Today marks the 70th anniversary of the 1941 championship game between the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants. Before the Super Bowl was established in 1967, the NFL championship game was simply called the NFL Championship. So on December 21st, 1941, just 2 weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Western Division Champion Bears and the Eastern Division Champion Giants faced off at Wrigley Field to decide the NFL Championship.
In front of a home crowd of 13,341 fans, the “Monsters of Midway” Bears would defeat the Giants by a score of 37-9. The victory would be the Bears’ 2nd consecutive NFL Championship and the second of four championships in six years. Aside from starting a Bears dynasty, a fun fact also came out of this championship game. When Bears kicker Ray McLean kicked the final extra point of the 4th quarter, he became the last player in NFL history to drop kick an extra point in the postseason (Doug Flutie drop kicked an extra point in 2005, but it was in the regular season).
Lawrence Julius Taylor, nicknamed L.T., was born on February 4, 1959 in Williamsburg, VA. Taylor played college football for the University of North Carolina. In 1981, he was the first-round draft pick of the New York Giants, and the second player selected overall. That same year, he was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Taylor was named first-team All-Pro in each of his first nine seasons. He continued to play for the Giants until 1993. Taylor produced double-digit sacks each season from 1984 through 1990, including a career high of 20.5 in 1986. He also won a record three Defensive Player of the Year awards (1981, 1982, 1986) and was named the league's Most Valuable Player for his performance during the 1986 season, becoming the first defensive player to do so since 1971. He was selected to play in 10 Pro Bowls and in 1994 was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1999.
Taylor is also known for being responsible for the career-ending sack to Redskin’s Joe Theismann in 1985. Theismann never blamed Taylor for his injury. The two remain friends and have appeared together on numerous celebrity golf tournaments. “Lawrence Taylor, defensively, has had as big an impact as any player I've ever seen. He changed the way defense is played, the way pass-rushing is played, the way linebackers play and the way offenses block linebackers.” –John Madden.
February 4, 2010 | E-mail | Comments
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