HALAS BY HALAS by George with Gwen Morgan & Arthur Veysey Halas


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If anyone could tell the inside story of pro football, George Halas could. Unfortunately, he hasn't. One of the founders of the NFL in 1920 (as the APFA, first), Halas played for the Chicago Bears for ten years, coached them for 40, and owned them for 50 years--he is in the Hall of Fame in each capacity. But he's only routinely informative on the game or himself, except in the early years. After playing briefly with the New York Yankees, Halas was hired by the Staley Cornstarch Company to coach the football team that became the Bears. Most of the teams, based in small towns, were unstable; but with the coming of stars like Red Grange, Jim Thorpe, and Bronco Nagurski, action gravitated toward the cities and Halas moved from Decatur to Chicago. His contributions to the game included codification of the rules, upgrading of officials, sharing the college draft and the TV money pool, and development of the modern ""T"" formation with a man in motion. But his account of the Bears' seasons is a tedious list of scores and profits--interspersed with homilies, exclamation marks, and an occasional good anecdote. Despite the pedestrian narrative (he describes his mother as ""a saint"" and his response to good fortune as ""thank you, oh thank you!"") Halas' character as a coach does come across. Above all he valued ""the great desire, mental heat, the old zipperoo."" For veteran fans, that and his stellar record may be enough.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1979
Publisher: McGraw-Hill