|Date||December 18, 1949|
|Stadium||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, |
Los Angeles, California
|Attendance||27,980 (paid); 22,245 (actual)|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Harry Wismer, Red Grange|
The 1949 NFL Championship Game was the 17th title game for the National Football League (NFL), played on December 18 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. It is remembered for the driving rain that caused the field to become a mud pit. Its paid attendance was 27,980, with only 22,245 in the stadium.
The game featured the Eastern Division champion Philadelphia Eagles (11–1), the defending NFL champions, against the Los Angeles Rams (8–2–2), winners of the Western Division. This was the first NFL title game played in the western United States. The Rams had last appeared in a title game in 1945, a victory and the franchise's final game in Cleveland.
The Eagles were favored by a touchdown, and won 14–0 for their second consecutive shutout in the title game. Running back Steve Van Buren rushed for 196 yards on 31 carries for the Eagles and their defense held the Rams to just 21 yards on the ground.
Philadelphia head coach Earle "Greasy" Neale did not like to fly, so the Eagles traveled to the West Coast by train. On the way west, they stopped in Illinois for a workout at Stagg Field at the University of Chicago on Wednesday morning.
Sunday, December 18, 1949
Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. PST
The NFL added the fifth official, the back judge, in 1947; the line judge arrived in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.
The Eagles players earned $1,090 each and the Rams got $789, about one-third of what was expected with fair weather. Anticipating 70,000 or more in attendance and a large payoff from the gate, the players and owners wanted to postpone the game for a week, but were overridden by Commissioner Bert Bell, reached at home in Philadelphia.
Ticket prices were five dollars between the goal lines and $3.60 elsewhere.
This was the first NFL game which was broadcast on television, although only on the West Coast, under the auspices of Bell. The traditional 60–40 player bonus for playing in a championship game was augmented by $14,000 (presently, $159,443) from the NFL. Although sources are unclear, a source writes the NFL received $20,000 (presently, $227,776) from the broadcasting rights.