The first truly comprehensive biography on George Halas, the father of professional football
The founder of the National Football League and father of the Chicago Bears, George Halas single-handedly changed the way Americans spend their Sundays. Papa Bear tells the incredible story of how one man grabbed an outlaw game by the throat, shook it up, and made it into the richest and most popular spectator sport on the planet.
Nearly 20 years after his death, Halas remains one of the towering figures of professional sports--rivaling the legendary Vince Lombardi--yet there has never been an authoritative biography published about this great American success story. At last, Papa Bear fills that gap. Written with unprecedented access to Halas's family, his closest friends, and associates, this thoroughly researched account includes exclusive interviews and a treasure trove of never-published archival materials on the Hall of Famer and his enduring legacy.
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Go deep--into the legend of George Halas in this eye-opening biography about the father of pro football
"Once a Bear, always a Bear. I'm a Bear to this day. The Monsters of the Midway get in your blood. The reflection of the Bears, starting with Coach Halas, is still there. It was initiated by him and it was so forceful that it's never gotten away."
--Harlon Hill, receiver, 1954-62
The founder of the National Football League and creator of the mighty and feared Chicago Bears, Hall of Famer George Halas single-handedly changed the way we spend our Sundays. He worked night and day, year after year, to make his game America's national pastime.
The son of immigrants, George Halas did not get the name "Papa Bear" because he was loveable and cuddly. He was the original grizzly. Raised on the hardscrabble streets of Chicago's lower west side, sentiment was for softies. He was a hard coach who cast his beloved Bears in his own image: proud, defiant, and tough as nails. For 40 seasons he stood alone on the sidelines, a commanding figure under the shadow of a gray fedora, driving his team to eight NFL championships and 324 victories, more wins than any other coach in his lifetime. Halas was so identified with Chicago and the Bears that people tended to forget who he really was, if indeed they knew him at all.
Today, nearly 20 years after his death, Halas remains one of the towering legends of professional sports--rivaling Vince Lombardi--yet there has never been an authoritative biography published about this great American sports hero. Until now. Refreshing and revealing, Papa Bear delivers the full-fledged, no-holds-barred story of the mystery and the man who made pro football America's secular religion.
Through exclusive interviews with Halas's closest friends and associates, author Jeff Davis gained unprecedented access to the man behind the myth. For the first time, in this vivid and thoroughly researched account, the people in Halas's life talk openly about the man they knew--his intrigues, his dealings, his duplicity, and his powerful impact on all of them. Featuring personal interviews with friends, NFL executives, sportswriters, rivals, and unforgettable players and coaches such as Dick Butkus, Jim McMahon, and Mike Ditka, Papa Bear sheds light on both the sinner and the saint who was George Halas, providing a multidimensional portrait of pro football's legendary pioneer.
"George Halas was not a god. He was bigger than a god. Jeff Davis gives us the complex man who inspired awe, and who provided gales of Windy City laughter!"
--Bill Gleason, retired Chicago Sun-Times and Herald-American columnist
" With Papa Bear, Jeff Davis is the first writer to truly capture the larger-than-life saga of football's most epic figure, George Halas, in all his crackling, electrifying presence."
--Peter Gent, former NFL player and author of North Dallas Forty
"In one of George Halas's last official acts, he named me general manager of his beloved Bears. During the 11 years that I worked for him, we developed a very close professional and personal relationship. Jeff's book captures the unique essence of this great man in infinite detail."
--Jerry Vainisi, former Chicago Bears general manager
"Here's one of the founders as head coach. You can bet I listened to everything he said. . . . It was like being a private in the army and having Dwight Eisenhower tell you what to do. He was it."
--Mike Pyle, co-captain of the 1963 Bears championship team, on his first training camp under Halas
"Halas is the greatest name in the history of this game. He's number one on top. No question. He is the father of professional football."
--Paul Hornung, Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer
"Though he exposes some warts, Jeff Davis cannot suppress his admiration and respect for the man who founded the industry that grips 100-million Americans on Super Bowl Sunday."
--Bill Jauss, Chicago Tribune
Granted unprecedented access to Halas's closest friends and associates, author Jeff Davis weaves together exclusive interviews and meticulous research to tell the incredible story of how one man grabbed an outlaw game by the throat, shook it up, and made it into the most popular spectator sport on the planet.About the Author:
Jeff Davis is a lifelong Chicagoan and career journalist. He has covered network and local news and sports for more than three decades as a writer, television sports producer, and reporter. His work has earned numerous honors, including five Emmys. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.
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