The Washington Post
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar

Related Items
The Post's Shirley Povich

Shirley Povich Tribute

  'The Bears Happened'

By Shirley Povich
Washington Post Columnist
Monday, Dec. 9, 1940

If you're wanting to know what happened to the Redskins yesterday, maybe this will explain it: The Bears happened to 'em.

The Redskins' 73-0 defeat by a team that they had licked a month ago, doesn't add up. But there it was. It reminds us of our first breathless visit to the Grand Canyon. All we could say is: "There she is, and ain't she a beaut." When they hung up that final score at Griffith Stadium yesterday, all we could utter was: "There it is and wasn't it awful."

We're going to win one title right here — the championship for understatement — by saying that the Redskins didn't play good football yesterday. But somehow, we can't get mad at the Redskins. It was an agonizing experience for those poor fellows who probably are more angry at themselves than you or us could ever be toward them.

We saw Redskins in tears after the ball game. Some of these elder players weren't sorry for themselves. They were ashamed of the way they let their Washington fans down. They were the fellows who lived through those lean days at Boston where they were playing under sufferance, and who couldn't quite get over the friendliness and the warmth of Washington fans who tried to make big heroes of them.

We can't put in with the folks who say that the Redskins loafed and took it on the lam. They played a lot of bad football, and they were a picture of complete demoralization, but they were trying to play football, if blindly. The Bears, incidentally, are no gentle playmates.

That 73-0 score, of course, is no true comparison of the two teams. The Bears on their great day caught the Redskins on a horrible one. The Redskins, forced to gamble after they were two touchdowns behind in the first five minutes, profaned their game, and the avalanche of Bear touchdowns that followed came easy. The Bears were pouring it on a team that didn't need one or two touchdowns. The Redskins needed four by the end of the first half.

We're paying no attention to the latest telephone query from some gagster who remebers those eight passes the Bears intercepted and wants to know how far behind the line a Redskin back must stand this year before he can throw a pass to a Bear. This is no time for cracks, men, those poor fellows were suffering.

Those Bears were wonderful, weren't they? That "T" formation is really dread stuff and Coach George Halas comes pretty close to being the No. 1 offensive genius in the land. The Bears' ball-carriers were under way at full speed before they had their hands on the ball and at the rate they were galloping when they hit something, it didn't make a difference whether there was a hole in the Redskins' line or not.

All of which brings up that game of a month ago when the Bears with the same sort of system couldn't score a touchdown against the Redskins. The Redskins knew how to meet the Bears' running game that day, obviously. How come, then, they were such foils for the same attack yesterday? Pardon us, please, if we sidestep that one, beyond noting that the Redskins yesterday simply played bad football.

© Copyright 1940 The Washington Post Company

Back to the top

Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar
WP Yellow Pages