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Sports Then and Now



Remembering the Legacy of the Chicago College All-Star Game 12

Posted on August 11, 2009 by Dean Hybl
From the initial game in 1934 through 1976, the annual Chicago College All-Star Game was a fan favorite and provided a glimpse into the new talent of NFL stars.

From the initial game in 1934 through 1976, the annual Chicago College All-Star Game was a fan favorite and provided a glimpse into the new talent of NFL stars.

Imagine a crowd of 105,840 people turning out to watch an NFL preseason game. Probably wouldn’t happen today unless it included a cage match between Michael Vick and Adam “Pacman” Jones. However, for more than 40 years the Annual Chicago College All-Star Game was a fan favorite while helping establish the NFL as a premier sports league.

In the 1930s, the NFL was still a fledgling league looking for a foothold in a sports world where baseball and boxing were the kings.  In fact, professional football players were often seen as mercenaries while the college players were better known and more popular across the country.

A year after organizing the first Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Comiskey Park, Arch Ward, the sports editor for the Chicago Tribune, cultivated the idea of hosting an annual game between the defending NFL Champions and the best of the recently graduated college football stars.

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