Chicago Bears Traditions

History by Decades


Highlights from the 1940s

The decade began with another NFL title as the Bears buried the Washington Redskins, 73-0, as ten different players scored while Chicago unveiled the T-formation. Halas left for war duties in the middle of the 1942 season. The team continued winning, but lost the title game in Washington, 14-6. Luke Johnsos and Hunk Anderson co-coached the wartime Bears the next three seasons. In 1943, the Bears beat Washington 41-21, at Wrigley Field in the NFL title game. Halas returned in 1946 and the Bears won the title again - defeating the Giants, 24-14, before a NFL record crowd of 58,346 in the Polo Grounds.

12/8/40

George Halas surprises the Washington Redskins with his "T" formation offense in the NFL Championship game. The strategy proves more than effective as the Bears rout the Redskins 73-0 before 36,034 fans in Washington D.C. The gameplan signals the beginning of pro football's modern era. Each player receives $873.

1941

Bear Down Chicago Bears, the Bears new fight song, is published.

12/14/41

Bears and Packers agree their playoff game should be played to a 'sudden death' finish in event of tie. NFL adopts plan 1/24/42.

1942

George Halas departs in October for the US Navy. The Bears win their final six games, finish the season 11-0, and advance to the title game but lose to Washington, 14-6.

1943

Hunk Anderson and Luke Johnsos co-coach the wartime Bears for the next three seasons, compiling a 15-11-2 record. 11/14/43-Sid Luckman becomes the first pro to pass for 400+ yards in a game, scorching the Giants for 433 yards and seven TDs.

12/26/43

The Bears blast Washington 41-21 in Wrigley Field for the NFL title before 34,320 fans. Sid Luckman throws five TD passes (2 each to Harry Clark and Dante Magnani). Bronko Nagurski scores his last Bear TD, a 3-yard run.

12/15/46

With George Halas around for the full season, the Bears whip the Giants 24-14 before a record NFL title crowd of 58,346 in the Polo Grounds. After opening with a 21-yard TD pass to Ken Kavanaugh, Sid Luckman gets the winning score on a 19-yard bootleg.

1948

Bears make the first trade for a draft choice, then select QB Bobby Layne.

12/11/49

Johnny Lujack sets NFL passing record with 468 yards against the Cardinals.