Wednesday, July 23, 2014

George Halas's Contribution to the Game

George Halas in Uniform
George Halas coached for 40 seasons and accumulated 324 wins, 151 losses, and 31 ties. The Bears won six NFL Championships with Halas as coach and two more as owner. He was enshrined in Pro Football Hall ofFame’s charter class of 17 members on September 7, 1963. Halas was named AP Coach of the Year, the Sporting News Coach of the Year, and the UPI NFL Coach of the Year for the 1963 and the 1965 seasons. If anyone could be called the Father of the NFL, it would be George Halas. In this way, his nickname, Papa Bear says it all. 

Halas loved the fans and was dedicated to his friends, family, and faith. On Thursday, December 10, 1981, Halas appeared before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., with Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue.  He explained how the NFL was like a wheel: The league was the rim and the teams were the spokes. If you have a weak spoke, you have a weak wheel. That’s why the teams with the worst records get to draft first. That’s why the league schedules the games instead of the strong teams just playing each other. That’s why the teams share the television money equally. 

Halas and a small group of men developed the framework for professional football in the most humble circumstances—a meeting in a car showroom in Canton, Ohio. It took decades to make it work. No one worked as hard or as long as Halas.  He never really retired from football. Any awards and honors that came his way would take place during his “career.” 

When he received the Sword of Loyola at the Conrad Hilton, he said:  

Sixty years ago I offered my heart and my helmet to the Lord. My heart is still beating and my helmet still fits. I pray the Divine Coach finds me worthy to be on His first team.

Copyright 2014, Sporting Chance Press.   This post is taken from  Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championships by Patrick McCaskey--available at  Burghardt's Sporting Goods in Wisconsin,  a growing number of select stores in Illinois such as Lake Forest Book Store, Millikin College Bookstore, C & A Inspirations in Champaign, Love Christian Center in Kankakee, the Little Way in Crystal Lake, St. Anne's Gift Shop in Orland Park,  the Christian Shop in Palatine, and more.   The book can be bought online as well on Amazon.