Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

19 Jan 2011

George Halas Saved the Packers?

Reader Marko passes on this Chicago Tribune story by David Haugh about the Bears-Packers rivalry.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 19 Jan 2011

18 comments, Last at 29 Jan 2011, 6:25am by BrandonS


by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 12:33pm

One owner of an industry lobbying for another owner in the same industry to recieve a taxpayer subsidy, and this is supposed to be surprising? Do people really not realize how closely aligned the interests of the owners are?

I would have been much more shocked if Halas wasn't a friend to the Packers. That he was is absolutely par for the course.

by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 3:11pm

Yes and no. Maybe not so surprising back at that time but it's considerably different than what you see today. And as is noted in the post below, Halas helped Minnesota get the Vikings. I don't see Jerry Jones or anybody else helping other cities get teams these days.

by Sander :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 3:51pm

You don't? Not even when the league is constantly pushing LA forward as a possibility?

by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 9:05pm

The collective league is not an individual owner. Have you seen Al Davis, Alex Spanos or Jed York getting actively involved? No, it's been the league office. In fact Davis gladly used LA fans and then discarded them when returning to Oakland worked best for him--and that typifies the "look after me and mine" attitude that typifies owners in all sports today. If you have individual examples, I'd be happy to hear them. But I can't come up with any.

by sundown (not verified) :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 9:09pm

Also, as I recall, the Redskins were concerned when the Ravens were created because they were hoping to continue to dominate that market. (And in MLB the Orioles were not at all happy when the Nationals were created for that reason.)

by zlionsfan :: Thu, 01/20/2011 - 9:34pm

And in the NHL, the Maple Leafs continue to block any and all efforts to move one of the several foundering southern US teams to the Hamilton area, presumably for the same "reasons" (we'll lose fans, oh noes).

by Jerry :: Thu, 01/20/2011 - 4:46am

Don't forget that the NFL awarded the Vikings to Minnesota after the fledgling AFL announced that they'd be putting a franchise there.

During the period before the NFL was a solid success, owners would have to cooperate, and I'm sure a sense of that remained among the old guard even after the league was firmly established. (Most famously, see the agreement to share TV revenue.) So I'm not surprised that Halas would help the Packers get a new stadium. I also suspect that Halas wouldn't be unhappy about getting the visitor's share of a larger gate every year.

by andrew :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 12:47pm

Halas also played a big role in the Vikings getting an NFL franchise. After they got it, people in Minnesota bought him a gift to show their appreciation: A bear cub. Halas donated it to a zoo.

by chris303@yahoo.com :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 1:39pm

Halas also accepted a $1,500 loan from the Packers in 1932, according to Green Bay Press-Gazette archives. Some football historians believe it was that gesture by the Packers that drove Halas to get so involved in '56 when the NFL deemed old City Stadium and its 24,000-seat capacity too small.

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 2:11pm

Halas gfeat . One of tiop 5 nfl minfs all time. Mara, al davis and 2 others would maje top five

by andrew :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 2:58pm

who would the other two be?

I think Paul Brown would be one...

by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 3:42pm

Landry? Invented the 4-3. Walsh?

by Temo :: Fri, 01/21/2011 - 11:39am

Assuming we're talking about executives here and not coaches (Paul Brown was both, of course), maybe Bert Bell?

Lamar Hunt if you're talking NFL/AFL together.

by evenchunkiermonkey :: Mon, 01/24/2011 - 12:19am

Is a minf anything at all like a milf only th exact opposite?

by Raiderjoe :: Mon, 01/24/2011 - 12:57pm

a minf insnt that. just hit wrong ket. meant to write mind

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 3:38pm

Maybe bert bell and pete rozelle. Paul btown def in top 5 if only talkibg about on field xs and os and innovative coachibg.

by Bradman (not verified) :: Thu, 01/20/2011 - 11:08am

Nice article by Haugh. Compared to other inane crap that litters the internet about bears/packers this week, I actually learned something from reading this.

Analogy: Bears-Packers are like brothers, which makes for a good rivalry. Vikings are the spoiled neighbor kid, which both brothers feel compelled to torment.

by BrandonS (not verified) :: Sat, 01/29/2011 - 6:25am

The Packers Bears rivalry surely is the classic. I think it rocks, more than any other rivals in the NFL. Did you hear that the legendary rivalry between the two cost a Chicago area car salesperson his career?