1933 Chicago Bears and the short film "Pro Football"

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1933 Chicago Bears and the short film "Pro Football"

Post  King Tiger on Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:47 am

Turner Classic Movies recently aired a short film shot in early 1934 called "Pro Football."

The film began shooting in January of 1934, but the Bears are wearing their 1934 uniforms with the white helmet. The problem is that these white helmets are clearly play-beaten and definitely not newly issued helmets. The 1933 Chicago Bears did not wear white helmets, according to this website.

In the film, the Bears are wearing the 1934 uniforms with the white helmets, white jerseys, dark blue numerals and tan pants. The 1933 Bears wore only blue helmets and their white jerseys had orange numerals.

My point is this: are we sure that the 1933 Bears did not have white helmets? The white helmets in these January 1934 pictures sure look beat up and well-worn -- like they HAD been used by the 1933 Bears.

It's true that this January 1934 film showed the Bears with the 1934 helmets, jerseys and pants, but, the jerseys and pants don't have wear and tear like the white helmets, which should be newly issued, unless the Bears wore white helmets in 1933 as well as 1934.

King Tiger

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Re: 1933 Chicago Bears and the short film "Pro Football"

Post  timmyb on Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:40 pm

King Tiger,

First off, welcome to the GUD.

As for the clip you saw on TCM, we have done substantial research of the Bears courtesy of the Chicago Tribune archives. All available indications are that the Bears wore navy helmets in 1933. As well, when the Bears wore white jerseys during the 1934 season, the helmets worn were white.

It is very possible that the Bears - who like other teams in the era - likely wore white helmets for non-NFL games. Such as scrimmages, barnstorming trips, and the like.

A well known pic of Bronko Nagurski from this era shows him in action wearing a white helmet as he slams into the line. This shot was taken against a team with the game played in Los Angeles on a west coast tour the Bears made.

This type of game could explain why the Bears white helmets had that weathered look you describe in your post.

Hope this helps!


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