Which NFL franchise did Green Bay save in 1932?

Which NFL franchise did Green Bay save in 1932?

George “Papa Bear” Halas

Heated rivals can make for unusual friends.

Such has been the case with the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, who have helped each other for nearly a century despite having the oldest pro football rivalry in the country.

In 1932, things were so bad for Chicago’s founder and coach George Halas that he ran out of funds by the season finale. When only 3,000 fans showed up at Wrigley Field to see the Bears defeat the Packers 9-0 in the final game of the season. The Packers were owned $2,500 for appearing, but Halas had just $1,000 left in the team’s coffers.

“I had gone into the 1932 season surrounded by IOUs,” Halas explained in his autobiography, Halas by Halas. “I kept afloat by giving more notes. … I couldn’t pay Green Bay its guarantee of $2,500. I told Lee Joannes, the Packers’ president, ‘Lee, I’m out of chalk.‘”

Joannes agreed to take one of Halas’ IOU slips. Though Halas agreed to pay the remaining $1,500 off within six months, the money came out of the Bears’ guarantee when Chicago played in Wisconsin the following season.


George Halas, Halas by Halas (New York: McGraw Hill, 1979).



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