1946 NFL Championship Game

The 1946 National Football League Championship Game was the 14th annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), played December 15 at the Polo Grounds in New York City,[1] with a record-breaking attendance of 58,346.[2][3]

The game matched the New York Giants (7–3–1), champions of the Eastern Division, against the Western Division champion Chicago Bears (8–2–1). The Giants had won the regular season game 14–0 at the Polo Grounds seven weeks earlier on October 27,[4] but the Bears were seven to ten point favorites.[1][5][6][7]

This was the fifth and final NFL Championship game played at the Polo Grounds and the fourth of six meetings between the Bears and Giants in the title game.

Tied after three quarters, Chicago won 24–14 for their seventh NFL title,[2][3][8] their fifth victory in eight NFL championship game appearances. The attendance record stood for another nine years, until the 1955 title game in Los Angeles.

1946 NFL Championship Game
Chicago Bears New York Giants
24 14
1234 Total
Chicago Bears 140010 24
New York Giants 7070 14
DateDecember 15, 1946
StadiumPolo Grounds, New York City
FavoriteChicago (–10)[1]
RefereeRon Gibbs
Radio in the United States
AnnouncersHarry Wismer
Polo  Grounds is located in the United States
Polo  Grounds
Location in the United States

Bribery scandal

The day before the game, two players for the Giants, Frank Filchock and Merle Hapes, had been accused of taking bribes to fix the game from Alvin Paris. Mayor William O'Dwyer had Jack Mara, Wellington Mara and Bert Bell informed of the police evidence against the two.[9]

Hours later, the four then met at Gracie Mansion and the mayor interviewed the players one at a time.[9][10] Under questioning, Hapes admitted that he was offered a bribe and Filchock denied being offered it. Several hours later, Paris was arrested and confessed to bribing the players. Hapes was suspended by Bell, but Filchock was allowed to play.[11] During Paris' trial weeks later, Filchock admitting taking the bribe under oath.[9][12]

Scoring summary

Sunday, December 15, 1946
Kickoff: 2 p.m. EST

  • First quarter
  • Second quarter
    • No scoring
  • Third quarter
  • Fourth quarter
    • CHI – Luckman 19 yard run (Maznicki kick), 21–14 CHI
    • CHI – FG Maznicki 26 yard, 24–14 CHI


  • Referee: Ron Gibbs
  • Umpire: Carl Brubaker
  • Head Linesman: Charlie Berry
  • Field Judge: William Grimberg [3]

The NFL had only four game officials in 1946; the back judge was added the following season in 1947, the line judge in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.

Players' shares

The gross receipts for the game, including radio and picture rights, was just under $283,000. Each player on the winning Bear team received $1,975, while Giants players made $1,295 each.[13]


  1. ^ a b c Prell, Edward (December 15, 1946). "60,000 to see Bears battle Giants today for N.F.L. title". Chicago Sunday Tribune. p. 1, section 2.
  2. ^ a b Biederman, Les (December 16, 1946). "Luckman leads Bears to NFL title". Pittsburgh Press. p. 20.
  3. ^ a b c Prell, Edward (December 16, 1946). "Bears win 7th title, 24-14, before 58,346". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 3.
  4. ^ Warren, Harry (October 28, 1946). "Cards win 34-10; Giants whip Bears, 14-0". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 1, section 2.
  5. ^ "Bears touchdown favorite over Giants in title game". Milwaukee Sentinel. INS. December 15, 1946. p. 3B.
  6. ^ Kuechle, Oliver E. (December 15, 1946). "Favor Bears in pro play-off today". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1, sports.
  7. ^ Biederman, Les (December 15, 1946). "Bears favored to beet Giants for NFL title". Pittsburgh Press. p. 33.
  8. ^ Kuechle, Oliver E. (December 16, 1946). "Bears defeat Giants, 24 to 14; attempted bribery uncovered". Milwaukee Journal. p. 4, part 2.
  9. ^ a b c Fay, William (December 16, 1946). "'Lost honestly,' Giants say; bribe probe continues". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 3.
  10. ^ Robert S. Lyons, On Any Given Sunday: A Life of Bert Bell. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2010; pg. 201.
  11. ^ Lyons, On Any Given Sunday, pg. 202.
  12. ^ Lyons, On Any Given Sunday, pg. 203.
  13. ^ "Facts and figures on title game". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. December 16, 1946. p. 20.

Coordinates: 40°49′52″N 73°56′13″W / 40.831°N 73.937°W

1946 Los Angeles Rams season

The 1946 Los Angeles Rams season was the team's ninth year with the National Football League and the first season in Los Angeles. The team moved to Los Angeles from Cleveland immediately after winning the 1945 NFL Championship Game.

The 1946 team is best remembered for its inclusion of two African-American players, halfback Kenny Washington and end Woody Strode — the first in the NFL since the 1933 season. The team finished with a record of 6-4-1, good for second place in the NFL's Western Conference.

1947 Cleveland Browns season

The 1947 Cleveland Browns season was the team's second in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). Coached by Paul Brown, Cleveland finished with a 12–1–1 win–loss–tie record, winning the western division and the AAFC championship for the second straight year. As in 1946, quarterback Otto Graham led an offensive attack that featured fullback Marion Motley and ends Dante Lavelli and Mac Speedie.

After a number of coaching changes and roster moves in the offseason, including signing punter Horace Gillom and fullback Tony Adamle, the Browns began with a 30–14 win over the Buffalo Bills, the first of a string of five victories. The team lost its only game of the season to the Los Angeles Dons in October. Five more wins followed before a come-from-behind tie in November with the New York Yankees, the team Cleveland defeated in the 1946 AAFC championship. The Browns won their last two games, including a 42–0 shutout against the Baltimore Colts in the finale, to set up a championship game rematch with the Yankees in December. Cleveland beat the Yankees 14–3 in New York on an icy field to win its second championship in a row.

Graham was named the AAFC's most valuable player after leading the league in passing yards, with 2,753, and passing touchdowns, with 25. Speedie led the league in receiving, and several other Cleveland players were named to sportswriters' All-Pro lists. Brown was named the league's coach of the year by Pro Football Illustrated. The Browns played all their home games in Cleveland Stadium, attracting an average crowd of 55,848, the best home attendance record in both the AAFC and the competing National Football League (NFL).

1947 NFL Championship Game

The 1947 National Football League Championship Game was the 15th annual National Football League (NFL) championship game, held December 28 at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The attendance was 30,759, well below capacity.

The game featured the Western Division champion Chicago Cardinals (9–3) and the Eastern Division champion Philadelphia Eagles (8–4). A week earlier, the Eagles defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 21–0 in a tiebreaker playoff to determine the Eastern winner. Both the Eagles and Cardinals were making their first appearances in the championship game. The Cardinals had won the regular season meeting in Philadelphia three weeks earlier by 24 points and after a week off, were 12-point favorites to win the title game at home.

This was the second NFL title game played after Christmas Day, and the latest to date. Scheduled for December 21, it was pushed back due to the Eastern division playoff. The temperature at kickoff was 29 °F (−2 °C).

The Cardinals built a 14–0 lead in the second quarter, then the teams traded touchdowns. The Eagles closed the gap to 28–21 with five minutes to go, but the Cardinals controlled the ball the rest of the game on an extended drive to win the title.This was the only NFL title game played at Comiskey Park and remains as the Cardinals' only win. The two teams returned for a rematch in 1948 in Philadelphia, but the Eagles won in a snowstorm. The Cardinals have not won a league championship since this one in 1947, over seven decades ago, the longest drought in the NFL. They made it to the Super Bowl XLIII in the 2008 season, but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Cardinals' win kept the NFL title within the city of Chicago; the north end's Bears had won the previous season.

This was the Cardinals' last playoff win as a franchise until January 1999; at 51 years and five days, it was the longest post-season win drought in NFL history. They relocated to St. Louis in 1960 and Arizona in 1988.

Chicago Bears statistics

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

Eagles–Giants rivalry

The Eagles–Giants rivalry is a National Football League (NFL) rivalry between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. The rivalry began in 1933 with the founding of the Eagles, and slowly strengthened when both teams came to relative prominence in the 1940s and 1950s. The two teams have played in the same division in the NFL every year since 1933. The ferocity of the rivalry can also be attributed to the geographic New York-Philadelphia rivalry, which is mirrored in Major League Baseball's Mets–Phillies rivalry and the National Hockey League's Flyers–Rangers rivalry. It is ranked by NFL Network as the number one rivalry of all-time and Sports Illustrated ranks it amongst the top ten NFL rivalries of all-time at number four, and according to ESPN, it is one of the fiercest and most well-known rivalries in the football community.The overall series is currently tied, 86–86–2. The Eagles and Giants have met in the playoffs four times, with each team winning twice.

Frank Filchock

Frank Joseph Filchock (October 8, 1916 – June 20, 1994) was an American and Canadian football tailback/quarterback and coach. As a consequence of a famous scandal regarding the 1946 NFL Championship Game, he was suspended by the National Football League from 1947 to 1950 for associating with gamblers.

Frank Liebel

Frank Edward Liebel (November 19, 1919 – December 26, 1996) was a professional American football end/defensive back in the National Football League. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

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 NFL Commissioner

The Commissioner of the NFL is the chief executive of the National Football League (NFL). This article details the previous history of the chief NFL executive.

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.

List of match fixing incidents

Match fixing is when the outcome of a match in organized sports has been manipulated. The reason for fixing a match includes ensuring a certain team advances or gambling. Match fixing is seen as one of the biggest problems in organized sports. This page is a list of match fixing incidents.

List of suspensions in the National Football League

The following is a list of suspensions in the National Football League (NFL). Most NFL suspensions have been for players, but several coaches, owners, general managers, and game officials have also been suspended. After Roger Goodell became commissioner in 2006, the league began cracking down on players performing violent hits, as well as handing out more frequent suspensions for violating the league's personal conduct and substance abuse policies. Following the 2011 NFL season, Goodell handed down one of the most severe suspensions in league history when he suspended eight players and coaches for their involvement in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal.

Merle Hapes

Merle Alison Hapes (May 19, 1919 – July 18, 1994) was a professional American football fullback in the National Football League. He played two seasons for the New York Giants (1942, 1946).

He and quarterback Frank Filchock were involved in a gambling scandal in 1946 in which they allegedly took bribes to fix the 1946 NFL Championship Game.

Since the betting scandal meant he was indefinitely suspended from playing professional football in the United States, he went to Canada to play in the Canadian Football League. He played one season for the Hamilton Tigers in 1949. The Tigers became the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1950, but Hapes was injured for the entire season. For the next two seasons he was an assistant coach with the Tabbies, but returned to play as a back up for two final seasons, winning the Grey Cup with Hamilton in 1953.Hapes returned to the States and worked in the Civil Service and the Department of Defence until 1982. In 1993 Hapes was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame of Mississippi.

Hapes died on July 18, 1994, survived by his wife, Evelyn Pevey Hapes, two daughters, a son and seven grandchildren.

Chicago Bears 1946 NFL champions
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Division championships (21)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (9)
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Key personnel
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Conference championships (11)
League championships (8)
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NFL Championship Game
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