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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:09 am 
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The year was 1920. After work from his job at the railroad, a man found himself walking home nursing a sore hip. The pain came and went, each time reminding him of his failed baseball career, conjuring up the odd curveball that was forever unhittable in his nightmares. Upon arriving home, he pours himself a cold drink and stares thoughtfully out the window at some of the local city kids playing a game of stickball. His phone rings. The voice on the other end? Augustus Eugene Staley, better known as the owner/operator of the Staley Starch Works. Staley says he's impressed by this man's sports background and wants him to relocate 180 miles south to Decatur to manage his company-owned football and baseball squads. The man on the other end is caught off guard. He silently contemplates a brief moment, letting the emotion of the moment wash it's way through his system. His normally craggy face allows the cracking of a subtle grin, and from that mouth he says to Staley, "...you bet your ass."

Then George Halas hung up.

After a year of whipping those poor midwesterners into shape, George had grown tired of the rural scenery and rustic charm of central Illinois. He kicked in the door to Staley's office, shoved a globe in his face, his finger tapping furious on one spot - the top right corner of Illinois. Staley signed off on the move, and once in the Windy City, George got in touch with Bill Veeck, then-owner of the Chicago Cubs. Halas gave him a firm pimpslap, demanding that the Cubs share Wrigley Field with his gridiron superhumans; thus began what turned out to be a 70-year run where the Bears called Wrigley home. George felt a bit miffed about slapping Veeck in the mouth like some floundering trollop, so in his honor he renamed the Staleys the Chicago Bears.

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After several years of inconsistency and struggling to get the league taken seriously, Halas caught a break when he signed a guy named Red Grange. To put this into perspective, you have to realize that the National Football League back then was a total joke compared to the college game. The significance of a college legend like Grange signing with an NFL team was earth-shattering to sports fans and pundits alike; it'd be comparable to say, Peyton Manning quitting the Colts back in 2001 to join the Los Angeles Xtreme of the XFL. Needless to say, the NFL became a credible organization pretty damned quickly.

Halas actually suited up for the Bears for nigh a decade as a wide receiver/defensive end, in addition to being the head coach/team owner. He actually held a record for longest fumble returned for a touchdown (98 yards) which stood until 1972. After leading the Bears to 4 world championships in just under 10 years, Japan decided to bomb Pearl Harbor. Halas, being a ball-crushing patriot hardass, decided to put the Bears on hold in order to help in blasting the Axis powers all to hell. After America double-tagged Japan with some nukes, Halas resumed his mantle at Bears HQ. The 50's Bears didn't win jack squat, but it was perhaps the most entertaining time to be a Bears fan because of Halas being the weird cantankerous bastard that he was.
BearsHistory.com states that, "[Halas] had the filthiest mouth of any man they'd ever heard. He routinely cussed referees and made them pick their game salary off the ground a dollar at a time." This was coming from a guy who didn't drink or smoke and was devoutly religious. Legends of Papa Bear sprang up from time to time, putting itching powder in opponent's equipment, rumors of bugging the locker rooms, etc. He was all about one thing - victory, and nothing else.

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George's Bears went on to win a 1963 title, but entered a dark period afterwards during which time he slowly eeked out his powers to his family and other interests, including Jim Finks as Chairman of Team Operations. Then sadly in the late 70's his only son had died of a heart attack, and Halas threw himself back into his beloved Bears. An 86-year old Papa Bear usurped Fink's power and retook command in retooling of the club until making his final major act - hiring "Iron" Mike Ditka as head coach. Unfortunately for Halas, he passed away in 1983, just a few years before the legendary 85 team he set the table for destroyed everything in their path.

So now when you look at the sleeves of your Chicago Bears jerseys and see that "GSH," you'll know it's there for a very good reason - George S. Halas broke the mold of the Chicago Bears and professional sports.

Happy birthday, George.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:38 am 
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10 views? I must be a horrible biographer, lol.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:41 pm 
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I appreciate it.

I've read a lot of books on Bears, but Halas by Halas is next.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:57 pm 
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Great article. Learned some new things about Papa Bear.

As for the number of views, I was just unaware another article was posted since I sometimes forgot to stop by this subforum. I'll see if there's anyway we can make announcements without making a sticky. Maybe something like a scrolling news feed.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:18 pm 
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Great read on halas. I have read 3 books on him now. My favorite stories are that his spot on the Yankees was taken by Babe Ruth, and the other one was when he was late to get on a ferry and missed it. That ferry sunk and I dont think anyone survived.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:21 am 
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good ol Papa Bear

the only negative thing I have to say about him is at one point, he actually gave financial assistance to the fucking Packers ... if not for his charity, that shit franchise may never have existed after the 1930's

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:12 am 
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Boris13c wrote:
the only negative thing I have to say about him is at one point, he actually gave financial assistance to the fucking Packers ... if not for his charity, that shit franchise may never have existed after the 1930's


The way I understood it, the rivalry was important to sell tickets on his side as well. That was another reason him and Lambeau made sure never to shake hands after a game. It just promoted the rivalry between the teams and sold tickets.

A good thing about him doing it though is that, no matter what the Packers accomplish, they couldn't have done it without us.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:39 am 
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Xee wrote:
Boris13c wrote:
the only negative thing I have to say about him is at one point, he actually gave financial assistance to the fucking Packers ... if not for his charity, that shit franchise may never have existed after the 1930's


The way I understood it, the rivalry was important to sell tickets on his side as well. That was another reason him and Lambeau made sure never to shake hands after a game. It just promoted the rivalry between the teams and sold tickets.

A good thing about him doing it though is that, no matter what the Packers accomplish, they couldn't have done it without us.



a fact lost on the idiot cheeseheaded faithful of today

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:42 am 
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Boris13c wrote:
good ol Papa Bear

the only negative thing I have to say about him is at one point, he actually gave financial assistance to the fucking Packers ... if not for his charity, that shit franchise may never have existed after the 1930's


One of the things I love about him. I can hold that over p*cker fans' heads. You got a couple more rings? That's nice. Your team would still be playing in a parking lot for their inbred families if it weren't for George Halas. You'd probably all be Bears fans. Papa Bear saved your team 'cause he didn't want your greasy trailer-park asses bringing his fanbase down.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:46 am 
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UOK great read even though again I knew most of that already about George Stanley Halas .

One correction about Halas though he was a wide receiver and defensive back not defensive end .

Also I don't believe Bill Veeck Sr . ever owned the Cubs but I could be wrong because Bill Veeck Sr did move around alot in baseball . He owned the St. Louis Browns , Cleveland Indians , and Pittsburgh for a time but I would have to check into that he owned the Cubs . I khow his son Bill Veeck Jr. worked for the Cubs and it was his idea to install the famous vines in Wrigley field but as far as I know the Veeck family never owned the Cubs .My dad played minor league ball for about a dozen years for the Cubs and he knew everything there was about the Cub history . I know William Hulbert was the original owner of the then Chicago White Stockings back in the infancy of baseball . Then when Hulbert died Albert Goodwill Spaulding ( the sporting goods king who was a great pitcher in the 1870's) took over the Cubs until the mid 1910s .Then I thought William Wrigley purchased the Cubs , but I would have to look into that.

By the way , the legend series are excellent how about doing alot more ! Sayers ,Butkus , Payton , Atkins , Grange , Singletary , George , Luckman , Turner , Hampton , Dent , McAfee , Gallimore , Stydahar , Fortunato ,Fencik , Buffone , Wilson , Taylor , Pettibone , Hilgenberg ,O'Bradavich , McMichael and Jones are a quick two dozen that could have a legend series .


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