1943 NFL Championship Game

The 1943 National Football League Championship Game was the 11th annual title game of the National Football League (NFL), held at Wrigley Field in Chicago on December 26 with an attendance of 34,320.[1][2][3]

In a rematch of the previous year's game, the Western Division champion Chicago Bears (8–1–1) met the Eastern Division champion Washington Redskins (6–3–1).

The previous week, the Redskins had defeated the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds in a playoff game by a score of 28–0 to determine the champs of the east, after the teams ended the regular season with identical records.[4] The Redskins had dropped their final three regular season games, including two to the Giants. Even though the Giants had swept the season series with Washington, the rules of the time called for a tiebreaker game.

The divisional playoff game pushed the championship game back to its latest ever date, and the late-December Chicago weather caused the game to be dubbed the "Ice Bowl."[5] The Bears were favored by a touchdown,[6] and won by twenty points, 41–21.[2][3]

The crowd was smaller than the previous year's and well off the championship game record of 48,120 set in 1938,[5] but the gross gate receipts of $120,500 set a record.[7] In addition to the gate, radio broadcast rights to the game were sold for $5,000.[7]

The Bears were led by quarterback Sid Luckman while Sammy Baugh was the quarterback for the Redskins. The Redskins were coached by Dutch Bergman.

The Chicago win marked the franchise's third championship in four seasons, their fourth since the institution of the NFL Championship Game in 1933, and their sixth championship overall.[8]

1943 NFL Championship Game
Washington Redskins Chicago Bears
21 41
1234 Total
Washington Redskins 0777 21
Chicago Bears 0141314 41
DateDecember 26, 1943
StadiumWrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
RefereeRonald Gibbs
Radio in the United States
AnnouncersHarry Wismer
Wrigley Field is located in the United States
Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field
Location in the United States
Joe Stydahar 1943 Chicago Bears jersey on display at NFL Experience (3818214195)
Joe Stydahar's Chicago Bears uniform worn during the team's 1943 championship season.



Starting lineups[3]
Bears Position Redskins
Jim Benton Left end Bob Masterson
Dom Sigillo Left tackle Lou Rymkus
Dan Fortmann Left guard Clyde Shugart
Bulldog Turner Center George Smith
George Musso Right guard Steve Slivinski
Al Hoptowit Right tackle Joe Pasqua
George Wilson Right end Joe Aguirre
Sid Luckman Quarterback Ray Hare
Harry Clarke Left halfback George Cafego
Dante Magnani Right halfback Frank Seno
Bob Masters Fullback Andy Farkas


Bears substitutions: Pool, Berry, Steinkemper, Babartsky, Mundee, Ippolito, Logan, Matuza, McLean, Luckman, Famighetti, Nagurski, McEnulty, Nolting and Vodicka.

Redskins substitutions: Piasecky, Lapka, Wilkin, Zeno, Fiorentino, Leon, Hayden, Baugh, Seymour, Moore, Gibson, Akins and Stasica.


  • Referee: Ronald Gibbs
  • Umpire: John Kelly
  • Head Linesman: Charlie Berry
  • Field Judge: Eddie Tryon [1][2]

The NFL had only four game officials in 1943; the back judge was added in 1947, the line judge in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.

Scoring summary

Sunday, December 26, 1943
Kickoff: 2 p.m. CWT (CDT)

  • First quarter
    • no scoring
  • Second quarter
  • Third quarter
    • CHI   – Dante Magnani 36 yard pass from Luckman (Snyder kick), 21–7 CHI
    • CHI   – Magnani 66 yard pass from Luckman (kick failed), 27–7 CHI
    • WAS – Farkas 17 yard pass from Sammy Baugh (Masterson kick), 27–14 CHI
  • Fourth quarter
    • CHI   – Jim Benton 26 yard pass from Luckman (Snyder kick), 34–14 CHI
    • CHI   – Clarke 10 yard pass from Luckman (Snyder kick), 41–14 CHI
    • WAS – Joe Aguirre 25 yard pass from Baugh (Aguirre kick), 41–21 CHI

Game statistics

Bears Game Statistics[9][10] Redskins
12 First downs 11
44–168 Rushes–yards 27–45
276 Passing yards 182
14–27–0 Passes 10–22–4
66 Punt return yards 37
5–32 Punts 5–48.4
21 Kickoff return yards 167
0–0 Fumbles–lost 1–0
9–81 Penalties–yards 2–20

Players' shares

Each player on the Bears took home $1,135 while each member of the Redskins got $754.[7]


  1. ^ a b Prell, Edward (December 26, 1943). "Bears play Redskins today for pro title". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, part 2.
  2. ^ a b c Prell, Edward (December 26, 1943). "Bears crush Redskins, 41-21; win pro title". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 17.
  3. ^ a b c "Luckman restores Bears to pro grid title". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. December 27, 1943. p. 16.
  4. ^ "Baugh's brilliancey nets Redskins triumph". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. December 20, 1943. p. 22.
  5. ^ a b "'Ice Bowl' won't do big business". Pittsburgh Press. December 26, 1943. p. 32.
  6. ^ Healey, Gerald B. (December 26, 1943). "Bears 7 point favorites to beat Redskins in pro title game". Milwaukee Sentinel. INS. p. 1B.
  7. ^ a b c "Each Bear player receives $1,135 for victory game". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. December 27, 1943. p. 4, part 2.
  8. ^ "Bear Defeat Reskins for Pro Title on Luckman's Five Touchdown Passes". The New York Times. December 27, 1943. p. 24.
  9. ^ "Boxscore". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  10. ^ Kuechle, Oliver E. (December 27, 1943). "Bear Bury Skins; Sid Luckman Stars". Milwaukee Journal. p. L4. Retrieved June 8, 2011.

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

1944 NFL Championship Game

The 1944 National Football League Championship Game was the 12th National Football League (NFL) title game. The game was played on December 17 at the Polo Grounds in New York City, and the attendance was 46,016. The game featured the Green Bay Packers (8–2), champions of the Western Division versus the Eastern Division champion New York Giants (8–1–1).The Packers were led by longtime head coach Curly Lambeau and its stars were running back Ted Fritsch, end Don Hutson, and quarterback Irv Comp. The Giants were led by head coach Steve Owen. They also had running back Bill Paschal and former Packers quarterback Arnie Herber as well as a dominant defense. The Packers were slight favorites, despite the Giants' 24–0 shutout win four weeks earlier. Prior to the game, the Packers had spent over a week preparing in Charlottesville, Virginia

The Packers completed their regular season on November 26, the Giants on December 10.

Green Bay scored two touchdowns in the second quarter then yielded one early in the fourth to win 14-7 for their sixth and final league title under Lambeau, their first since 1939.The Packers did not return to the title game for 16 years, and won the following year in 1961, the first of five titles in seven seasons in the 1960s under head coach Vince Lombardi.

Chicago Bears statistics

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

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.

Dan Fortmann

Daniel John Fortmann (April 11, 1916 – May 23, 1995) was an American football player, coach, and team doctor. He played college football at Colgate University. He played in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Bears as a guard from 1936 to 1943. He was selected as an All-Pro for seven consecutive years from 1937 to 1943. He was the Bears' team captain starting in 1940 and led the team to NFL championships in 1940, 1941, and 1943.

Fortmann was the line coach for the Pittsburgh Panthers football team in 1944 and in 1945 served in the United States Navy in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II. He engaged in a medical practice in Southern California from 1946 to 1984 and was the team physician for the Los Angeles Rams from 1947 to 1963. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1983.

Dutch Bergman

Arthur J. "Dutch" Bergman (February 23, 1895 – August 18, 1972) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, now New Mexico State University, from 1920 to 1922 and at The Catholic University of America from 1930 to 1940, compiling a career college football record of 74–36–5. Bergman was the head coach of the National Football League's Washington Redskins for one season in 1943, tallying a mark of 6–3–1.

During his tenure, the Cardinals went 59–31–4, including a victory in the 1936 Orange Bowl and a tie in the 1940 Sun Bowl. Bergman left the University when the sport was discontinued in 1941 because of World War II, later coaching the Washington Redskins to the 1943 NFL Championship Game, which they lost to the Chicago Bears.

Bergman is still the winningest varsity football coach in Catholic history and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1982.

Eagles–Redskins rivalry

The Eagles–Redskins rivalry is a rivalry between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins of the National Football League. The rivalry began in 1934, during the time the Redskins played in Boston. The Redskins lead in all-time series 86–78–6. The Redskins have won five NFL championships including three Super Bowls, while the Eagles have won four NFL championships including one Super Bowl. Both teams were members of the NFL's Eastern Conference prior to the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, and the NFC East division since 1970. The teams have met twice annually since 1936.

The rivalry is one of the most heated rivalries in the NFL, and has featured some memorable moments in NFL history. The rivalry is most notable for the "Body Bag Game", where the Eagles knocked out eight Redskins players in a game in 1990.

The Redskins lead in all-time series 86–78–6. The Redskins have won five NFL championships including three Super Bowls, while the Eagles have won four NFL championships including one Super Bowl. The teams have met once in the Playoffs, in which the Redskins defeated the Eagles 20–6 in the 1990 NFC Wild Card round.

The rivalry can be attributed to the close proximity of Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.. It is mirrored by the National Hockey League rivalry between the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers.

George Wilson (American football coach)

George William Wilson, Sr. (February 3, 1914 – November 23, 1978) was a professional football end and later a coach for the National Football League (NFL)'s Detroit Lions and the American Football League (AFL)'s Miami Dolphins. Wilson attended and played football at Northwestern University. He went undrafted in 1937, before being signed by the Chicago Bears. Wilson played for 10 seasons with the Bears, compiling overall record of 111 pass receptions, 1,342 receiving yards, and 15 touchdowns. He was a member of the Bears during their five appearances in the National Football League Championship Game from 1940–1943 and 1946, playing in the 1943 championship. Additionally, he was selected for the NFL All-Star Game from 1940–1942. He also played one season of professional basketball for the Chicago Bruins in 1939–40.

His coaching career began with the Bears in 1947, when he became an assistant coach to George Halas. After just two seasons with Chicago, Wilson left in 1949 for another assistant coaching position with the Detroit Lions, a division rival of the Bears. Prior to the 1957 season, he succeeded Buddy Parker as head coach. In his first year as head coach, Wilson guided Detroit to an 8–4 season and victory in the 1957 NFL Championship Game, the most recent league championship for the Lions. For his efforts, Wilson was awarded the first Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year Award. He remained with the Lions until 1964, though they were unable to replicate their success of 1957. Wilson then served for one year as an assistant coach to the Washington Redskins in 1965. Shortly after the season ended, Miami Dolphins owner Joe Robbie hired Wilson as the first head coach of the new AFL franchise in 1966. His son, George Wilson Jr., was a starting quarterback during the team's first season. Wilson, Sr. was unable to obtain a winning record in his four seasons with Miami. He was fired in February 1970 and replaced by Don Shula.

After being fired as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Wilson retired from football and entered the construction and real estate business in South Florida. By 1978, he moved back to Michigan, where he died of a heart attack in Detroit on November 23, 1978.

Giants–Redskins rivalry

The Giants–Redskins rivalry is a rivalry between the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. The rivalry began in 1932 with the founding of the Washington Redskins, and is the oldest rivalry in the NFC East Division. While often dismissed, particularly in recent times, this rivalry has seen periods of great competition. In particular the Giants and Redskins competed fiercely for conference and division titles in the late 1930s and early 1940s and 1980s. Perhaps most fans today recall the 1980s as the most hotly contested period between these teams, as the Redskins under Joe Gibbs and the Giants under Bill Parcells competed for division titles and Super Bowls. During this span the two teams combined to win 7 NFC East Divisional Titles, 5 Super Bowls and even duked it out in the 1986 NFC Championship Game with the Giants winning 17–0. This rivalry is storied and while it tends to be dismissed due to the Redskins' recent struggles, Wellington Mara, long time owner of the Giants, always said that he believed the Redskins were the Giants' truest rival.Despite flagging in recent years, in 2012 the rivalry intensified significantly, both on the field and off it: when, in March of that year, a special NFL commission headed by Giants owner John Mara imposed a $36 million salary cap penalty on the Redskins (and a smaller one on the Dallas Cowboys) for the organization's approach to structuring contracts in the 2010 NFL season, when there was no cap – which he publicly claimed was, if anything, too lenient, and should have cost them draft picks as well – the Redskins organization, particularly owner Daniel Snyder, were convinced that, by so disciplining divisional rivals, Mara had abused his league-wide office to advance his own teams' interests (the draft sanctions Mara sought were regarded as especially malicious, as such a punishment would have likely voided the pick-laden trade with the St. Louis Rams – completed three days before the cap penalties were announced – to acquire the #2 position, used to draft Robert Griffin III); in the week leading up to a crucial Week 13 Monday Night Football showdown eventually won by Washington, copies of Mara's quote, along with statistics implying that NFL referees were biased in the Giants' favor, were posted throughout the teams' facilities, and a smiling Snyder, within earshot of numerous media personnel, told a team employee that "I hate those motherfuckers" in the victorious locker room after the game.

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.

Luke Johnsos

Luke Andrew Johnsos Sr. (December 9, 1905 – December 10, 1984) was an American football player, assistant coach, and head coach for the National Football League's Chicago Bears franchise. He started with the Bears in 1929 at the age of 23 as an end. He played eight NFL seasons in Chicago finishing his playing career in 1936. He then spent 32 years as a Bears coach, including three as co-head coach during World War II.

National Football League Christmas games

Christmas Day and Christmas Eve games in the National Football League are an occasional part of the league's schedule. In contrast to Thanksgiving Day games, however, they are not an annual occurrence; as of 2017, there have been just 19 Christmas Day games in the NFL's history.

After the NFL held two Divisional Playoff games on Christmas Day 1971, the league avoided any more games on Christmas Day until 1989. Since then, the NFL has held occasional games on Christmas Day in some years, as part of week 16 or 17 of the regular season. Two games were played each Christmas Day from 2004 to 2006 and then from 2016 to 2017.

In recent years, the NFL has scheduled games on Christmas Day only if it falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. The NFL scheduled one Friday Christmas game, in 2009, a very rare occasion for an NFL game to be played on a Friday (because Christmas falls outside the window set in the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 that prohibits pro football telecasts on those days for most of the regular season, it is one of the few times of the year when the league plays on a Friday or Saturday). If Christmas falls on a Sunday, most games are moved to Saturday, Christmas Eve, and then one or two games are scheduled for Christmas Night to be broadcast nationally. One game is generally held over for the regular Monday night slot. This situation occurred in 2016 and will occur again in 2022. In rare cases when a game must be played on the evening of Christmas Eve, the game is typically hosted on the West Coast of the United States so that the game takes place in the late afternoon there, and likewise, games played in the afternoon on Christmas Day are hosted in either the Eastern or Central time zones so that they do not start before 4 p.m. local time. This provides a window of roughly 20 hours of local time, spanning late Christmas Eve into Christmas Day, in which the league will not play.

Chicago Bears 1943 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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