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1960 NFL Championship Game

The Game Before the Money Podcast discussed the last play of the 1960 NFL championship game — in Episode 44 of the football history podcast. 

Unusual Circumstances

The 1960 NFL championship game started at noon because Philadelphia’s Franklin Field didn’t have lights. The league decided to start the game earlier in case it went into overtime. The teams played in front of the largest crowd in championship game history at the time. The crowd numbered over 67,000, and since Christmas Day was on a Sunday that year, the game took place on Monday, December 26th.

For comparison, Super Bowl LVII between the Eagles and Chiefs was attended by 67,827 people. That total is only a few hundred more that what was the attendance for the 1960 NFL Championship game, 67,325. That is proof that the NFL Championship Games before the Super Bowl era were also huge events.

1960 Philadelphia Eagles

The 1960 Philadelphia Eagles were known as a tight-knit team under quarterback Norm Van Brocklin and Chuck Bednarik. Bednarik is often called the last of the “60-minute men”, men who played on both sides of the ball. Bednarik played both as a center and a linebacker.

How did Chuck Bednarik get the nickname, Concrete Charlie?

Chuck Bednarik worked a second job selling concrete, and that’s how he earned the nickname Concrete Charlie.

The Eagles lost the first game in the 1960 season at home to Cleveland, but the Eagles didn’t lose another game until Week 11 of a 12 game regular season. The Packers-Eagles matchup was a big surprise because neither team had played championship football since the 1940s.

The Packers last championship had come in the 1944 NFL Championship Game, the Packers last championship under head coach Curly Lambeau. The Eagles had last won championships in 1948 and 1949.

Packers Take the First Lead

The 1960 NFL championship game didn’t start out that well for the Eagles. Philadelphia received the opening kickoff and turned the ball over on their first play from scrimmage. The Packers couldn’t capitalize, however, and lost the ball on downs near the goal line. Philadelphia soon turned the ball over again, and the Packers kicked a field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

Last Play of the 1960 NFL Championship Game

The Eagles took a 17-13 lead late in the fourth quarter on a run by Ted Dean. Ted Dean’s long kickoff return set up that go-ahead touchdown.

The Packers then started the ensuing drive on their own 35. Bart Starr drove them to about the Eagle 20 with 10 seconds left to play in the game. Starr took the snap and fired the ball to another future Hall of Famer, Jim Taylor. Taylor caught the ball at the Eagles 15-yard line. He turned toward the goal line, and Chuck Bednarik, Concrete Charlie, lived up to his nickname and acted like a wall of concrete. He tackled Taylor and stayed on top of him. 

Bednarik watched the game clock tick down to all zeros and then jumped up in excitement. He reportedly told Jim Taylor, “You can get up now. This game is over!” That was the final play of the 1960 NFL championship game.

Don’t forget that Chuck Bednarik played the entire game. He played at center, special teams, and linebacker. And he still had the energy to make that one last play.

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Who won the 1960 NFL championship game?

The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Green Bay Packers in the 1960 NFL championship game.

Hear More on The Game Before the Money Podcast:

Looking for a great NFL history book? Check out The Game Before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL available at — Amazon.com – Barnes and Noble – University of Nebraska Press

Like sports history? Listen to The Game Before the Money Podcast! Most episodes include stories from legendary football stars.

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