With nation mourning JFK, NFL games were played

Posted Nov 22, 2013

On the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, "Inside the Bears" tells the story of the tragedy and a Bears game two days later that probably should not have been played.

It was a game that probably shouldn't have been played. But it was also one that the Bears couldn't afford to lose in their quest to win the 1963 NFL championship.

Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald while traveling in a convertible in a motorcade in Dallas. Two days later, the Bears were set to face the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle opted not to cancel the slate of NFL games, a decision he later regretted. The Bears ultimately saved their season with a 17-17 tie against the Steelers after a superhuman effort by tight end Mike Ditka set up the game-tying field goal.

The story of the assassination as it relates to the Bears is being told this weekend on "Inside the Bears," which will air on FOX Chicago at 9:30 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and 11:05 p.m. Sunday as well as on My50 Chicago at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The piece includes interviews with members of the 1963 Bears, including Johnny Morris, Ed O'Bradovich, Ronnie Bull, Bob Wetoska and Roosevelt Taylor.