1925 Chicago Bears season
|1925 Chicago Bears season|
|Head coach||George Halas|
|Home field||Wrigley Field|
|League place||7th NFL|
The 1925 Chicago Bears season was their sixth regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 9–5–3 record under head coach George Halas earning them a seventh-place finish in the team standings, their worst showing to that date. However, the 1925 Bears were the most notable team in the young NFL's history to that point—all because of the addition of college star Red Grange.
The Bears started slow, just like in 1924, starting the season with two ties and a loss to Green Bay (the Packers' first win ever over the Bears). The Bears regrouped, however, and won 6 of their next 7. More importantly, the college season ended in mid-November and the Bear's owner Halas signed star running back Harold "Red" Grange.
Grange was under contract but did not play on November 22 as the Bears defeated the Packers in a rematch. When Grange did suit up for his first game on Thanksgiving Day against the Cardinals, an estimated 39,000 packed the venue at Wrigley Field to see the teams deadlock in a 0–0 tie. (A large professional football crowd in this era was about 10,000 fans, with many games drawing fewer than 5,000 paying customers.) That was just the beginning of a whirlwind month for Grange and the Bears, playing frequently in front of enormous crowds. Over 70,000 showed up on December 6 to see the Bears beat the Giants at the Polo Grounds—this was by far the largest crowd to see a professional football team and the gate receipts saved an ailing Giants franchise.
Between December 2 and December 13, the Bears played an astounding eight games, during which the team lived in a special railway car, with its women's restroom converted into a makeshift training room. By the end of their whirlwind football tour, the Bears were exhausted and wracked by injuries, feebly dropping their last three games, with a mere six points scored. Grange was himself injured in Boston, attempting to play hurt in Pittsburgh only to have his injured arm more severely damaged. Even the lowly Detroit Panthers were able to defeat the mighty Bears without their marquee star, with many of the 9,000 fans flooding the ticket office to receive refunds. Still, Chicago's success spurred by Grange put the NFL on the "map" and may have saved the league from an early demise.
Grange had some success in this season, scoring 3 touchdowns overall. Still, the star of the team was Joe Sternaman who scored 6 touchdowns, threw for 3 more, and added 3 field goals and 18 PATs. Sternaman scored 72 of the Bears 158 points.
The Bears embarked on a barnstorming tour at the end of the season, playing games in Florida, Louisiana, California and Washington, usually against local pick-up teams. During this tour, they played in a match-up against a team called the Tampa Cardinals, which was composed of Jim Thorpe and several members of the NFL's Rock Island Independents. The game was played at Tampa's Plant Field and resulted in a 17–3 Bears win.
Grange was richly rewarded for his rookie year in professional football, netting salary and bonuses totaling nearly $125,000 — far more than any individual player had ever received.
Future Hall of Fame players
Other leading players
|Sep. 20||at Rock Island Independents||Douglas Park||Tie||0–0||0–0–1|
|Sep.27||at Green Bay Packers||City Stadium||Loss||14–10||0–1–1|
|Oct 4||at Detroit Panthers||Navin Field||Tie||0–0||0–1–2|
|Oct 11||Hammond Pros||DePaul Field||Win||28–7||1–1–2|
|Oct 18||Cleveland Bulldogs||Wrigley Field||Win||7–0||2–1–2|
|Oct 25||at Chicago Cardinals||Comiskey Park||Loss||9–0||2–2–2|
|Nov 1||Rock Island Independents||Wrigley Field||Win||6–0||3–2–2|
|Nov 8||Frankford Yellow Jackets||Wrigley Field||Win||19–0||4–2–2|
|Nov 15||Detroit Panthers||Wrigley Field||Win||14–0||5–2–2|
|Nov 22||Green Bay Packers||Wrigley Field||Win||21–0||6–2–2|
|Nov 26||Chicago Cardinals||Wrigley Field||Tie||0–0||6–2–3|
|Nov 29||Columbus Tigers||Wrigley Field||Win||14–13||7–2–3|
|Dec. 5||at Frankford Yellow Jackets||Shibe Park||Win||14–7||8–2–3|
|Dec. 6||at New York Giants||Polo Grounds||Win||19–7||9–2–3|
|Dec. 9||at Providence Steam Roller||Braves Field||Loss||6–9||9–3–3|
|Dec. 12||at Detroit Panthers||Navin Field||Loss||21–0||9–4–3|
|Dec. 13||New York Giants||Wrigley Field||Loss||9–0||9–5–3|
Schedule against independent teams
|Dec. 2||Donnelly All-Stars||St. Louis, Missouri||Win||39–6||8,000|
|Dec. 8||Washington All-Stars||Washington, D.C.||Win||17–3||7,000|
|Dec 10||Pittsburgh All-Stars||Forbes Field||Loss||24–0||6,000|
Barnstorming tour schedule
|Dec. 25||Coral Gables Collegians||Coral Gables, Florida||Win||7–0||8,200|
|Jan. 1||Tampa Cardinals||Plant Field||Win||17–3||8,000|
|Jan 2||Jacksonville All-Stars||Jacksonville, Florida||Win||19–6||6,700|
|Jan 10||Southern All-Stars||New Orleans, Louisiana||Win||14–0||6,000|
|Jan 16||Los Angeles Tigers||Los Angeles, California||Win||17–7||70,000|
|Jan 17||California All-Stars||San Diego, California||Win||14–0||10,000|
|Jan 24||San Francisco Tigers||San Francisco, California||Loss||14–9||23,000|
|Jan 30||Portland All-Stars||Portland, Oregon||Win||60–3||6,500|
|Jan 31||Washington All-Stars||Seattle, Washington||Win||34–0||5,000|
|Chicago Cardinals *||11||2||1||.846||229||65||W2|
|Pottsville Maroons *||10||2||0||.833||270||45||W5|
|New York Giants||8||4||0||.667||122||67||W1|
|Frankford Yellow Jackets||13||7||0||.650||190||169||W2|
|Rock Island Independents||5||3||3||.625||99||58||L1|
|Green Bay Packers||8||5||0||.615||151||110||W1|
|Providence Steam Roller||6||5||1||.545||111||101||L1|
|Kansas City Cowboys||2||5||1||.286||65||97||W1|
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.
* The Pottsville Maroons were suspended from the league in December, resulting in the Chicago Cardinals being named the NFL champions.
- "The Galloping Ghost Hits the Road," Sports All Stars 1963 Pro Football, pp. 36-39.
- Ghosts of the Gridiron, Virtual Scrapbook Library, Vol. 8, Thorpe's Cardinals
- Pro Football Archives: 1925 Chicago Bears season