1941 NFL Championship Game
1234 Total
New York Giants 6030 9
Chicago Bears 361414 37
DateDecember 21, 1941
StadiumWrigley Field,
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
FavoriteChicago by 15 points[1]
Hall of Famers
Giants: Tim Mara (owner/founder),
Wellington Mara (administrator), Steve Owen (coach),
Mel Hein, Tuffy Leemans
Bears: George Halas (owner/coach),
Dan Fortmann, Sid Luckman, George McAfee,
George Musso, Joe Stydahar, Bulldog Turner
Radio in the United States
AnnouncersBob Elson, Red Barber
Wrigley Field is located in the United States
Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field
Location in the United States

The 1941 NFL Championship Game was the ninth annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL), held at Wrigley Field in Chicago on December 21.[2][3] Played two weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the attendance was 13,341, the fewest to see an NFL title game. However, this statistic might be explained in part by wartime restrictions.[4][5][6]

Western Division playoff game

Before the title game, the Western Division champion needed to be determined. The defending NFL champion Chicago Bears (10–1) had ended the regular season on December 7 tied with the Green Bay Packers (10–1), the 1939 NFL champions. The two had split their season series in 1941, with the road teams winning, so the tiebreaker was the first-ever divisional playoff game in the NFL, played on December 14 at Wrigley Field.

The Packers had completed their regular season on November 30 and the playoff game was sold out by Tuesday, December 9, at over 46,484,[7] with over 10,000 seats to Packer fans.[8] Chicago was favored,[8][9] and attendance on game day was slightly lower than capacity at 43,425, the week after Pearl Harbor. The Bears jumped to a 30–7 halftime lead under clear skies and 16 °F (−9 °C) temperatures and easily won, 33–14.[10][11][12] The Eastern Division champion New York Giants (8–3) completed their regular season on December 7 with a 21–7 loss to the runner-up Brooklyn Dodgers (7–4), who had defeated the Giants twice in the regular season.

NFL Championship Game

The Bears were making their fifth appearance in the title game, the Giants were making their sixth, and each had two victories. It was the third time the two teams matched up in the big game; the home teams had won both: the Bears in 1933 and the Giants in 1934. The Bears were favored by two touchdowns and 35,000 were expected to attend.[1][13] The game time temperature was unseasonably warm at 47 °F (8 °C).[2]

The hometown Bears kicked three field goals in the first half to lead 9–6 at the intermission.[3] The Giants took the opening drive of the second half down to the five but settled for a short field goal to tie the score. Chicago dominated the rest of the second half with four unanswered touchdowns and won 37–9.[2][4][5][14]

The Bears became the first team in the NFL championship game era (since 1933) to win consecutive titles; it was the franchise's fifth league title (1921, 1932, 1933, 1940, 1941).

Scoring summary

Sunday, December 21, 1941
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. CST

Game Log
Quarter Team Scoring Information Score
1 CHI 14-yard field goal by Bob Snyder 0 3
1 NYG George Franck scores a 31-yard touchdown from Tuffy Leemans. Extra point no good. 6 3
2 CHI 39-yard field goal by Bob Snyder 6 6
2 CHI 37-yard field goal by Bob Snyder 6 9
3 NYG 16-yard field goal by Ward Cuff 9 9
3 CHI 2-yard rush by Norm Standlee. Extra point is good by Bob Snyder 9 16
3 CHI 7-yard rush by Norm Standlee. Extra point is good by Joe Maniaci 9 23
4 CHI 5-yard rush by George McAfee. Extra point is good by Lee Artoe 9 30
4 CHI Ken Kavanaugh returns a 42-yard fumble. Extra point is good by Ray McLean ^ 9 37

^ With under two minutes remaining, Ray "Scooter" McLean elected to drop kick the extra point on the last touchdown,[16] which was the last successful drop kick in the NFL for 64 years. Doug Flutie of the New England Patriots kicked one in his final regular season game, in the fourth quarter of the last game of the 2005 regular season on January 1, 2006.[17]


The NFL had only four game officials in 1941; the back judge was added in 1947, the line judge in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.

Players' shares

With the low attendance, the net gate receipts were a record low at under $42,000. Each Bears player received $431, while each Giants player saw $288, less than half of the previous year's.[14][18]

Ticket prices were $4.40 for the grandstand and $2.20 for bleachers.[19]

War casualties

Two players in the game, back Young Bussey of the Bears and end Jack Lummus of the Giants, were killed in action three years later in World War II, in early 1945. Navy lieutenant Bussey died in the Invasion of Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines and Marine lieutenant Lummus was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for valor at the Battle of Iwo Jima.


  1. ^ a b Snider, Steve (December 21, 1941). "Bears rate 2-touchdown edge over Giants in pro title game". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. p. 13, section 3.
  2. ^ a b c d Prell, Edward (December 22, 1941). "Bears rout Giants, 37-9; keep league title". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 23.
  3. ^ a b "Bears wallop Giants 37 to 9, clinch title". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 22, 1941. p. 16.
  4. ^ a b Hoff, Dave (December 22, 1941). "Bears wallop Giants for pro title". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 3B.
  5. ^ a b Kuechle, Oliver E. (December 22, 1941). "Bears swamp Giants, 37 to 9, in pro play-off before 13,341". Milwaukee Journal. p. 4, part 2.
  6. ^ "Riotous Bears roar as champions of football world". Pittsburgh Press. (photo). December 22, 1941. p. 29.
  7. ^ "Packer game sellout now". Milwaukee Journal. December 9, 1941. p. 4, part 2.
  8. ^ a b "Packers 13-5 underdogs in playoff with Bears". Milwaukee Journal. December 14, 1941. p. 1, sports.
  9. ^ McGlynn, Stoney (December 14, 1941). "Bears are 2½ to 1 favorites over Packers today". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1B.
  10. ^ Kuechle, Oliver E. (December 15, 1941). "Bears' line too tough for Packers 33-14". Milwaukee Journal. p. 4, part 2.
  11. ^ McGlynn, Stoney (December 15, 1941). "Bears humble Packers, 33-14, win title". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 3B.
  12. ^ Prell, Edward (December 15, 1941). "Bears win 33 to 14; play for title Sunday". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 29.
  13. ^ "Chicago Bears to play Giants for pro league title Sunday". Milwaukee Journal. December 21, 1941. p. 1, sports.
  14. ^ a b Hoff, Dave (December 22, 1941). "Chicago Bears turn on power in second half to beat New York Giants 37-9". Youngstown Vindicator. Ohio. Associated Press. p. 18.
  15. ^ "New York Giants 9 at Chicago Bears 37". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  16. ^ "Youngstown Vindicator - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  17. ^ "Eugene Register-Guard - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  18. ^ "Title game nets bears $430 each". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. December 22, 1941. p. 4, part 2.
  19. ^ Williams, Joe (December 22, 1941). "Does 13,000 indicate that pro grid season is over-extended?". Pittsburgh Press. p. 30.

41°56′53″N 87°39′22″W / 41.948°N 87.656°W / 41.948; -87.656