September 17, 2012

My Team, the Chicago Bears, 1946

Bill Matteson
Uptown  Chicago History Correspondent

When I was a kid, we lived around the corner from the Sheridan Plaza Hotel where all the sports figures stayed when in town. My dad, being the drinker he was, got around and would drink with various sports celebrities, and they would usually end up at our place on Kenmore Ave.
One of the dirtiest football players of the era was Ed Sprinkle. He taught us kids how to play dirty and not get caught. Another was Joe Osmanski, who with his brother, "Bullet Bill" Osmanski, were on the Championship Chicago Bears.

I went to a Bears game only once. They played at Wrigley Field then, and I met most of the rest of the team. I got to say hello to Sid Luckman, which in the day was like talking to God.

I was ten years old then. After Bill retired from football, he became a dentist and actually  filled one of my teeth. I seem to remember he had an office in the Uptown Bank building. The tooth finally had to be pulled, but that was 60 years later,  At one point in time, Bill Osmanski ran for Cook County coroner at the same time Chuck Percy was running for senator. We were at a get acquainted dinner at a VFW hall in Norwood Park. I approached Bullet Bill and asked if he remembered me. He didn't, but he remembered my father.  Chuck Percy won,  Bill didn't.

Sid Luckman was the greatest Quarterback of all time (according to me) followed by Johnny Lujack. After that, So Long Bears

This was back in the day when footballers were tough. They played the whole game, there were no offense or defense teams. The quarterback played both sides and did all the kicking. Does anyone remember what a drop kick is?  That's how field goals were made back in the day.

Lets look at today's player:

Game time 1 hour

Lets say if it were divided equally, offense plays 30 mins and defense plays 30 min. With each play lasting only a few seconds and the balance of the time is used up before the next play, well, the player only averages about 10 minutes worth of playing time per game. With 18 games that's 180 minutes or 3 hours for several million dollars per year.


Anonymous said...

I watched many Bears games at Wrigley. Great place to watch an NFL game especially from the temporary stands in right field. However, you're right, I never did see at drop kick!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this article


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