Now it was the last quarter, going fast, and the Bears were—what? "Not discouraged!" yelled Dooley afterward. "Our field position kept getting better and better. We were winning, don't you see?"
The Bears started on their 44. Jack Concannon was the quarterback and, Dooley said, if the receivers had not dropped so many balls you would have to say he had been having a "great day." Indeed, throwing into the seams, he completed 23 of 37 passes. Concannon moved the Bears to the Viking 36, where another of his passes was dropped, and where Carl Eller dropped Concannon hard. Concannon stumbled off the field. Nix trotted on. "I like coming in this way," he said later. "Watching from the sidelines gives me a chance to see what's going on."
On the first play Nix threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Dick Gordon. It looked as simple as it sounds. 17-10. Minnesota was unable to move. The Bears took over on the Viking 45 and kicked a 45-yard field goal to make it 17-13. Suddenly there was only a minute plus left. Chicago had the ball again, this time on the Viking 37, and somehow worried it down to the Minnesota 19. Gordon, who caught 13 touchdown passes last year to lead the NFL, lined up left. On the call he broke straight ahead, cut for the inside and, for a split second, froze Viking Safety Paul Krause. Then he turned again to the left and raced for the flag in the corner of the end zone, bare steps ahead of Krause and the other safety, Karl Kassulke. The Purple People were flailing away at the line, trying to get at Nix. As though he had been doing it every day all his life, Nix laid the ball to Gordon a step in front of the back line. Touchdown, Chicago. 20-17.
Pssst. The Purple People can be had. Pass it on.