Beloved Chicago Bears head coach and owner George Stanley Halas (1895-1983), "Papa Bear," was born on this day in Chicago, Illinois.
A man with vision and purpose, Halas once said: "Many people flounder about in life because they do not have a purpose, an objective toward which to work."
He graduated from University of Illinois, served in the military during both World War I and World War II and, played major league baseball with the New York Yankees. He was "replaced" in right field by Babe Ruth.
In 1921, Halas moved his Bears football team to Chicago, which laid the foundation for the establishment and growth of the National Football League. He was tough, crafty, and competitive. His teams celebrated their tenacity like a badge of courage.
"At least 80 percent of the success of the football team is determined by the fight and spirit that they put into their play," Halas said.
With assistant coach Clark Shaughnessy, Halas was a master with the T formation, a simple set-up lining three backs in a row behind the quarterback who then takes the snap directly from center. Rather than wait for the ball, running backs hit the holes quickly, and Halas used the potent play to steamroll over every opponent.
Coach to Red Grange, Sid Luckman, George McAfee, Gale Sayers, and other greats, in his amazing 40 seasons as a coach, he won a record 321 regular-season games, seven NFL championships, and four division titles. "Nothing is work unless you'd rather be doing something else," he said.
After his death, the Bears added his initials "GSH" to the left sleeve of their jerseys to honor the iconic Halas. The NFC Championship trophy bears his name. And the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, can be found on George Halas Drive.
He said, "If you live long enough, lots of nice things happen.”
More FOOTBALL Quotations
Give it all you've got.