Chapter 1, Page 28

After a 16-14 loss to the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Redskins took on the hated Bears at home in the season's ninth game. Since their 1937 title game, they had played only once, but it had been an embarrassment for the Redskins: The Bears had crushed them, 31-7, in Chicago in 1938. An enraged Marshall ran down on the field once during that game, though he stayed away from Flaherty. George Halas, the Bears' owner-coach, chortled after the game in the presence of an attentive scribe: "That's too bad, girlies. I'm awfully sorry my boys were a little rough. What say we all go down to the corner for a double banana split and a fistful of chocolate eclairs? And get this, Gertrude — one more squeak out of you pantywaists and I'll lick the lot of you myself, and that goes for your boss, too."

Neither team would bend in the 1940 game, a late-season defensive struggle. Baugh twice punted more than 70 yards. The difference was an 18-yard touchdown pass from Filchock to Todd — that and an ankle tackle by Todd that stopped the Bears at the Redskins' 1-yard line. The final score was 7-3. Marshall acted as if the score had been 70-3 or something. "The Bears are a team that folds under pressure in the second half against a good team," he said. "If they come here to play us in the championship game, they'll have to win by a big score or they won't win at all."

When the rematch was set for the championship, Marshall continued his tirades. Baugh wished Marshall would shut up. "I never played against a poor Bears team," Baugh recalled. "I always thought they had the toughest damn defense in the league. Day in and day out, they were the best team when I was up there. We never had any game with them that was easy. Any time we went up against them we got two or three boys hurt.

"We're getting ready to play the championship game, and Mr. Marshall called them crybabies. That's the way to get a team ready for you; you don't want to say things like that. A lot of the boys hated that. They hated what Mr. Marshall was putting out."

Marshall didn't have to say anything anymore to fill the stadium. As Flaherty noted before the 1940 title game, "We could sell 100,000 tickets." So it wasn't hype that Marshall was spewing — it was malice. To know fully the kind of man he was, people would have to wait until after his death in 1969. It was well known that he was the last in the NFL to integrate his team, and he did so only because he no longer had any choice. His will further documented his meanness. It called for funds from his estate to go for child welfare programs, but attached this stipulation: "Said corporation shall never use, contribute or apply its money or property for any purpose which supports or employs the principle of racial integration in any form . . ."

Page 28 | Next Page: 29

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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