1934 NFL Championship Game

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1934 NFL Championship Game
1 2 3 4 Total
Chicago Bears 0 10 3 0 13
New York Giants 3 0 0 27 30
Date December 9, 1934
Stadium Polo Grounds
City New York City
Attendance 35,039 [1]
Timeline
Previous game Next game
1933 1935

The 1934 National Football League Championship Game, also known as The Sneakers Game, was played at the Polo Grounds in New York City on December 9, 1934. With a remarkable fourth quarter, the New York Giants defeated the Chicago Bears 30–13. [1] It was the second scheduled NFL championship game.

The defending champion Bears entered the game undefeated at 13–0, with an 18-game winning streak. The Giants (8–5) won consecutive division titles, but had lost their previous game at Philadelphia. A freezing rain the night before the game froze the Polo Grounds field.[2] After Ray Flaherty, a Giants end, made a remark to Giants' head coach Steve Owen suggesting that sneakers would provide better footing on the frozen playing surface,[3] Owen sent Abe Cohen to Manhattan College to get some sneakers. There, Brother Jasper, the athletic director (and the later namesake of the Manhattan Jaspers) emptied the lockers of the school's basketball team. Cohen arrived in the third quarter with nine pairs of basketball sneakers from the college.[4]

The Bears led 10–3 at the half when the Giants switched to the basketball sneakers.[5] A Chicago field goal was the only score in the third quarter, extending the lead to ten points. Early in the fourth, Giants quarterback Ed Danowski threw a touchdown pass to Ike Frankian to close the score to 13–10. (The pass was initially intercepted at the Bears' 2-yard line, but Frankian then grabbed the ball out of the defender's hands.) On the next New York drive, running back Ken Strong scored on a 42-yard touchdown run. Later an 11-yard run by Strong was turned into another touchdown for the Giants, and they scored for a final time on Danowski's 9-yard run, a fourth unanswered touchdown. New York outscored the Bears 27–0 in the fourth quarter to win 30–13.

Many of the participants have been interviewed since the game took place, most notably Bronko Nagurski of the Bears and Mel Hein of the Giants. Generally, players from both sides have attributed the Giants' second half dominance to their selection of footwear. A mini-documentary of the game, narrated by Pat Summerall, can be seen in the 1987 video "Giants Among Men."

Scoring summary[edit]

  • NY  – FG Strong 38 3–0 NYG
  • CHI – Nagurski 1 run (Manders kick) 7–3 CHI
  • CHI – FG Manders 17 10–3 CHI
  • CHI – FG Manders 22 13–3 CHI
  • NY  – Frankian 28 pass from Danowski (Strong kick) 13–10 CHI
  • NY  – Strong 42 run (Strong kick) 17–13 NYG
  • NY  – Strong 11 run (kick failed) 23–13 NYG
  • NY  – Danowski 9 run (Molenda kick) 30–13 NYG

Video[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gannon, Pat (December 10, 1934). "Giants make spectacular finish to beat Bears for pro grid title". Milwaukee Journal. p. 2, part 2. 
  2. ^ Pervin, 2009, pp. 9–10.
  3. ^ "Flaherty's idea wins title for Giant team". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. December 10, 1934. p. 14. 
  4. ^ Cavanaugh, 2008 pg. 111
  5. ^ "Giants stage amazing rally to beat Chicago Bears 30-13". Miami News. Associated Press. December 10, 1934. p. 10.