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.
|1941 NFL Championship Game|
|Date||December 21, 1941|
|Stadium||Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois|
|Radio in the United States|
|Announcers||Bob Elson, Red Barber|
Prior to the title game, the Western Division champion needed to be determined. The defending NFL champion Chicago Bears (10–1) had ended the regular season on December 7 tied with the Green Bay Packers (10–1), the 1939 NFL champions. The two had split their season series in 1941, with the road teams winning, so the tiebreaker was the first-ever divisional playoff game in the NFL, played on December 14 at Wrigley Field.
The Packers had completed their regular season on November 30 and the playoff game was sold out by Tuesday, December 9, at over 46,484, with over 10,000 seats to Packer fans. Chicago was favored, and attendance on game day was slightly lower than capacity at 43,425, the week after Pearl Harbor. The Bears jumped to a 30–7 halftime lead under clear skies and 16 °F (−9 °C) temperatures and easily won, 33–14. The Eastern Division champion New York Giants (8–3) completed their regular season on December 7 with a 21–7 loss to the runner-up Brooklyn Dodgers (7–4), who had defeated the Giants twice in the regular season.
Both the Bears and Giants were making their fifth appearances in the title game, and each had two victories. It was the third time the two teams matched up in the big game; the home teams had won both: the Bears in 1933 and the Giants in 1934. The Bears were favored by two touchdowns and 35,000 were expected to attend. The game time temperature was an unseasonably warm 47 °F (8 °C).
The hometown Bears kicked three field goals in the first half to lead 9–6 at the intermission. The Giants took the opening drive of the second half down to the five, but settled for a short field goal to tie the score. Chicago dominated the rest of the second half with four unanswered touchdowns and won 37–9.
Sunday, December 21, 1941
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. CST
Ray "Scooter" McLean elected to drop kick the extra point on the last touchdown, the last successful drop kick in the NFL for 64 years. Doug Flutie of the New England Patriots kicked one in his final regular season game, in the fourth quarter of the last game of the 2005 regular season on January 1, 2006.
Ticket prices were $4.40 for the grandstand and $2.20 for bleachers.
Two players in the game, back Young Bussey of the Bears and end Jack Lummus of the Giants, were killed in action three years later in World War II, in early 1945. Navy lieutenant Bussey died in the Invasion of Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines and Marine lieutenant Lummus was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for valor at the Battle of Iwo Jima.
The 1942 National Football League Championship Game was the tenth title game of the National Football League (NFL), played at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. on December 13, with a sellout capacity attendance of 36,006.It matched the undefeated Western Division champion Chicago Bears (11–0) and the Eastern Division champion Washington Redskins (10–1). The Bears
were co-coached by Hunk Anderson and Luke Johnsos (after George Halas had entered the U.S. Navy) and led on the field by quarterback Sid Luckman. The Redskins were led by head coach Ray Flaherty and quarterback Sammy Baugh.
Chicago had won easily in the summer exhibition game with Washington, but the teams had not met during the 1942 regular season. The Bears were aiming for their third consecutive league title and were favored by three touchdowns, but were upset 14–6 by the home underdog Redskins.Tickets were sold out three weeks in advance, and some were being resold for up to fifty dollars.This was the second and final NFL title game played at Griffith Stadium and in the city of Washington. The two teams met on the same site two years earlier with a far different result, as the visiting Bears won in a 73–0 rout.Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North division. The Bears have won nine NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl, and hold the NFL record for the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the most retired jersey numbers. The Bears have also recorded more victories than any other NFL franchise.The franchise was founded in Decatur, Illinois, on September 17, 1920, and moved to Chicago in 1921. It is one of only two remaining franchises from the NFL's founding in 1920, along with the Arizona Cardinals, which was originally also in Chicago. The team played home games at Wrigley Field on Chicago's North Side through the 1970 season; they now play at Soldier Field on the Near South Side, next to Lake Michigan. The Bears have a long-standing rivalry with the Green Bay Packers.The team headquarters, Halas Hall, is in the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest, Illinois. The Bears practice at adjoining facilities there during the season. Since 2002, the Bears have held their annual training camp, from late July to mid-August, at Ward Field on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois.Chicago Bears statistics
This page details statistics about the Chicago Bears American football team.Field goal range
Field goal range is the part of the field in American football where there is a good chance that a field goal attempt will be successful.
A field goal is normally 17 yards (7 yards in Canadian football) longer than the distance of the line of scrimmage to the goal line, as it includes the end zone (10 yards) and 7 yards to where the holder places the ball. In Canadian football, the goal posts are on the goal lines, in front of the end zones. Therefore, if the line of scrimmage is at the 30, the field goal would be 47 yards (in American football) or 37 yards (in Canadian football).Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North division. It is the third-oldest franchise in the NFL, dating back to 1919, and is the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team based in the United States. Home games have been played at Lambeau Field since 1957.
The Packers are the last of the "small town teams" which were common in the NFL during the league's early days of the 1920s and '30s. Founded in 1919 by Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, the franchise traces its lineage to other semi-professional teams in Green Bay dating back to 1896. Between 1919 and 1920, the Packers competed against other semi-pro clubs from around Wisconsin and the Midwest, before joining the American Professional Football Association (APFA), the forerunner of today's NFL, in 1921. Although Green Bay is by far the smallest major league professional sports market in North America, Forbes ranked the Packers as the world's 26th most valuable sports franchise in 2016, with a value of $2.35 billion.The Packers have won 13 league championships, the most in NFL history, with nine pre–Super Bowl NFL titles and four Super Bowl victories. The Packers won the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968 and were the only NFL team to defeat the American Football League (AFL) prior to the AFL–NFL merger. The Vince Lombardi Trophy is named after the Packers' coach of the same name, who guided them to their first two Super Bowls. Their two subsequent Super Bowl wins came in 1996 and 2010.The Packers are long-standing adversaries of the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions, who today comprise the NFL's NFC North division, and were formerly members of the NFC Central Division. They have played over 100 games against each of those teams through history, and have a winning overall record against all of them, a distinction only shared with the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys. The Bears–Packers rivalry is one of the oldest in NFL history, dating back to 1921.History of the Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team that has played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) since 1921. The team was founded in 1919 by Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, and for the next two years played against local teams in Wisconsin and Michigan. In 1921, the Packers joined the American Professional Football Association, the precursor to the (NFL) with Curly Lambeau as their coach. After falling into financial trouble, the Green Bay Football Corporation, now known as Green Bay Packers, Inc., was formed in 1923. The Packers became a publicly-owned football team run by a Board of Directors elected each year. The team went on to win six NFL championships from 1929 to 1944, including three straight (1929–1931). Along the way, Curly Lambeau, with the help of receiver Don Hutson, revolutionized football through the development and utilization of the forward pass.
After Curly Lambeau resigned from the Packers in 1949, the team fell into a slump. They did not have a winning record for 11 straight seasons until 1959, the year that the Packers hired a new coach, Vince Lombardi. Lombardi would go on to lead one of the most successful teams in league history. Thirteen Pro Football Hall of Famers played for Lombardi, including quarterback Bart Starr and linebacker Ray Nitschke. The Packers lost the 1960 NFL Championship, however they would go on to win five championships in seven years under Lombardi, including three straight between 1965 and 1967. This included the infamous Ice Bowl and the first two Super Bowls. After the passing of Curly Lambeau in 1965, the Packers new stadium (built in 1957 as City Stadium) was named Lambeau Field in his honor. Five years later, the Packers second great coach, Vince Lombardi, passed away, just two years after leaving the team for the Washington Redskins.
From 1968 to 1992 the Packers only made the playoffs twice. Even with former quarterback Bart Starr as head coach, the Packers were unable to regain their former glory. The team continued to falter until Ron Wolf took over as general manager. Wolf hired Mike Holmgren as head coach and traded a first-round draft pick to the Atlanta Falcons for quarterback Brett Favre. Favre would go on to lead the Packers to eleven playoffs appearances, two Super Bowl appearances, and one championship in 1996. In 1997, the Packers had their fourth stock sale, expanding the number of shareholders and using the money to fund further expansion of Lambeau Field. In 2005, the Packers drafted quarterback Aaron Rodgers. After Favre left the team in 2007, Rodgers became the starter. As of 2017, he has led the Packers to eight playoffs appearances and one Super Bowl victory in 2010. The Packers had their fifth and most recent stock sale in 2012, again expanding the number of shareholders and using the funding to expand Lambeau Field. With a capacity of 81,441, Lambeau Field is the fifth-largest stadium in the NFL. As of 2018, the Packers hold the record for the most NFL championships (13 total) and the second-most wins in NFL history.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.Hugh Gallarneau
Hugh Harold "Duke" Gallarneau (April 2, 1917 – July 14, 1999) was an NFL halfback from 1941–1942 and 1945–1947 for the Chicago Bears. He played college football at Stanford, where he was an All-American.Ken Kavanaugh
Kenneth William Kavanaugh (November 23, 1916 – January 25, 2007) was an American football player, coach, and scout. He played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Bears as an end from 1940 to 1950, except for three seasons during which he served in World War II. He led the league in receiving touchdowns twice, and is a member of the NFL 1940s All-Decade Team. He is the Bears' all-time leader in receiving touchdowns, with 50.
Kavanaugh played college football at Louisiana State University for the LSU Tigers, where he was named most valuable player of the Southeastern Conference and a consensus All-American in 1939 after leading the nation in receptions and receiving yards. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1963.Young Bussey
Ruey Young Bussey (October 4, 1917 – January 7, 1945) was a professional American football quarterback for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). Bussey was killed in action during World War II. He was the only Bears player to die in the war.
Chicago Bears 1941 NFL champions
|Division championships (21)|
|Conference championships (4)|
|League championships (9)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold
|Division championships (16)|
|Conference championships (11)|
|League championships (8)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold
National Football League Championship Games (1933–present)
|NFL Championship Game|
|AFL Championship Game|
|AFL-NFL World Championship Games |
1 – From 1966 to 1969, the first four Super Bowls were "World Championship" games played between two independent professional football leagues, AFL and NFL, and when the league merged in 1970 the Super Bowl became the NFL Championship Game.
2 – Dates in the list denote the season, not the calendar year in which the championship game was played. For instance, Super Bowl XLI was played in 2007, but was the championship for the 2006 season.