tHE 1963 NFL CHAMPIONSHIP
December 29,1963 On a freezing winter day,the Bears win the Bears way---with the defense.
Grit savvy, and sheer brutality--those are classic Chicago traits, no matter what the endeavor, and they brought the National Football League championship to Chicago on this date, when the Bears defeated the New York Giants14-10. The Bears had not been a dominant team since the early 1940s, and there were doubts that such success would ever come their way again,given owner George Halas's tight-fisted way,s("He throws nickels around like man-hole covers," said tight end Mike Ditka) and his resistans to new offensive strategies. The Bearswould be smash-mouth or not be at all--that was the team image, and this game would epitomize it.
Led by linebackers Bill George,Joe Fortunato, AND lARRY mORRIS, ANDDEFENSIVE ENDS dOUG aTKINS AND eD O'Bradovich, the 1963 Bears held their opponents to a then-league-record-low 144 points and finished 11-1-2 to win the Western Conference, twice beating Vince Lombardi's defending champion Green Bay Packers.
By contrast, the Giants' strengh was their offense--in particular, the passing of veteran quarterback Y A Tittle. Stopping Tittle was the Bears' game plan. Some of their work was done for them--at kickoff the temperature was nine degrees at Wrigley Field, not conductive to a wide open offense--but Tittle still put the Giantd in the lead 7-0 by relying on his forte, the screen pass.
Then Larry Morris and the rest of the defense began to turn the game around. Subjected to fiece pressure throughout the day, battered even when he got the ball away, Tittle tried another screen pass toward the end of the first quarter. Morris anticipated the play, picked off the pass, and ran sixty-one yards to the Giants' five-yard line. Two plays later the game was tied.
Morris, who would be named the game,s most valuable, delivered a second, and literal, blow to the Giants a few minutes later when he broke in on Tittle and hit him in the knee with his helmet just as the quarterback threw. From this point, the gutty but limping Tittle was much less effective,the coup de grace.being delivered in the third quarter when O'Bradovich, working in concert with Fortunato, picked off another screen pass deep in Giants territory. That led to the Bears' second touchdown and give them the lead for the first time.There was no way this team was going to relenquish it.
Larry Kart Tribune reporter
Everyone who reads it be fortified and get the inspiration that YES we can and should beat the Packer,s tonight