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When Football Was Football - Sports History Network EPISODE 18, 18th January 2021
George Halas Interview (in 2021)

George Halas Interview (in 2021)

When Football Is Football is part of the Sports History Network - The Headquarters For Your Favorite Sport's Yesteryear.


When you mention the name of George Halas, several things may come to mind. Born in 1895, Halas was the founder of the Chicago Bears as well as the National Football League. But he was also an outfielder for the New York Yankees and the MVP of the 1919 Rose Bowl before settling in as the owner and coach of the Bears for several decades. Halas was one person that I always wanted to meet, since his lofty stature often contains more fiction than fact due to his legendary nature. Since this gridiron legend passed away in 1983, the opportunity to personally conduct an interview session has been long gone. However, since Halas was such a legacy, he left much behind in terms of published quotations along with his esteemed autobiography simply called, Halas. So—based on what I know in 2021 (which is very little), I decided to research suitable answers to some of the key questions that I would like to ask Mr. Halas if he was around today. Please note that all of the Halas responses are drawn from his published quotations over the past 100 years. Hopefully, they will provide us with a concise viewpoint of not only George Halas, but also the very early days of the NFL itself.

 Our interview time frame begins in early 1920 and ends in 1925. By 1920, Halas had graduated from the University of Illinois, and played in the 1919 Rose Bowl with the Great Lakes Naval Training Center team. After his discharge from the service, Halas spent the summer of 1919 with the New York Yankees organization, and then completed the year with the Hammond, IN pro football team. By the spring of 1920, he was working in Chicago for the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad in the bridge design department. This prompted my first question for Mr. Halas.

Read the entire episode blog post and check out some other cool info regarding this episode here.


Each episode takes the listener back to the very early days of the National Football League. Author Joe Ziemba will share a forgotten or lost story from one of the NFL’s two oldest teams: The Bears and the Cardinals. Team championships, individual exploits, or long-buried items of interest from the earliest years of the NFL will be dusted off and resurrected for the listener. Not for the football faint-of-heart since these programs will document when the struggling Bears nearly went out of business or when Cardinals’ players earned $15 a game and were proud of it! It’s NFL history—with a twist!. See Joe's books below.

Cadets, Canons, and Legends: The Football History of Morgan Park Military Academy

When Football Was Football: The Chicago Cardinals and the Birth of the NFL