1940 NFL Championship Game

The 1940 National Football League Championship Game, sometimes referred to as 73–0, was the eighth title game of the National Football League (NFL), played at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. on December 8, with a sellout capacity attendance of 36,034.[1][2]

The Chicago Bears (8–3) of the Western Division met the Washington Redskins (9–2), champions of the Eastern Division.[3] Neither team had played in the title game since 1937, when the Redskins won a close game at Chicago's Wrigley Field. For this game in Washington, the Bears entered as slight favorites.[4][5]

The Bears scored eleven touchdowns and won 73–0, the most one-sided victory in NFL history.[6] The game was broadcast on radio by Mutual Broadcasting System, the first NFL title game broadcast nationwide.

1940 NFL Championship Game
Chicago Bears Washington Redskins
73 0
1234 Total
Chicago Bears 2172619 73
Washington Redskins 0000 0
DateDecember 8, 1940
StadiumGriffith Stadium, Washington, D.C.
RefereeWilliam Friesell
Radio in the United States
AnnouncersRed Barber
Griffith   Stadium is located in the United States
Griffith   Stadium
Location in the United States


Washington had defeated Chicago 7–3 in a regular season game three weeks earlier in Washington.[7] 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 containing Marshall's comments, then said, "Gentlemen, this is what George Preston Marshall thinks of you. Well, I think you're a GREAT football team! Now, go out there and prove it!"

Before the game, Halas's 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 using.[8]

Game summary

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. The field goal attempt on 4th down was missed as well.

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, all in the third quarter.

So many footballs were kicked into the stands after touchdowns that officials asked Halas to run or pass for the point after touchdown on the last two touchdowns.[9]

This game also marked the last time that an NFL player (Bears end Dick Plasman) played without a helmet.[8]

Reportedly, after the final gun went off, a sports writer jokingly yelled, "Marshall just shot himself!" Marshall's only statement to the press was, "We needed a 50 man line against their power."

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 touchdown pass. Baugh reportedly quipped, "Sure. The final score would have been 73–7."[9]


As of 2018, Chicago's 73 points is most in any NFL game, regular season or postseason.[10] The margin of victory is not only the largest-ever in the NFL, but in any major American team sport; the closest anyone has come is the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, who demolished the Miami Heat in 1991 by 68 points (148-80). Chicago's seven rushing touchdowns is the second-most touchdowns (by both teams in one game) in league history and the most ever in a postseason game.[11]

The First Fifty Years, a 1969 book that chronicles the first half century of the NFL, listed the game as one of "Ten [Games] That Mattered" to the growth of pro football in the United States.[12] "On a Sunday in the 1940 December," the book states, "the Chicago Bears played perfect football for a greater percentage of the official hour than any team before or since. In the championship game, as an underdog to the team which had just beaten them, the Bears made an eleven-touchdown pile and used it as a pedestal to raise the NFL to view in all corners of the country.... Pro football, the T-formation and the Chicago Bears were the sudden sports news of the year."

Scoring summary

Sunday, December 8, 1940
Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. EST


  • Referee: William "Red" Friesall
  • Umpire: Harry Robb
  • Head Linesman: Irv Kupcinet
  • Field Judge: Fred Young[3][6]

The NFL had only four game officials in 1940; the back judge was added in 1947, the line judge in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.


Source: 3

Statistical comparison

Chicago Bears Washington Redskins
First downs 17 17
First downs rushing 13 4
First downs passing 3 10
First downs penalty 1 3
Total yards 501 245
Passing yards 119 223
Passing – Completions-attempts 7–10 20–51
Passing – Yards per attempt 11.9 4.4
Interceptions-return yards 8–117 0–0
Rushing yards 382 22
Rushing attempts 57 14
Yards per rush 6.7 1.6
Penalties-yards 3–25 8–70
Fumbles-lost 2–1 4–1
Punts-Average 2–46.0 3–41.3

Individual leaders

Bears Passing
Sid Luckman 3/4 88 1 0
Bob Snyder 3/3 31 0 0
Bears Rushing
Cara Yds TD LGb
Bill Osmanski 10 109 1 68
Harry Clarke 8 73 2 44
Joe Maniaci 6 60 2 42
Ray Nolting 13 68 1 23
Bears Receiving
Recc Yds TD LGb
Joe Maniaci 3 39 0 n/a
Ken Kavanaugh 2 32 1 30
Redskins Passing
Sammy Baugh 10/17 102 0 2
Frankie Filchock 7/23 87 0 5
Redskins Rushing
Cara Yds TD LGb
Frankie Filchock 2 20 0 n/a
Bob Seymour 4 16 0 n/a
Jimmy Johnston 1 5 0 n/a
Ed Justice 1 1 0 n/a
Redskins Receiving
Recc Yds TD LGb
Wayne Millner 5 84 0 n/a
Bob Masterson 3 33 0 n/a

*Completions/Attempts aCarries bLong play cReceptions

Players' shares

The net gate receipts from the sellout were over $102,000, a record, and each Bear player received $874 while each Redskin saw $606.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b Feder, Sid (December 9, 1940). "Chicago Bears crush Redskins, 73-0". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. p. 15.
  2. ^ a b "Bears overwhelm Washington, 73 to 0; game draws record gate of $102,000". Milwaukee Journal. December 9, 1940. p. 6, section 2.
  3. ^ a b Strickler, George (December 8, 1940). "Bears meet Redskins today for pro football title". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, part 2.
  4. ^ "Pro league title game Sunday to draw record $100,000 gate". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. December 7, 1940. p. 8.
  5. ^ Kirksey, George (December 8, 1940). "Grid 'World Series' stirs Capitol fans". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. p. 15, section 3.
  6. ^ a b Strickler, George (December 9, 1940). "Bears win world football title, 73 to 0". Chicago Tribune. p. 21.
  7. ^ Kirksey, George (November 18, 1940). "'Skins, Bears move toward pro finale". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. p. 18.
  8. ^ a b Douglas A. Noverr, The Games They Played: Sports in American History, 1865–1980, p. 143, Rowman & Littlefield, 1983, ISBN 0-88229-819-4.
  9. ^ a b "Hall of Famers » SAMMY BAUGH". Profootballhof.com. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  10. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single game, from 1940 to 2011, in the regular season and playoffs, sorted by descending Points For.
  11. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single game, from 1940 to 2011, in the regular season and playoffs, sorted by descending Rushing TD.
  12. ^ The First Fifty Years: A Celebration of the National Football League in its Fiftieth Season, Simon and Schuster, Inc., Copyright 1969, ASIN: B0018NJUO0
  • Nash, Bruce, and Allen Zullo (1986). The Football Hall of Shame, 80–82, Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-74551-4.
  • The Sporting News Complete Super Bowl Book 1995, 391, The Sporting News Publishing Co. ISBN 0-89204-523-X.
  • ¹Peterson, Robert. "Pigskin: The Early Years of Pro Football" (1997) p. 132 Oxford University Press ISBN 0195076079
  • 2Taylor, Roy. "1940's Chicago Bears, Another Dynasty" (2004) http://www.bearshistory.com/seasons/1940schicagobears.aspx
  • 3The NFL's Official Encyclopedic History of Professional Football, (1973), p. 105, Macmillan Publishing Co. New York, NY, LCCN No. 73-3862

Coordinates: 38°55′03″N 77°01′12″W / 38.9175°N 77.020°W

1941 NFL Championship Game

The 1941 National Football League Championship Game was the ninth annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), held at Wrigley Field in Chicago on December 21. Played two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the attendance was 13,341, the smallest ever to see an NFL title game.

1966 Washington Redskins season

The 1966 Washington Redskins season was the franchise's 35th season in the National Football League (NFL) and their 30th in Washington, D.C..The Washington Redskins attempted to make Vince Lombardi their new head coach, but Lombardi refused their offer and the Redskins had to settle for Otto Graham. They finished with a 7–7 record, fifth place in the eight-team Eastern Conference.

In Week Twelve, the Redskins set an NFL record for most points by one team in a regular season game, scoring 72 points against the Giants. (Incidentally, this was one point less than the all-time record, the 73 scored by Chicago in the 1940 NFL Championship Game, in which the Redskins surrendered 11 touchdowns and were shut out.)

1999 Miami Dolphins season

The 1999 Miami Dolphins season was the team's 34th campaign, and 30th in the National Football League. It was the 17th and final season for Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino. Although they made the second wild card spot with a 9–7 record, and managed to upset the Seattle Seahawks 20–17 in the Wild Card Game, they were humiliated and decimated by the Jacksonville Jaguars 7–62 in the Divisional round, the most lopsided playoff game of the Super Bowl era.

The Dolphins reached the midway point of the 1999 season with a 7–1 record, but in the second half of the year, the team struggled, finishing only 2–6, and backing their way into the playoffs with the AFC's last wild-card slot.

73 (number)

73 (seventy-three) is the natural number following 72 and preceding 74. In English, it is the smallest natural number with twelve letters in its spelled out name.

Bill Osmanski

William Thomas Osmanski (December 29, 1915 – December 25, 1996) was an American football player and coach. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1973 and in 1977 he was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.

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.

Cincinnati Reds (NFL)

The Cincinnati Reds were a National Football League team that played the 1933 season and the first eight games of the 1934 season. The football Reds played most of their home games at Crosley Field. Other home games were played at Dayton's Triangle Park, Portsmouth's Universal Stadium and Xavier University's Corcoran Stadium in a rare night game against the Chicago Cardinals.The team was eventually suspended for failure to pay league dues during the 1934 season and the St. Louis Gunners, an independent team, replaced the Reds on the schedule for the last three games.

The Reds hold the dubious distinction of having the two lowest officially recognized season scoring totals in NFL history. In 1933 they scored 38 points in 10 games, tying the 1942 Detroit Lions for second on that list. In 1934 the Reds and Gunners combined for only 37 points in 11 games with the Reds, themselves, scoring only 10 points in 8 games before their suspension. The franchise was shut out in twelve of its eighteen games. By comparison, the 75 points scored by the Reds and Gunners in 21 games over two seasons only exceed the 73 points scored by the Chicago Bears in the 1940 NFL Championship Game by two, and by three the 72 points scored by the Washington Redskins on November 27, 1966, the record for points scored by a team in a Regular Season game. Further, the 1950 Los Angeles Rams averaged 38.83 points per game, the highest such average in NFL history.

These records, however, only consider NFL seasons going back to 1932, the first year in which official statistical records were kept. Several teams failed to score at least 10 points in seasons of varying length (up to 8 games in some cases) between 1920 and 1931.

Clark Shaughnessy

Clark Daniel Shaughnessy (originally O'Shaughnessy) (March 6, 1892 – May 15, 1970) was an American football coach and innovator. He is sometimes called the "father of the T formation" and the original founder of the forward pass, although that system had previously been used as early as the 1880s. Shaughnessy did, however, modernize the obsolescent T formation to make it once again relevant in the sport, particularly for the quarterback and the receiver positions. He employed his innovations most famously on offense, but on the defensive side of the ball as well, and he earned a reputation as a ceaseless experimenter.

Shaughnessy held head coaching positions at Tulane University, Loyola University New Orleans, the University of Chicago, Stanford University, the University of Maryland, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Hawaii, and in the National Football League with the Los Angeles Rams. Shaughnessy also served in advisory capacities with the Chicago Bears and the Washington Redskins.

He reached the height of his success in 1940, in his first season at Stanford, where he led the Indians to an undefeated season that culminated with a Rose Bowl victory. That year, he also helped prepare the Chicago Bears for the 1940 NFL Championship Game, in which they routed Washington, 73–0. Shaughnessy's successes showcased the effectiveness of the T formation and encouraged its widespread adoption. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1968. Shaughnessy also coached college basketball at Tulane University. He played college football at the University of Minnesota.

Clyde Shugart

Clyde Earl Shugart (December 7, 1916 – July 2, 2009) was an American football guard in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins. He played college football at Iowa State University and was drafted in the seventeenth round of the 1939 NFL Draft.

Dick Plasman

Herbert Gustave "Dick" Plasman (April 6, 1914 – June 23, 1981) was a professional American football player who played running back for eight seasons for the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cardinals. He is notably the last player in the NFL to play a game without a football helmet. He did so in the 1940 NFL Championship game.

Edgar Manske

Edgar John "Eggs" Manske (July 4, 1912 – January 27, 2002) was a professional American football player who played six seasons in the National Football League (NFL). Manske was the last college player to play without a football helmet. Manske played in two NFL championship games with the Chicago Bears, including the historic 1940 NFL Championship Game, a 73–0 victory over the Washington Redskins.

Harry Clarke (American football)

Harry Charles Clarke (December 1, 1916 – December 31, 2005) was a professional American football halfback for four seasons for the Chicago Bears in the National Football League. He later played three seasons in the All-America Football Conference. He played college football for West Virginia Mountaineers.

Jack Manders

John Albert "Automatic Jack" Manders (January 13, 1909 – January 29, 1977) was an American football player. He played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Bears from 1933 to 1940.

Manders was a member of the Chicago team coached by George Halas that defeated the Washington Redskins in the 1940 NFL Championship Game by the memorable score of 73-0.

He was the older brother of Clarence "Pug" Manders.

Joe Mihal

Joseph "Joe" Mihal (April 2, 1916 – September 18, 1979) was a professional American football player who played as a tackle in the National Football League (NFL) for two seasons with the Chicago Bears. He was elected as a starter for the 1939 Chicago College All-Star Game.

Mihal played for the Bears in their 73–0 victory over the Washington Redskins in the 1940 NFL Championship Game.

List of NFL champions (1920–1969)

The National Football League champions, prior to the merger between the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) in 1970, were determined by two different systems. The National Football League was established on September 17, 1920, as the American Professional Football Association (APFA). The APFA changed its name in 1922 to the National Football League, which it has retained ever since.From 1921 to 1931, the APFA/NFL determined its champion by overall win–loss record, with no playoff games; ties were not counted in the winning percentage total. The APFA did not keep records of the 1920 season; they declared the Akron Pros, who finished the season with an 8–0–3 (8 wins, 0 losses, 3 ties) record, as the league's first champions, by a vote of the owners, with the Buffalo-All Americans and Decatur Staleys also claiming the title. According to modern-tie breaking rules, the Buffalo All-Americans tied Akron for the championship. The Canton Bulldogs won two straight championships from 1922 to 1923, and the Green Bay Packers won three in a row from 1929 to 1931.There also has been controversy over the championshipships of the 1921 APFA season and the 1925 NFL season, with the Buffalo All-Americans laying claim to another championship in an incident known as the "Staley Swindle" and the Pottsville Maroons being stripped of their championship in 1925 for playing an exhibition game against college football powerhouse Notre Dame's famed Four Horsemen, leading to a last minute field goal victory for the Maroons, stunning the crowd and nation, and also put the NFL ahead of college football for the first time ever. These three disputed championships contributed to the beginning of the NFL's rich history.

The 1932 NFL season resulted in a tie for first place between the Chicago Bears and Portsmouth Spartans, and could not be resolved by the typical win–loss system. To settle the tie, a playoff game was played; Chicago won the game and the championship. The following year, the NFL split into two divisions, and the winner of each division would play in the NFL Championship Game. In 1967, the NFL and the rival AFL agreed to merge, effective following the 1969 season; as part of this deal, the NFL champion from 1966 to 1969 would play the AFL champion in an AFL–NFL World Championship Game in each of the four seasons before the completed merger. The NFL Championship Game was ended after the 1969 season, succeeded by the NFC Championship Game. The champions of that game play the champions of the AFC Championship Game in the Super Bowl to determine the NFL champion.The Green Bay Packers won the most NFL championships before the merger, winning eleven of the fifty championships. The Packers were also the only team to win three straight championships, an achievement they accomplished twice: from 1929–31 and from 1965–67. The Chicago Bears won a total of eight titles, and the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, and New York Giants each won four. The Bears recorded the largest victory in a championship game, defeating the Washington Redskins 73–0 in the 1940 NFL Championship Game; six other title games ended in a shutout as well. The Philadelphia Eagles recorded two consecutive shutouts in 1948 and 1949. New York City hosted the most championship games (eight), while the highest-attended title game was the 1955 NFL Championship Game, where 85,693 fans showed up in Los Angeles to watch the Browns beat the Rams 38–14.

List of people from Cumberland, Maryland

This is a list of people from Cumberland, Maryland.

Frederick John Bahr (1837–1885) – immigrant from Baden, Germany; bought Wills Mountain, including the narrows and Lovers Leap, to avoid the encroachment of the Civil War, settled there with his family in a cabin on the top of the mountain

Rod Breedlove (born 1938) – former football linebacker, played eight seasons in the National Football League with the Washington Redskins and the Pittsburgh Steelers, 1960–1967

Earle Bruce (born 1931) – football player and coach in College Football Hall of Fame

Wright Butler – architect of Allegany Courthouse

Harry Clarke (1916–2005) – football player, two touchdowns in 1940 NFL Championship Game in Chicago Bears' 73–0 victory over Washington Redskins

Kia Corthron (born 1961) – playwright, screenwriter; attended Allegany High School

J. V. Cunningham (1911–1985) – poet, writer, and professor for Stanford University; born in Cumberland

James Deetz (1930–2000) – father of historical archeology

Eddie Deezen (born 1958) – comic and voice actor

Jane Frazier – lived in a log house built in 1754 just outside Cumberland; was captured by Indians; a Frazier family member wrote a book about the incident, Red Morning

Patrick Hamill (1817–1895) – U.S. Congressman for Maryland's 4th District 1869–1871; buried in Odd Fellow's Cemetery

Drew Hankinson (born 1983) – professional wrestler currently signed to WWE under name of Luke Gallows

Christopher Hastings (born 1983) – comic artist and creator of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, set in a fictional version of Cumberland

Tom Hull (born 1952) – linebacker who played two seasons in National Football League with San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers in 1974 and 1975

Indian Will – well-known Native American who lived in a former settlement of the Shawnee Indians at the site of present-day Cumberland in the 18th century; namesake of Wills Creek and Wills Mountain

William Harrison Lowdermilk (1839–1897) – Union soldier, printer, and newspaper publisher

William H. Macy (born 1950) – actor; attended Allegany High School, was junior and senior class president

Samuel Magill – established the first newspaper in Cumberland, the Allegany Freeman, published weekly, 1813–1816

Mark Manges (born 1956) – quarterback for University of Maryland, College Park (1974–77); appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in October 1976

John Van Lear McMahon (1800–1871) – Maryland legislature and historian

Kelly L. Moran (born 1960) – author of book Shelley Chintz, 2001; designer and builder of the Stone Cottage; attended Bruce High School

Edward Otho Cresap Ord (1818–1883) – born in Cumberland; designer of Fort Sam Houston; a U.S. Army officer who saw action in the Seminole War, the Indian Wars, and the American Civil War

Sam Perlozzo (born 1951) – former Major League Baseball player; former manager of the Baltimore Orioles (2005–2007); attended Bishop Walsh High School

Bruce Price (1845–1903) – architect of Cumberland Emmanuel Church

Francis Xavier Seelos (1819–1867) – pastor of SS. Peter & Paul's Catholic Church, 1857–1862, beatified by the Vatican in 2000 (final stage of canonization process)

Russell Shorto (born 1959) – author of The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America and Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City

Casper R. Taylor, Jr (born 1934) – Member of House of Delegates, 1975–2003, Speaker of the House, 1994–2003

Three X Sisters – singing trio

Steve Trimble (1958–2011) – pro football defensive back

George L. Wellington (1852–1927) – U.S. Senator

Steve Whiteman – singer of 80s metal band KIX

Marianne Lake (born 1969) - CEO of Consumer Lending, JPMorgan Chase

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.

T formation

In American football, a T formation (frequently called the full house formation in modern usage, sometimes the Robust T) is a formation used by the offensive team in which three running backs line up in a row about five yards behind the quarterback, forming the shape of a "T".Numerous variations of the T formation have been developed, including the Power-T, where two tight ends are used, the Pro T, which uses one tight end and one wide receiver, or the Wing T, where one of the running backs (or wingback) lines up one step behind and to the side of the tight end.

Any of these can be run using the original spacing, which produced a front of about seven yards, or the Split-T spacing, where the linemen were farther apart and the total length of the line was from 10 to 16 yards.

Chicago Bears 1940 NFL champions
Retired numbers
Key personnel
Division championships (21)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (9)
Current league affiliations
Seasons (100)
Division championships (14)
Conference championships (5)
League championships (5)
Hall of Fame players
All-time leaders
Current league affiliations
Seasons (88)
NFL Championship Game
AFL Championship Game
AFL-NFL World Championship Games[1]
Super Bowl[2]

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