Chicago College All-Star Game

Chicago College All-Star Game

Chicago College All-Star Game

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The Chicago Charities College All-Star Game was a preseason American football game played annually (except in 1974) from 1934 to 1976 between the National Football League champions and a team of star college seniors from the previous year. After the Super Bowl began, including the two seasons prior to the NFL/AFL merger, the Super Bowl winner was the professional team involved, regardless of which league the team represented. Thus, the New York Jets played in the 1969 event, although still an AFL team. The 1935 game involved the 1934 runner up Chicago Bears instead of the 1934 champions New York Giants.

The game was the idea of Arch Ward, the sports editor of the Chicago Tribune and the driving force behind the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The game originally was a benefit for Chicago-area charities and was always played at Soldier Field in Chicago or at Northwestern University's Dyche Stadium in Evanston, Illinois (1943 and 1944). The Chicago game was one of several "pro vs. rookie" college all-star games held across the United States in its early years; Chicago's game had the benefit of being the highest profile, with the Super Bowl champions facing off against the best college graduates from across the country (as opposed to the regional games that were held elsewhere). Because of this, the game survived far longer than its contemporaries.

The first game, played before a crowd of 79,432 on August 31, 1934, was a scoreless tie between the all-stars and the...
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