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Ode To Papa Bear Halas (The Only Coach Who MIGHT Be Better Than Ditka)

Posted by Bob Swerski on August 23, 2007


Many of you who aren’t fans of the greatest team to grace professional sports (‘DA BEARS’), then you might have never heard of George Halas because he probably retired and died before many people reading this were even born. It is hard to gather all of the thoughts of such a great man and write them into a single article, but here I will try.

The fact is that one could write more volumes than the Britannica on each season he was an owner, player, and coach. His contribution to both the Bears, and the NFL, is vast and calling him one of the greatest people in football history is acceptable.

His record alone (324-152-32 ) is enough to enshrine him in the pantheon of the greatest. His 40 years of coaching with only 6 losing seasons is  enough. His 6 NFL Championships is enough. He was MVP of the Rose Bowl in 1919, he invented the T-formation, he led the Bears to the most one-sided victory in NFL history (beat the Washington Redskins 73-0 in the 1940 Championship game), and he returned a fumble 98 yards in 1923, which was a record that would stand until 1975.

Halas was a player and/or a coach from 1920-1967, retiring very briefly several times, and was an owner for over 63 years. He was integral in forming the league during this time, when he was one of the people who met in 1920 to change the American Football League to the NFL. Halas is enshrined in Canton, Ohio and his number 7 is retired by the Bears. Since 1984 the initials GSH have appeared on the sleeves of Bear uniforms in honor of Papa Bear (seen below).


And the last ‘tid bit’ of information: Halas played 12 games as an outfielder of the Yankees before suffering a hip injury. He was replaced by this guy named Ruth…


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