Chapter 1, Page 24

Three thousand Washington fans had made it all the way to the Midwest to join 12,000 Bears fans. Robert Ruark, later renowned as the author of the novel Something of Value and other works, wrote in his Washington Daily News piece: "It was colder than nine miles in an iceberg, slippery as a Vaselined eel, and wetter than a duck's spats."

When Baugh knocked the Bears` Dick Plasman out of bounds in front of the Redskins bench, a football war broke out. Ruark: "The team arose as one Indian, and systematically commenced to separate Mr. Plasman from his hair, hide and tallow." Officials pulled apart a pile of players only to find the Washington trainer, Roy Baker, atop Plasman. "He had fastened himself to Plasman's pelt," wrote Ruark, "and apparently was trying to bite his initials into Dick's ear. In between bites he was belaboring Plasman's puss with both knotty little fists, and a luscious, iridescent mouse even then had appeared on Plasman's peeper."

The score? Washington 28, Chicago 21.

The lead kept changing. The Redskins scored first, Battles running in on a short-yardage reverse. But the Bears scored two straight touchdowns, the second one after Baugh threw an interception. Baugh also banged up his knee and sat out the end of the first half and the early minutes of the second half. Little wonder Baugh was hurt. When he was playing defensive back, Bronko Nagurski kept running right at him. "He'd just run straight up and try to knock me down and step on me," Baugh recalled. "I couldn't understand why nobody ever tried to block me out of the plays until [Bears tackle] Joe Stydahar told me after the game that they had orders not to waste a blocker on me. They didn't think it was necessary when Nagurski had the ball. If I was fool enough to try to tackle him, they figured that was my own fault."

But early in the third period Baugh limped onto the field when it became apparent that he was needed. And the first time he touched the ball he threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Millner.

The Bears plugged away and made it 21-14. But Baugh retaliated again — and one can only imagine TCU coach Dutch Meyer listening on radio, wondering whatever happened to the short pass, as Baugh slung another scoring pass to Millner on a play that covered 77 yards. Millner, a big-game player from Notre Dame, was having one of his greatest days since catching a last-minute pass from Bill (The Bard) Shakespeare to give the Irish an 18-13 victory over Ohio State in 1935, a game for the ages.

Page 24 | Next Page: 25

Other Pages in Chapter 1:
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

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Names, Numbers
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