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1948 NFL Championship Game
1234 Total
CHI 0000 0
PHI 0007 7
DateDecember 19, 1948
StadiumShibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
FavoriteChicago by 3½ points[1][2]
RefereeRonald Gibbs
Attendance36,309 (paid); 28,864 (actual)
Hall of Famers
Cardinals: Jimmy Conzelman (coach), Charley Trippi
Eagles: Greasy Neale (coach), Pete Pihos, Steve Van Buren, Alex Wojciechowicz
TV in the United States
AnnouncersHarry Wismer, Red Grange
Shibe  Park  is located in the United States
Shibe  Park 
Location in the United States

The 1948 NFL Championship Game was the 16th title game of the National Football League (NFL), played at Shibe Park in Philadelphia on December 19.[3][4][5][6]

The game was a rematch of the previous year's title game between the defending champion, the Chicago Cardinals (11–1), champions of the Western Division, and the Philadelphia Eagles (9–2–1), champions of the Eastern Division. The Cardinals were slight favorites, at 3½ points despite losing quarterback Paul Christman with a fractured wrist injury.[7][1][2]

It was the first NFL championship game to be televised. Due to heavy snowfall, the grounds crew needed the help of players from both teams to remove the tarp from the field.[8][9] The opening kickoff was delayed a half-hour until 2 p.m., and three extra officials were called into service to assist with out-of-bounds calls.[8] The stadium lights were also turned on for the entire game.[4]

The Eagles won their first NFL Championship, defeating the Cardinals 7–0 with a final quarter touchdown. It was also the first championship for Philadelphia since 1926, when the Frankford Yellow Jackets won the league championship on standings, [10] (the Championship Game was introduced in 1933).

Game summary

The game (also known as the Philly Blizzard) was played in Philadelphia during a significant snowstorm. Bert Bell, the NFL commissioner (and former Eagles owner), had considered postponing the game, but the players for both teams wanted to play the game. The snow began at daybreak and by kickoff the accumulation was 4 inches (10 cm) at a temperature of 27 °F (−3 °C). The paid attendance for the game was 36,309, but the actual turnout at Shibe Park was 28,864.[8][11]

It was a scoreless game until early in the fourth quarter when, after Chicago had fumbled in their own end of the field, the Eagles recovered the fumble that set up Steve Van Buren's five yard touchdown at 1:05 into the fourth quarter.[4][11] The game ended with the Eagles deep in Chicago territory. Eagles head coach Greasy Neale gave a majority of the credit for the win to veteran quarterback Tommy Thompson.[2][12]

With only five pass completions on 23 attempts for both teams, the game was completed in two hours and two minutes.[4]

Scoring summary

Sunday, December 19, 1948
Kickoff: 2 p.m. EST[8]



Statistics Philadelphia Chicago
First downs 16 5
Rushing yards 225 100
Passing yards 7 38
Passing (C–A–I) 2–12–2 3–11–1
Punts–yards 5-183 8-298
Fumbles–lost 1-1 3-2
Penalties–yards 3-17 4-33


The NFL added the fifth official, the back judge, in 1947; the line judge arrived in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.

Players' shares

The gross receipts for the game, including radio and television rights, were just under $224,000 ($2.84 million in 2023). Each player on the winning Eagles team received $1,540 ($19,529 in 2023), while each Cardinals player made $879 ($11,147 in 2023).[14][15]


Eagles' owner Lex Thompson was in the hospital for appendicitis during the game.[16] He sold the team a few weeks after this game to the Happy Hundred syndicate for $250,000,[17][18] and died six years later of a heart attack at the age of 43.[19]

The Eagles repeated as champions in 1949, winning in mud and heavy rain in Los Angeles. This 1948 game was the only time Shibe Park hosted an NFL Championship Game, as Franklin Field was the site for the Eagles' third Championship win in 1960, and they won their fourth NFL title in Super Bowl LII at Minneapolis in February 2018.

This game was the Cardinals' last appearance in any NFL Championship Game until Super Bowl XLIII in February 2009: the Cardinals had to beat the Eagles in the 2008 NFC Championship Game to reach the Super Bowl.

This game was the lowest scoring of any NFL Championship Game, the only one with only one score, and the only one to be won with a single-digit score. It remains the second-lowest scoring postseason game in NFL history, eclipsed only by the Dallas Cowboys' 5–0 win over the Detroit Lions in 1970.


  1. ^ a b "Cards given slight edge over Eagles". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 18, 1948. p. 12.
  2. ^ a b c "Cards favored over Eagles for grid crown". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. INS. December 19, 1948. p. 41.
  3. ^ a b Smith, Wilfrid (December 19, 1948). "Cards seek their second from Eagles". Chicago Sunday Tribune. p. 1, part 2.
  4. ^ a b c d e Smith, Wilfrid (December 20, 1948). "Browns win, 49-7; Eagles jar cards, 7-0". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 43.
  5. ^ Kuechle, Oliver E. (December 20, 1948). "Eagles beat Cardinals for title in snowstorm". Milwaukee Journal. p. 6, part 2.
  6. ^ "Eagles plow over Cardinals, 7-0, for National loop title". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. December 20, 1948. p. 3, part 2.
  7. ^ "1948 NFL Championship Game".
  8. ^ a b c d Biederman, Lester J. (December 20, 1948). "Eagles up, Cards down; score 7-0". Pittsburgh Press. p. 22.
  9. ^ NFL Top 10 – bad weather games. Broadcast NFL Network 27/10/08
  10. ^ "Thompson hailed as hero of new NFL champs". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. December 20, 1948. p. 18.
  11. ^ a b Sell, Jack (December 20, 1948). "Eagles beat Cardinals for title 7-0". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 18.
  12. ^ Fraley, Oscar (December 20, 1948). "Gridders are numbed in snow-driven game". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. United Press. p. 19.
  13. ^ "1948 NFL Championship" (PDF). Pro Football.
  14. ^ "Each Eagle gets $1,540.84". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. December 20, 1948. p. 18.
  15. ^ "The swag". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. December 20, 1948. p. 6, part 2.
  16. ^ "Bedridden owner of Eagles cheered by club's victory". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. December 20, 1948. p. 6, part 2.
  17. ^ "Syndicate buys Eagles for $250,000". Chicago Sunday Tribune. Associated Press. January 16, 1949. p. 1, part 2.
  18. ^ "Eagles sold to syndicate led by Clark". Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. January 16, 1949. p. 6.
  19. ^ "Thompson, 43, ex-owner of Eagles, dies". Chicago Daily Tribune. December 21, 1954. p. 4, part 3.

39°59′46″N 75°09′54″W / 39.996°N 75.165°W / 39.996; -75.165