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NOW THE PLAYOFF
December 24, 1956
It has been 10 years since the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, once the powers of pro football, reached the championship playoff. Now they meet again, and, though the cast has changed, the plot is more exciting than ever
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December 24, 1956

Now The Playoff

It has been 10 years since the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, once the powers of pro football, reached the championship playoff. Now they meet again, and, though the cast has changed, the plot is more exciting than ever

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When the Chicago Bears slammed the Detroit Lions into defeat 38-21 last Sunday, an old legend took new life. For this was the Bears of an early era, an era which gave them the name "Monsters of the Midway" and made the word "Bears" synonymous with the roughest football in the world. Against the Lions, the Bears asked no quarter and gave none, and the cockles of Owner George Halas' heart must have been warm indeed as he cheered his employees to the Western Conference title. The day before, the New York Giants had punched out a methodical 21-7 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles to win the Eastern Conference championship. For the Bears and the Giants, division championships ended a 10-year exile to the land of the also-rans. Time was when pro football was the Chicago Bears and the New York Giants, with an occasional rude interruption of their dual domination by the Washington Redskins or the Green Bay Packers. The inexorable mathematics of the pro draft, which gives the last-place team first pick of college seniors, cut the two teams down to size in time. The rebuilding process was long and arduous. The Giants traded first-draft choices freely for proved veterans to regain their strength; the Bears drafted very carefully, filled one chink after another in their armor. Now the teams are ready, and to old pro fans their meeting for the championship brings fond memories of Ken Strong and Bronko Nagurski, Sid Luck-man and Tuffy Leemans, Bulldog Turner and Mel Hein. The mists of time wrap the old stars with legendary prowess, but the stars of today are probably their equals in almost any department. Not only that, but the drama of a meeting between the Giants and the Bears for pro football's championship has the added flavor of a Dempsey-Tunney rematch for modern eyes.

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