1948 NFL Championship Game

The 1948 National Football League Championship Game was the 16th title game of the National Football League (NFL), played at Shibe Park in Philadelphia on December 19.[1][2][3][4]

The game was a rematch of the previous year's title game between the defending champion Chicago Cardinals (11–1), champions of the Western Division and the Philadelphia Eagles (9–2–1), champions of the Eastern Division. The Cardinals were slight favorites, at 3½ points.[5][6]

It was the first NFL championship game to be televised and due to heavy snowfall, the grounds crew needed the help of players from both teams to remove the tarp from the field.[7][8] The opening kickoff was delayed a half-hour until 2 p.m., and three extra officials were called into service to assist with out-of-bounds calls.[7] The stadium lights were on for the entire game.[2]

The Eagles won their first NFL title with a 7–0 win; it was the first title for Philadelphia since 1926, when the Frankford Yellow Jackets won the league title,[9] seven years prior to the introduction of the championship game.

1948 NFL Championship Game
Chicago Cardinals Philadelphia Eagles
0 7
1234 Total
CHI 0000 0
PHI 0007 7
DateDecember 19, 1948
StadiumShibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
RefereeRonald Gibbs
Attendance36,309 (paid),   28,864 (actual)
TV in the United States
AnnouncersHarry Wismer, Red Grange
Shibe  Park  is located in the United States
Shibe  Park 
Location in the United States

Game summary

The game (also known as the Philly Blizzard) was played in Philadelphia during a significant snowstorm. Bert Bell, the NFL commissioner (and former Eagles owner), had considered postponing the game, but the players for both teams wanted to play the game. The snow began at daybreak and by kickoff the accumulation was 4 inches (10 cm) at a temperature of 27 °F (−3 °C). The paid attendance for the game was 36,309, but the actual turnout at Shibe Park was 28,864.[7][10]

It was a scoreless game until early in the fourth quarter when, after Chicago had fumbled in their own end of the field, the Eagles recovered the fumble that set up Steve Van Buren's five yard touchdown at 1:05 into the fourth quarter.[2][10] The game ended with the Eagles deep in Chicago territory. Eagles head coach Greasy Neale gave a majority of the credit for the win to veteran quarterback Tommy Thompson.[6][11]

With only five pass completions on 23 attempts for both teams, the game was completed in two hours and two minutes.[2]

Scoring summary

Sunday, December 19, 1948
Kickoff: 2 p.m. EST[7]

  • First quarter
    • no scoring
  • Second quarter
    • no scoring
  • Third quarter
    • no scoring
  • Fourth quarter


  • Referee: Ronald Gibbs
  • Umpire: Samuel Wilson
  • Head Linesman: Charlie Berry
  • Field Judge: William McHugh
  • Back Judge: Robert Austin [1][2]

The NFL added the fifth official, the back judge, in 1947; the line judge arrived in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.

Players' shares

The gross receipts for the game, including radio and television rights, were just under $224,000. Each player on the winning Eagles team received $1,540, while Cardinals players made $879 each.[12][13]


Eagles' owner Lex Thompson, 37, was in the hospital for appendicitis during the game.[14] He sold the team a few weeks after this game to the Happy Hundred syndicate for $250,000,[15][16] and died six years later of a heart attack.[17]

The Eagles repeated as champions in 1949, winning in the mud and rain in Los Angeles. This game in 1948 was the only time Shibe Park hosted an NFL title game; Franklin Field was the site for the Eagles' third title win in 1960. The Eagles would win their fourth championship with a victory in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2018.

This game was the Cardinals' last appearance in any NFL Championship game for over sixty years, until Super Bowl XLIII in February 2009. The Cardinals had to beat the Eagles in the 2008 NFC Championship Game to get to the Super Bowl.

This game remains the second lowest scoring postseason game in NFL history, eclipsed only by the Dallas Cowboys' 5-0 win over the Detroit Lions in 1970.


  • You Tube – 1948 NFL Championship Game – highlight film


  1. ^ a b Smith, Wilfrid (December 19, 1948). "Cards seek their second from Eagles". Chicago Sunday Tribune. p. 1, part 2.
  2. ^ a b c d e Smith, Wilfrid (December 20, 1948). "Browns win, 49-7; Eagles jar cards, 7-0". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 43.
  3. ^ Kuechle, Oliver E. (December 20, 1948). "Eagles beat Cardinals for title in snowstorm". Milwaukee Journal. p. 6, part 2.
  4. ^ "Eagles plow over Cardinals, 7-0, for National loop title". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. December 20, 1948. p. 3, part 2.
  5. ^ "Cards given slight edge over Eagles". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 18, 1948. p. 12.
  6. ^ a b "Cards favored over Eagles for grid crown". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. INS. December 19, 1948. p. 41.
  7. ^ a b c d Biederman, Lester J. (December 20, 1948). "Eagles up, Cards down; score 7-0". Pittsburgh Press. p. 22.
  8. ^ NFL Top 10 – bad weather games. Broadcast NFL Network 27/10/08
  9. ^ "Thompson hailed as hero of new NFL champs". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. December 20, 1948. p. 18.
  10. ^ a b Sell, Jack (December 20, 1948). "Eagles beat Cardinals for title 7-0". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 18.
  11. ^ Fraley, Oscar (December 20, 1948). "Gridders are numbed in snow-driven game". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. United Press. p. 19.
  12. ^ "Each Eagle gets $1,540.84". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 20, 1948. p. 18.
  13. ^ "The swag". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. December 20, 1948. p. 6, part 2.
  14. ^ "Bedridden owner of Eagles cheered by club's victory". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. December 20, 1948. p. 6, part 2.
  15. ^ "Syndicate buys Eagles for $250,000". Chicago Sunday Tribune. Associated Press. January 16, 1949. p. 1, part 2.
  16. ^ "Eagles sold to syndicate led by Clark". Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. January 16, 1949. p. 6.
  17. ^ "Thompson, 43, ex-owner of Eagles, dies". Chicago Daily Tribune. December 21, 1954. p. 4, part 3.

Coordinates: 39°59′46″N 75°09′54″W / 39.996°N 75.165°W

1948 Chicago Cardinals season

The 1948 Chicago Cardinals season was the 29th season in franchise history. The Cardinals won the Western division on the final weekend at Wrigley Field over the cross-town Bears, and appeared in the NFL championship game for the second consecutive year. The defending champions lost 7–0 to the Eagles in a snowstorm in Philadelphia. It was their final postseason appearance as a Chicago team; they relocated southwest to St. Louis in 1960.

The Cardinals scored 395 points (32.9 per game) in 1948, the most in the ten-team NFL, and the second most all-time in a 12-game season. They also led the league in offensive yards, yards per play, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. The team's plus-169 point-differential remains the best in franchise history.

The 1948 NFL season produced more points-per-game per team than any other season, and according to Cold Hard Football Facts:

"Jimmy Conzelman's Chicago Cardinals were the best of the bunch. They led the NFL in scoring that year (32.9 [points-per-game]) and they produced what was probably the greatest four-week stretch of offense in pro football history. From October 17 to November 7, the 1948 Cardinals beat the Giants 63–35; the Boston Yanks, 49–27; the L.A. Rams 27–22; and the Lions, 56–20. That's a four-week average of 48.8 [points-per-game] for those of you keeping score at home.

"Yes, turnovers were common in 1948, so maybe that fact made life easier for offense. The Cardinals, for example, picked off 23 passes in 12 games. But they scored just two defensive touchdowns all year, while adding four on special teams. Mostly, they ripped off touchdowns, a remarkable 47 on offense. They kicked a mere eight field goals.

"Mostly, the offense was virtually unstoppable and it didn't settle often for the cheap, soccer-style field goals that pad offensive team totals today."

The Cardinals had three players in the top six in rushing in 1948: halfbacks Charley Trippi (690 yards), and Elmer Angsman (638), and fullback/linebacker/placekicker Pat Harder (554). Harder led the league in scoring in 1948, with 110 points (6 rushing touchdowns, 7 field goals, and 53 extra points). He was named the league's MVP by United Press International.

This was the Cardinals' last playoff game until 1974, although they did win the third place Playoff Bowl in Miami over Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers in January 1965. The Cardinals' next appearance in an NFL championship game was sixty years later in Super Bowl XLIII in January 2009.

1948 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1948 Philadelphia Eagles season was the franchise's 16th season in the National Football League (NFL). The Eagles repeated as Eastern Division champions and returned to the NFL Championship game, this time defeating the Chicago Cardinals to win their first NFL title.

1949 NFL Championship Game

The 1949 National Football League Championship Game was the 17th title game for the National Football League (NFL), played on December 18 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. It is remembered for the driving rain that caused the field to become a mud pit. Its paid attendance was 27,980, with only 22,245 in the stadium.The game featured the Eastern Division champion Philadelphia Eagles (11–1), the defending NFL champions, against the Los Angeles Rams (8–2–2), winners of the Western Division. This was the first NFL title game played in the western United States. The Rams had last appeared in a title game in 1945, a victory and the franchise's final game in Cleveland.

The Eagles were favored by a touchdown, and won 14–0 for their second consecutive shutout in the title game. Running back Steve Van Buren rushed for 196 yards on 31 carries for the Eagles and their defense held the Rams to just 21 yards on the ground.Philadelphia head coach Earle "Greasy" Neale did not like to fly, so the Eagles traveled to the West Coast by train. On the way west, they stopped in Illinois for a workout at Stagg Field at the University of Chicago on Wednesday morning.

Alex Wojciechowicz

Alexander Francis "Wojie" Wojciechowicz (; August 12, 1915 – July 13, 1992) was an American football player from 1935 to 1950. He was a two-way player who played at center on offense and at linebacker on defense. He has been inducted into both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, was a founder and the first president of the NFL Alumni Association, and was the third player to receive the Order of the Leather Helmet.

Wojciechowicz played college football for the Fordham Rams from 1935 to 1937 and was a member of the line that became known as the Seven Blocks of Granite. He was selected as the consensus first-team All-American center in both 1936 and 1937.

Wojciechowicz was selected by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 1938 NFL Draft and played for the Lions from 1938 to 1946. He was selected as a first-team All-NFL player in 1939 and 1944. In 1946, he was released by the Lions and then sold to the Philadelphia Eagles, for whom he played from 1946 to 1950. He won two NFL championships with the Eagles, in 1948 and 1949.

Charley Ewart

Charles Ewart (October 10, 1915 — April 30, 1990) was the head coach for the New York Bulldogs in the 1949 NFL season. Before the Bulldogs, Ewart was a backfield coach for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1946 and promoted to general manager for the Eagles in 1948. Outside of the National Football League, Ewart was a FBI agent during World War II and the vice president of American Bakeries Company.

Elmer Angsman

Elmer Joseph Angsman Jr. (December 11, 1925 – April 11, 2002) was an American football running back in the NFL.

He was born on the south side of Chicago in 1925, the son of Elmer and Helen Angsman. Elmer attended Mount Carmel High School and also starred for Notre Dame in college from 1943 to 1945(playing on the 1943 National Championship team 1943 college football season and the College All-Star team that defeated the world champion Cleveland Rams.), played 7 seasons in the NFL, all with the Chicago Cardinals. After graduating from Notre Dame in three years with a degree in journalism, Angsman was the youngest player ever drafted to play in the NFL at the age of 20 with the 16th overall pick of the 1946 draft. Angsman was part of Charles Bidwill’s "Dream Backfield". Although Bidwill did not live to see it, the talented corps that included Charley Trippi, Paul Christman, Pat Harder, and Angsman went on to achieve great success. In the 1947 NFL championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Angsman scored twice on runs of 70 yards each. The final touchdown, a run up the middle like the first against Eagle coach Greasy Neale's famed 5-2-4 defense, put the game out of reach. Angsman finished the game with 10 carries for 159 yards. His 15.9 yard per carry average is still an NFL post-season record (10 carries or more). The 1947 title was the Cardinal franchise's last championship. Don Paul, a former defensive back for the Cardinals and later the Cleveland Browns, once said "He was...A straight ahead north and south runner who would just as soon leave cleat marks on your balls as run around you."

Angsman and the Cardinals never reclaimed the glory of the 1947 championship season. In 1948, Angsman led the Cardinals in rushing, with 412 yards and 7 touchdowns, and the Cards edged the Chicago Bears for the West Conference title. They met the Eagles once again in the 1948 NFL Championship Game title game now referred to as "The Blizzard Bowl". The field was covered by snow and the entire game was played in a storm. The Cardinals running attack was greatly hampered and the Eagles star Steve Van Buren was the only player who could run effectively in the conditions. Angsman mustered only 33 yards on 10 carries. Only 5 passes were completed by both teams combined. Van Buren's 5 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the only scoring as the Eagles won their first championship, 7-0.

The Cardinals' visionary coach, Jimmy Conzelman, quit after the 1948 season and the Cardinals drifted into mediocrity. Angsman had his best season in 1949 with 674 yards rushing on 125 carries and 6 touchdowns. He, Pat Harder, and Charlie Trippi shared running duties and combined for 1,674 yards and 16 touchdowns that year (in comparison, Steve Van Buren set the NFL single season rushing record in 1949 with 1146 yards). However, the future of NFL success lay in dynamic passing attacks such as that possessed by the Los Angeles Rams and Cleveland Browns. Angsman's production fell off significantly in 1950 and 1951, with 363 and 380 yards, respectively, and an average under 3.5 yards per carry. By 1952, with stunning rookie halfback Ollie Matson joining the club, Angsman was relegated to a seldom-used backup role. He retired after the 1952 season at age 27. He finished with career statistics of 683 carries, 2908 yards (4.3 avg), and 27 touchdowns. He caught 41 passes for 654 yards and 5 touchdowns. Angsman was selected to the first ever Pro Bowl 1951 Pro Bowl in 1950.

After his NFL career, Angsman was a color commentator beginning in 1958 with CBS Radio CBS Radio, later ABC American Football League on ABC and finishing with NBC List of NFL on NBC announcers in 1972. Angsman called college and pro games most notably the 1968 Sugar Bowl and several Orange Bowl games. He is a member of the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. Angsman owned various companies after commentating finding success in paper manufacturing and eventually retiring to Juno Beach, Florida. In April 2002, Elmer Angsman died of a heart attack while playing golf with lifelong friends.

He is survived by wife-Diane Angsman, son-John Angsman, grandchildren- Jim Angsman, Jeff Angsman, Jackie Angsman, Jay Angsman, Joe Angsman

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.

Greasy Neale

Alfred Earle "Greasy" Neale (November 5, 1891 – November 2, 1973) was an American football and baseball player and coach.

Jimmy Conzelman

James Gleason Dunn Conzelman (March 6, 1898 – July 31, 1970) was an American football player and coach, baseball executive, and advertising executive. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964 and was selected in 1969 as a quarterback on the National Football League 1920s All-Decade Team.

A native of St. Louis, Conzelman played college football for the 1918 Great Lakes Navy Bluejackets team that won the 1919 Rose Bowl. In 1919, he was an All-Missouri Valley Conference quarterback for the Washington University Pikers football team. He then played ten seasons as a quarterback, halfback, placekicker, and coach in the National Football League (NFL) for the Decatur Staleys (1920), Rock Island Independents (1921–1922), Milwaukee Badgers (1922–1924), Detroit Panthers (1925–1926), and Providence Steam Roller (1927–1929). He was also a team owner in Detroit and, as player-coach, led the 1928 Providence Steam Roller team to an NFL championship.

From 1932 to 1939, Conzelman was the head football coach for the Washington University Bears football team, leading the program to Missouri Valley Conference championships in 1934, 1935, and 1939. He served as head coach of the NFL's Chicago Cardinals from 1940 to 1942 and again from 1946 to 1948. He led the Cardinals to an NFL championship in 1947 and Western Division championships in 1947 and 1948. He was also an executive with St. Louis Browns in Major League Baseball from 1943 to 1945.

Loyd Arms

Loyd "Pig" Arms (September 24, 1919 – June 18, 1999) was an American professional football player. He was born in Sulphur, Oklahoma, United States.

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.

Red Cochran

John Thurman "Red" Cochran Jr. (August 2, 1922 – September 5, 2004) was an American football cornerback and later an assistant coach and scout in the National Football League. He played college football at Wake Forest University.

Shibe Park

Shibe Park, known later as Connie Mack Stadium, was a baseball park located in Philadelphia. It was the home of the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League (AL) and the Philadelphia Phillies of the National League (NL). When it opened April 12, 1909, it became baseball's first steel-and-concrete stadium. In different eras it was home to "The $100,000 Infield", "The Whiz Kids", and "The 1964 Phold". The venue's two home teams won both the first and last games at the stadium: the Athletics beat the Boston Red Sox 8–1 on opening day 1909, while the Phillies beat the Montreal Expos 2–1 on October 1, 1970, in the park's final contest.

Shibe Park stood on the block bounded by Lehigh Avenue, 20th Street, Somerset Street and 21st Street. It was five blocks west, corner-to-corner, from the Baker Bowl, the Phillies' home from 1887 to 1938. The stadium hosted eight World Series and two MLB All-Star Games, in 1943 and 1952, with the latter game holding the distinction of being the only All-Star contest shortened by rain (to five innings). In May 1939, it was the site of the first night game played in the American League.

Phillies Hall-of-Fame centerfielder and longtime broadcaster Richie Ashburn remembered Shibe Park: "It looked like a ballpark. It smelled like a ballpark. It had a feeling and a heartbeat, a personality that was all baseball."

Steve Van Buren

Stephen Wood Van Buren (December 28, 1920 − August 23, 2012) was an American football halfback who played professionally for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL) from 1944 to 1951. Regarded as a powerful and punishing runner with excellent speed, through eight NFL seasons he won four league rushing titles, including three straight from 1947 to 1949. At a time when teams played twelve games a year, he was the first NFL player to rush for over ten touchdowns in a season—a feat he accomplished three times—and the first to have multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons. When he retired, he held the NFL career records for rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns.

Van Buren played college football for Louisiana State University, where he led the NCAA in scoring in his senior season for the LSU Tigers. After leading LSU to victory in the Orange Bowl, he was drafted by the Eagles with the fifth overall pick in the 1944 NFL Draft. Van Buren acquired many nicknames over his career in reference to his running style, including "Wham Bam", "Moving Van", and "Supersonic Steve". He was the driving force for the Eagles in the team's back-to-back NFL championships in 1948 and 1949; he scored the only touchdown of the 1948 NFL Championship Game against the Chicago Cardinals, and in the next year's championship game against the Los Angeles Rams he set postseason records with 31 carries and 196 rushing yards.

After his playing career, Van Buren coached in minor league football, winning an Atlantic Coast Football League (ACFL) championship with the Newark Bears in 1963. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. Van Buren is a member of the NFL 1940s All-Decade Team and the National Football League 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. Considered one of the greatest players in Eagles franchise history, his number 15 jersey is retired by the team, and he is enshrined in the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. For his college career, he was inducted into the Louisiana State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1944 and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1961.

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