Trisha Shetty (Editor)

1948 NFL Championship Game

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Referee  Ronald Gibbs
Champion  Philadelphia Eagles
Location  Shibe Park
Announcers  Harry Wismer, Red Grange
Network  ABC
Date  19 December 1948
Stadium  Shibe Park
1948 NFL Championship Game goldenrankingscomFootball20Pictures202NFL20C
Attendance  36,309 (paid),   28,864 (actual)
Similar  1949 NFL Championship Game, 1960 NFL Championship Game, 1947 NFL Championship Game, 1945 NFL Championship Game, 1941 NFL Championship Game

The 1948 National Football League Championship game was the 16th NFL title game, played at Shibe Park in Philadelphia on December 19.


The game was a rematch of the previous year's title game between the defending champion Chicago Cardinals (11–1), champions of the Western Division and the Philadelphia Eagles (9–2–1), champions of the Eastern Division. The Cardinals were slight favorites, at 3½ points.

It was the first NFL championship game to be televised and due to heavy snowfall, the grounds crew needed the help of players from both teams to remove the tarp from the field. The opening kickoff was delayed a half-hour until 2 p.m., and three extra officials were called into service to assist with out-of-bounds calls. The stadium lights were on for the entire game.

The Eagles won their first NFL title with a 7–0 win; it was the first title for Philadelphia since 1926, when the Frankford Yellow Jackets won the league title, seven years prior to the introduction of the championship game.

Game summary

The game (also known as the Philly Blizzard) was played in Philadelphia during a significant snowstorm. Bert Bell, the NFL commissioner (and former Eagles owner), had considered postponing the game, but the players for both teams wanted to play the game. The snow began at daybreak and by kickoff the accumulation was 4 inches (10 cm) at a temperature of 27 °F (−3 °C). The paid attendance for the game was 36,309, but the actual turnout at Shibe Park was 28,864.

It was a scoreless game until early in the fourth quarter when, after Chicago had fumbled in their own end of the field, the Eagles recovered the fumble that set up Steve Van Buren's five yard touchdown at 1:05 into the fourth quarter. The game ended with the Eagles deep in Chicago territory. Eagles head coach Greasy Neale gave a majority of the credit for the win to veteran quarterback Tommy Thompson.

With only five pass completions on 23 attempts for both teams, the game was completed in two hours and two minutes.

Scoring summary

Sunday, December 19, 1948
Kickoff: 2 p.m. EST

  • First quarter
  • no scoring
  • Second quarter
  • no scoring
  • Third quarter
  • no scoring
  • Fourth quarter
  • PHI – Steve Van Buren 5-yard run (Cliff Patton kick), 7–0 PHI
  • Officials

    The NFL added the fifth official, the back judge, in 1947; the line judge arrived in 1965, and the side judge in 1978.

    Players' shares

    The gross receipts for the game, including radio and television rights, were just under $224,000. Each player on the winning Eagles team received $1,540, while Cardinals players made $879 each.


    Eagles' owner Lex Thompson, 37, was in the hospital for appendicitis during the game. He sold the team a few weeks after this game to the Happy Hundred syndicate for $250,000, and died six years later of a heart attack.

    The Eagles repeated as champions in 1949, winning in the mud and rain in Los Angeles. This game in 1948 was the only time Shibe Park hosted an NFL title game; Franklin Field was the site for the Eagles' third title win in 1960, the franchise's most recent NFL championship.

    This game was the Cardinals' last appearance in any NFL Championship game for over sixty years, until Super Bowl XLIII in February 2009. The Cardinals had to beat the Eagles in the 2008 NFC Championship Game to get to the Super Bowl.


  • You Tube – 1948 NFL Championship Game – highlight film
  • References

    1948 NFL Championship Game Wikipedia