In 1932, the Spartans appeared in the league championship game, the first in NFL history, losing to the Chicago Bears 9–0. With a record of 6–1–4 in 1932, the Spartans finish in a tie for the NFL title with the Chicago Bears. It was the first time in history that the season ended with 2 teams atop the league's standings. After the season's final games, the league office arranged for the first playoff game in NFL history.
The game was originally scheduled to be played at Wrigley Field, the Bears' home stadium. Due to severe blizzards and sub-zero wind chill throughout the week, the game was forced to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium. The arena allowed only an 80-yard field that came right to the walls. The goal posts were moved from the end lines to the goal. The Bears won 9–0, scoring the winning touchdown on a two-yard pass from Nagurski to Grange. Attendance for the game was 11,198.