Tag Archives: 1st

The 1933 NFL Championship Game: “The First NFL Playoff Game”

Nothing is more exciting in any professional sport than a playoff game. American’s have enjoyed the NFL playoffs for eight decades. Since the NFL’s inception there have been over 500 playoff games. That tradition did not start in 1920 with the league’s inception.  From 1920-1923 the NFL Champion was voted by the team owners.  During the 1924-1932 seasons the Championship was won by the team with the best record (win percentage) at the end of the season.

The 1932 season was the final season before a Championship Game was instituted.  The final game of the ’32 season was technically a “playoff” game. The Chicago Bears (6-1-6) and the Portsmouth Spartans (6-1-4) shared the league’s best win percentage of .857.  To settle the tie an addition game was played between the two teams. The Bears were victorious in that final contest by a score of 9-0 over the Spartans. This game was recorded as a regular season game in the record books for both teams.

At the conclusion of the the 1932 season the NFL decided that a Championship game would take place at the end of every season. The two teams holding the best record in their division (Eastern and Western) would face each other to determine a champion. Thus began what we now know as the NFL Playoffs.

The 1933 NFL Championship Game played at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Getty)

The 1933 NFL Championship Game played at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (Getty)

On December 17,1933 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL the first NFL Championship Game took place. The Western Division’s Chicago Bears (10-2-1) went to battle with the Eastern Division’s New York Giants (11-3). This game featured two of the NFL’s all-time greats, Red Grange and Bronco Nagurski both playing for the Bears.

The Bears drew first blood with a Jack Manders 16-yard field goal in the 1st quarter. In the 2nd quarter the Bears would receive another field goal from Manders, while the Giants QB Harry Newman threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Red Badgro. The Giants led 7-6 going into halftime.

When the second half began the Bears would retake the lead with another Manders field goal. The Giants quickly responded with a 1-yard touchdown run by Max Krause, the Giants now held the lead by a score of 14-09. The Bears scored their first touchdown of the game Bronco Nagurski touchdown pass to Bill Karr before the 3rd quarter concluded.

The 4th and final quarter began with the Bears holding a 16-14 lead over the Giants. The lead would change early in the final quarter when the Giants QB Harry Newman completed his second touchdown pass for the day to Ken Strong to take a 21-16 lead. The Bears came through in the final two minutes to take the lead and the win with a Bill Karr 19-yard touchdown reception. The Bears defeated the Giants 23-21 on that day. The Bears became the first NFL team to capture a championship via a “playoff” game.

Many people debated whether the first NFL game was in 1932, 1933 of 1967. The 1932 game was not officially scored as a “playoff” game while the 1933 game was. The semifinal playoff games did not begin until the 1967 season so some consider it to be the first season with a playoff. I feel that the 1933 game was a playoff game and has even officially been regarded as that by the NFL. With that being said, the first ever NFL Championship game was the first playoff game ever.

1st Anniversary of 2CentsWorthOfSports!

2centsdoublesmaller

The site hit it’s year mark this month.  I have had a lot of fun covering many different sports topics over the last year.  With over 100 articles posted and a few thousand visitors, it has been a fun year!  As you may have notice the site’s direction changed in January from general sports coverage to sports history only.  I will  be keeping you posted on History as it happens and covering the classic moments and accomplishments in sports.  Thank you to all of our readers and stay tuned for more classic reading!

How Mike Ditka Stole Super Bowl Glory From Walter Payton

Walter Payton was one of the greatest running backs in the history of the National Football League.  He retired after the 1987 season with the Chicago Bears.  Payton finished his career with 110 rushing TD’s, 15 receiving TD’s and 16,726 rushing yards.  He was also on one of the best bears teams ever, the 1985 Chicago Bears.  The Bears won Super Bowl XX and cemented Payton’s place in the Hall Of Fame as a Super Bowl winner.  There however is one thing missing from his career.  Payton never scored during the only Super Bowl appearance and you might be suprised to find out it was no fault of his own.

Walter Payton in Superbowl XX. (Getty Images)

Walter Payton in Superbowl XX. (Getty Images)

When the season began Head Coach Mike Ditka was very high on his 1st draft pick William “the refrigerator” Perry.  Perry came into camp very unimpressive and was overweight at 380lbs.  The Defensive coach Buddy Ryan was not impressed by Perry and did not want to play him.  During the early part of the season Ditka got the idea to use Perry in offensive plays to block for Walter Payton.  Perry sometimes even rushed with the ball himself.  He was later put into the defense and played well.  During the season Perry became an offensive gimmick.  He was the funny fat guy that the fans cheered for.  Perry almost overshadowed the rest of the team in popularity.

William Perry (Getty Images)

William Perry (Getty Images)

The Bears made it through the season with a 15-1 record.  They plowed through the divisional and championship games to make it to Super Bowl XX in New Orleans.  Their challengers were the Cinderella team of that season,  the New England Patriots.  Nobody expected the Pats to make it as far as they did.  They were the underdogs going into the title game.  The Bears dominated the Pats on the defensive side of the ball.  The Offense of the Bears was stifled a bit, although the score tells a different story.  The Patriots based their defense around stopping Walter Payton.  They did just that, Payton was held to 66 yards on 22 carries.  Even with the lack of success Payton was still the Bears leading rusher in the game.

Mike Ditka made two decisions during that game that haunt him to this day.  On the two opportunities where the Bears were close to the goal line and a rush for the touchdown seemed the best choice, Ditka chose William Perry and Quarterback Jim McMahon to make those TD’s.  The most disappointing TD for Walter Payton was the Perry rush for the TD.  Perry had been primarily a defensive player and a gimmicky running back.  For Payton not to be allowed to gain the glory of scoring a TD in the biggest game of his career is a complete disgrace.

Mike Ditka after Superbowl XX. (Getty Images)

Mike Ditka after Superbowl XX. (Getty Images)

Walter Payton was always a stand up man and until the day he died he never openly questioned Mike Ditka for not letting him run in a TD in the Super Bowl.  Ditka has come out in recent years an said if he could do it all over again he would have opted for Payton to get the Super Bowl glory.  While Ditka can own up to his mistakes he will never be able to give those moments to the great Walter Payton.

Top 3 Stories From Week 2 Of The NFL

The incredible action of week 1 carried into week 2 on Sunday.  Week 2 brought many great match ups and answers to questions unanswered in week 1.  2centsworthofsports.com brings you the top 3 stories from the second week of the NFL.

Eli Manning Rallies His Giants Past The Buccs, Has A Career Game

Eli Manning
(Getty Images)

Eli Manning and the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants suffered a disappointing loss in week 1 to the Cowboys.  Anxious to prove they could repeat as Champions, the Giants played the Buccs in week 2 in what turned out to be a crazy game.  The Buccs came out strong in the 1st half leading the Giants 24-13 going into half time.  The Giants came out of half time only scoring 3 points in the 3rd quarter.  The 4th quarter is when the Giants picked it up a notch by scoring 25 points.  The Giants defeated the Buccs 41-34.  The game was one of the wildest of the first 2 weeks.  Eli Manning faltered early with 3 interceptions but made up for it with 510 yards passing and throwing for 3 touchdowns.  The 510 passing yards were a career record for Manning in one game.  The Buccs looked really strong in this game but lost due to Eli and his comeback heroics.  Eli and the Giants showed in week 2 that they are ready to attempt a repeat at the Championship this year.

Andrew Luck Wins 1st Career Game

Andrew Luck
(Getty Images)

The number 1 overall pick in April’s Draft Andrew Luck came in with high expectations.  In week 1 he did not meet them, week 2 was another story.  Luck helped his Indianapolis Colts win their 1st game of the season on Sunday against then Minnesota Vikings, winning by a score of 23-20.  Luck was 20-31 passing with 224 yards in the air and rushed for 21 yards.  Luck scored his first 2 touchdown passes of his career in this game, his first was to Dwayne Allen and his second to Reggie Wayne.  More importantly Luck threw no interceptions which was a huge improvement from week 1 where he threw 3.  Luck has definitely improved from week 1 and should develop into a really good NFL QB over the course of the season.

Matt Ryan And The Falcons Defeat Peyton Manning And The Broncos On Monday Night

Matt Ryan
(Getty Images)

On Monday Night the Broncos came into Atlanta to face the Falcons in Prime Time.  Matt Ryan and the Falcons were victorious and made a statement.  The Falcons are likely back to the form they were in a couple of years ago.  Matt Ryan led his team to the win with excellent passing.  Ryan had 219 yards passing and had 2 touchdowns.  Manning on the other hand had a rough night,  throwing only 1 TD pass and throwing for 3 interceptions.  The Falcons scored quickly and went into halftime with a 20-7 lead.  In the 3rd quarter the Falcons scored 7 points while the Broncos had 0.  In the 4th quarter Manning tried to lead his team to the comeback victory as his brother Eli did on Sunday but could not pull it off.  The Broncos were able to score only 14 points in the final quarter.  The final score was 27-21 in favor of the Falcons.  It was an interesting match up with and even more interesting outcome.  The Falcons are going to be a strong team for their NFC foes to compete with this season.