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Sports Then and Now



Red Grange: The Galloping Ghost 6

Posted on October 05, 2014 by Dean Hybl
Red Grange

Red Grange

The October Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the NFL’s first superstar and marquee attraction.

The NFL was less than five years old and struggling to gain a foothold in popularity when Red Grange put the league on the map during a 67-day, 19-game, barnstorming tour that is credited with legitimizing professional football and the NFL. Read the rest of this entry →

Panthers Embarrass Giants, Body Parts Lost: Week 3 NFL Headlines 1

Posted on September 24, 2013 by Andy Larmand

As September continues to move toward October, this NFL season is providing us with some truths that stand the test of time and some that have and will continue to shock us all. And then, there are the teams or players who break the norm – finally. Week 3 saw the end of an almost-century-long losing streak, the worst loss ever for one head coach, a potential Cinderella story getting to 3-0, a first for the 49ers since 1958, and the Jaguars, well, being the Jaguars. Here are your Week 3 NFL headlines.

Alex Smith in Kansas City is working out all right so far as KC is 3-0.

Alex Smith in Kansas City is working out all right so far as KC is 3-0.

The Eagles lost their eighth straight game at home and the Chiefs, led by former Eagles coach, Andy Reid, improved to 3-0 with a 26-16 win to open the week on Thursday night. It is just the second time Philly has ever lost eight in a row at home and first time since 1936-37. Lesean McCoy managed his third-highest rushing total in the loss, but only second-highest of the season with 158 yards and Michael Vick posted a career-high 61-yard run. The Chiefs joined the 2002 Panthers as the last team to start a season 3-0 after winning two or fewer games the year before. Alex Smith became the first Kansas City signal caller to win his first three starts with the team since Joe Montana in 1993.

Calvin Johnson tied Torry Holt as the fourth-fastest player to accumulate 8,000 career receiving yards as he did so in his 95th career game and Detroit beat the Redskins, 27-20. The win was the first ever for the Lions in the city of Washington (1-21) as they had not beaten the Redskins on the road since they were in Boston in 1935. The Skins fell to 0-3, but Robert Griffin III’s 975 yards through three games are the second-most all-time by a quarterback who started out 0-3. Matthew Stafford became just the second quarterback since 2001 to throw for 200-plus yards in the first half of each of his first three games of a season. Read the rest of this entry →

Remembering the NFL on December 7, 1941 68

Posted on December 06, 2011 by Dean Hybl

The 1941 Chicago Bears defeated the Chicago Cardinals 34-24 on December 7, 1941 and then went on to win the NFL Championship. Many members of the Bears went on to serve in the military during World War II.

In remembrance of the 70th anniversary of “A day that will live in infamy”, we look back at the final day of the 1941 National Football League regular season and how the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor nearly half a world away forever changed the lives of many of the players who were on the field that afternoon.

In 1941 the National Football League was not quite the national phenomenon it is today. On the final Sunday of the NFL season, December 7, 1941, there were only three games on tap and the games were not preceded by hours of pre-game shows and wall-to-wall television coverage.

Instead, they were available only to those fortunate enough to have a ticket for the games in Chicago, New York or Washington or for those listening to one of the broadcasts on radio.

Of the three games, only one, the city rivalry between the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cardinals, had implications on the upcoming post season. The other two games, the New York Giants (who had already clinched a spot in the league championship game) against the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Eagles facing the Washington Redskins, were about pride and finishing the season on a positive note.

Word of the attacks started to spread while all three games were in action and the public address announcers at the Polo Grounds in New York and Comiskey Park in Chicago interrupted the game to tell all servicemen to report to their units. At Griffith Stadium in Washington the announcer paged high-ranking government and military personnel at the game, but did not mention the attack.

Nearly 1,000 past, current or future NFL players and personnel served in the U.S. Military during World War II (check out the full list). Through their unique stories we learn the true meaning of personal sacrifice as many either never returned to the NFL or missed what would have been the prime of their career while serving their country.

While the story of every American veteran is unique and important, a capsule of the shared sacrifice and implications of World War II can be learned by looking at 10 men who were part of the pivotal Bears-Cardinals game on December 7, 1941. Many of them would be part of very different (and much more important) battles just months later. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • George Musso: From Longshot to Hall of Famer
      August 5, 2017 | 4:52 pm
      George Musso

      George Musso

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month went from small college long shot to Pro Football Hall of Famer.

      When George Musso finished his college career at Millikin College in 1933, Chicago Bears coach George Halas offered the 6-foot-2, 265 pound lineman a tryout and eventually a $90 per game contract, but had serious doubts whether he could make the transition from small college football to the NFL.

      It took a year for Musso to adjust, but by 1935 he was an All-Pro tackle. Two years later, he moved to guard and again earned first team All-NFL honors. He became the first player in NFL history to earn first team All-League honors at two different positions.

      Read more »

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