One League Becomes Two

At the end of the NFL's regular season in 1932, the Chicago Bears and Portsmouth Spartans were tied for first place.  As a result, the two teams met for the first ever post season game in NFL history in a one game playoff to determine who was the 1932 champion.  Due to weather conditions the game was not able to be played at Wrigley Field.  It was moved indoors to be played on a modified field that was far from regulation size.  The end zones were smaller and the sidelines were butting up against the stands.  The Bears would shut out the Spartans 9 - 0, although there was some disputing over the only touchdown of the game.

This game would mark the beginning of a new era in professional football.  The following season the league was divided into two divisions in July of 1933, where the winner of each division would play one another in a championship game to determine the league champion.  Because of the cramped conditions of the 1932 championship game more rules were also set to change for the '33 season, such as the use of hashmarks as well as the placement of the goal posts.  By February of 1933 the NFL discontinued the use of the Collegiate Rules Book developing rules of their own.  One of the most significant changes was that of the forward pass.  The pass was now allowed to be made anywhere behind the scrimmage line rather than having to be five yards behind the scrimmage line.

On December 13, 1933, the Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants 23 -21 in the first official NFL Championship game.

July 28, 2010 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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