This video is a raw 1975 interview between Jack Brickhouse and George Halas, longtime owner and coach of the Chicago Bears and one of the creators of the National Football League. In the interview, Halas talks about the old days of the NFL, specifically about its roots and how it has evolved over the years. Halas also goes into great detail about his time spent with the Chicago Bears franchise.
00:00Copy video clip URL This video begins with a black screen.
00:25Copy video clip URL Open on a shot of George Halas before the interview begins. Halas is sitting in front of a row of file cabinets in what is presumably his office. Jack Brickhouse first asks Halas about the NFL Championship game in December of 1940 when the Chicago Bears beat the Washington Redskins 73-0. Brickhouse asks Halas about the psychological buildup before that game. Halas talks about the fact that the Redskins had beaten the Bears 7-3 three weeks before the Championship game and how it drove the Bears team to victory in December against the Redskins. Halas believed that there was a questionable call at the end of the game that prevented the Bears from winning the previous game. George Marshall, owner of the Redskins at the time, labeled the Bears team as “crybabies” which in turn served as fuel to the fire.
04:06Copy video clip URL Brickhouse asks Halas about the rivalry between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. Halas talks about Earl “Curly” Lambeau, founder of the Green Bay Packers, and compliments him on his competitiveness throughout the years. Halas also states that the rivalry still exists at the present time. Brickhouse then asks Halas about the alignment of the NFL. Halas offers his opinion on the matter but quickly changes subject and begins to talk about the prospect of a new stadium for the Chicago Bears. He speaks of what will become Soldier Field. Brickhouse then asks Halas about his youthful outlook on his work life and how it has affected him. Halas says, “I think it all revolves around the statement that this attorney Nader made: Nothing is work unless you’d rather be doing something else, and I ‘d rather be working on behalf of the Bears than anything else I know. And that’s been my philosophy. I’ve lived it and I like it.” Brickhouse then asks Halas about his loyalty in business dealings in the NFL. Halas replies, “I always try to be considerate of the other fellow. That to me is always important.” Brickhouse then jokingly asks if some of the NFL officials feel Halas is considerate of them. As head coach of the Bears, Halas was known to scream and yell at many officials when a call wouldn’t go his way. Halas goes on to mention an official named Bill Downs, who Halas states he “never screamed at.”
08:10Copy video clip URL Brickhouse asks Halas about Hugh “Shorty” Ray, former Supervisor of Officials in the NFL. Ray had re-written the rules of the NFL which improved the game a great deal. Halas has nothing but compliments for Ray. Brickhouse goes on to ask Halas about some of the specific rules that may need to be changed. Halas states that he sees “no reason why any of those rules should be changed.” Brickhouse asks Halas about the many changes that have come to the NFL since the 1920s and whether or not Halas envisioned the league getting to the point at which it currently resides. Halas responds by saying he knew he had a great product but that he never thought it would gain such widespread exposure. He also states that in the earlier days of football, he would have to get a loan from the bank every year to start a new season. It wasn’t until 1959 that Halas did not have to take out any loans for the team.
11:29Copy video clip URL Brickhouse asks Halas about the genesis of pro football. Halas recounts the events the led up to its formation. Brickhouse goes on to ask Halas about the original eleven teams that were created. Halas goes on to talk about the Staley Team of Decatur, which was the precursor to the Chicago Bears team. Halas talks about the fact that the Staley team was the best team because they were able to practice every day. Brickhouse and Halas talk about the Staley team moving to Chicago and the expenses that came along with a football team in the past. Halas also recalls the first game that the Bears ever played in Wrigley Field.
17:50Copy video clip URL Brickhouse and Halas talk about Chicago Bears player Red Grange and his Manager, C.C. Pyle. In the twenties, Grange was a popular Bears player who attracted many people to the team. Halas, Grange, and Pyle were involved in some bigger business deals during that time. Brickhouse then asks Halas what he believes are the principal changes that have taken place in the game of football since the 1920s. Halas talks about some of the more important changes to the game. “Well what we had going for us in the twenties was the great bursting enthusiasm of the players, their genuine liking for the game and also the bruise contact, and that hasn’t changed. That still exists today. That’s what attracted a lot of people to our game, and I think that was the greatest impetus that we could possibly get out of the game as long as we could be exposed to the public, which Red Grange furnished us. That’s the reason I say that Red Grange gave the greatest impetus to professional football.” Brickhouse then asks Halas to talk about the amount of publicity the team received at the time. Halas states that the press really came to the team and not vice versa. Halas explains that before Grange become a part of the team, they had to write their own stories and deliver them to the press. Brickhouse and Halas then talk about the first headline in the Chicago Tribune about the Chicago Bears and Red Grange.
22:04Copy video clip URL Cut to a different shot of Halas and Brickhouse during the interview. There is no audio during this part of the tape.
23:54Copy video clip URL Halas recalls an amusing story in which the team insisted on a guarantee of three thousand dollars given to them before a game was to be played.
26:33Copy video clip URL Tape ends.