led by fellow rookie Sammy Baugh (who was drafted after Buivid, despite defeating him in the Cotton Bowl). Buivid was just 3 for 12 passing and 3 for -6 yards rushing with three turnovers, including a muffed punt late in the fourth quarter to seal the defeat.The next season, he appeared in 11 games but attempted just 48 passes for 295 yards, along with 32 rushes for 65 yards. He retired after just two seasons at age 23 to serve in World War II as a lieutenant in the navy.

Washington Redskins 1937 NFL champions
Division championships (14)
Conference championships (5)
League championships (5)
Hall of Fame players
All-time leaders
Current league affiliations
Seasons (88)
Retired numbers
Key personnel
Division championships (21)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (9)
Current league affiliations
Seasons (100)
NFL Championship Game
AFL Championship Game
AFL-NFL World Championship Games[1]
Super Bowl[2]

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