1946 NFL Championship Game

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1946 NFL Championship Game
1 2 3 4 Total
Chicago Bears 14 0 0 10 24
New York Giants 7 0 7 0 14
Date December 15, 1946 at 2 p.m.
Stadium Polo Grounds, New York City
Referee Ron Gibbs
Attendance 58,346
Radio in the United States
Network ABC
Announcers Harry Wismer
Polo Grounds is located in the US
Polo Grounds
Polo 
Grounds
Location in the United States

The 1946 National Football League Championship Game was the 14th annual NFL championship game, played December 15 at the Polo Grounds in New York City, with a record-breaking attendance of 58,346.[1][2]

The game matched the New York Giants (7–3–1), champions of the Eastern Division, against the Western Division champion Chicago Bears (8–2–1). The Giants had won the regular season game with Chicago 14–0 at the Polo Grounds seven weeks earlier on October 27, but the Bears were seven to ten point favorites.[3][4][5]

This was the fifth and final NFL Championship game played at the Polo Grounds and the fourth of six meetings between the Bears and Giants in the title game.

Tied after three quarters, Chicago won 24–14 for their seventh NFL title,[1][2][6] their fifth victory in eight NFL championship game appearances. The attendance record stood for another nine years, until the 1955 title game in Los Angeles.

Bribery scandal[edit]

The day before the game, two players for the Giants, Frank Filchock and Merle Hapes, had been accused of taking bribes to fix the game from Alvin Paris. Mayor William O'Dwyer had Jack Mara, Wellington Mara and Bert Bell informed of the police evidence against the two.[7]

Hours later, the four then met at Gracie Mansion and the mayor interviewed the players one at a time.[7][8] Under questioning, Hapes admitted that he was offered a bribe and Filchock denied being offered it. Several hours later, Paris was arrested and confessed to bribing the players. Hapes was suspended by Bell, but Filchock was allowed to play.[9] During Paris' trial weeks later, Filchock admitting taking the bribe under oath.[7][10]

Scoring summary[edit]

Sunday, December 15, 1946
Kickoff: 2 p.m. EST

  • First quarter
  • Second quarter
    • No scoring
  • Third quarter
    • NY  – Steve Filipowicz 5 yard pass from Filchock (Strong kick), 14–14 TIE
  • Fourth quarter
    • CHI – Luckman 19 yard run (Maznicki kick), 21–14 CHI
    • CHI – FG Maznicki 26 yard, 24–14 CHI

Officials[edit]

  • Referee: Ron Gibbs
  • Umpire: Carl Brubaker
  • Head Linesman: Charlie Berry
  • Field Judge: William Grimberg [2]

The NFL had only four game officials in 1946; the back judge was added the following season in 1947, the line judge in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.

Players' shares[edit]

The gross receipts for the game, including radio and picture rights, was just under $283,000. Each player on the winning Bear team received $1,975, while Giants players made $1,295 each.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Biederman, Les (December 16, 1946). "Luckman leads Bears to NFL title". Pittsburgh Press. p. 20. 
  2. ^ a b c Prell, Edward (December 16, 1946). "Bears win 7th title, 24-14, before 58,346". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 3. 
  3. ^ "Bears touchdown favorite over Giants in title game". Milwaukee Sentinel. INS. December 15, 1946. p. 3B. 
  4. ^ Kuechle, Oliver E. (December 15, 1946). "Favor Bears in pro play-off today". Milwaukee Journal. p. 1, sports. 
  5. ^ Biederman, Les (December 15, 1946). "Bears favored to beet Giants for NFL title". Pittsburgh Press. p. 33. 
  6. ^ Kuechle, Oliver E. (December 16, 1946). "Bears defeat Giants, 24 to 14; attempted bribery uncovered". Milwaukee Journal. p. 4, part 2. 
  7. ^ a b c Fay, William (December 16, 1946). "'Lost honestly,' Giants say; bribe probe continues". Chicago Tribune. p. 1, section 3. 
  8. ^ Robert S. Lyons, On Any Given Sunday: A Life of Bert Bell. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2010; pg. 201.
  9. ^ Lyons, On Any Given Sunday, pg. 202.
  10. ^ Lyons, On Any Given Sunday, pg. 203.
  11. ^ "Facts and figures on title game". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. December 16, 1946. p. 20. 

Coordinates: 40°49′52″N 73°56′13″W / 40.831°N 73.937°W / 40.831; -73.937