What is the George Halas Trophy?
Outside of the NFL, the two conferences the NFC and AFC both have their own championships. Each championship has a trophy awarded at the end of each season to the winner of the games. In the NFC, they have the George Halas Trophy. It is given to the winner of the NFC championship game in the National Football League. It is also awarded to the NFL’s defensive player of the year by the Newspaper Enterprise Association.
The George Halas trophy is named after the founder and longtime owner of the Chicago Bears, George Halas. He served as his own head coach on four occasions and was lesser-known as a Major League Baseball player for the New York Yankees.
He was also one of the co-founders of the NFL (National Football League) in 1920 and in 1973 became of the first 17 inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
When is the George Halas Trophy Awarded?
The trophy is awarded to the winner of the NFC Championship, which is the annual championship for the NFC and one of the two semi-final playoff games of the NFL.
The game is played on the last Sunday in January by the two remaining playoff teams following the NFC postseasons’ first two rounds.
The NFC champion will then face the winner of the AFC Championship in the Super Bowl.
Who has won the George Halas Trophy?
Of course, there have been many winners of the George Halas Trophy, since it is awarded to every winner of the NFC Championship, which occurs every year. However, there have been some astounding moments through history that have seen the George Halas Trophy awarded in incredible circumstances, big wins vs major losses and more crazy situations.
Who doesn’t love watching the NFC Championship to see who will face who in the Super Bowl, so it is worth placing a bet on the NFC Championship.
Let’s have a look at the most historic wins in the NFC Championship that led to the award of the George Halas Trophy.
#1. Green Bay Packers Vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2021
This is an account of a George Halas Trophy that will go down in history, and not for all that good of a reason, well, not for the Packers anyway. For the fourth time since they won the Super Bowl in 2010 the Packers lost in the NFC Championship game. This time it was due to a controversial finish in a 31-26 loss to the Buccaneers.
They lost to the San Francisco 49ers in 2020, 37-20, to the Atlanta Falcons in 2017, 44-21, and again to the Seattle Seahawks in 2015, 28-22. In fact, they haven’t won an NFC Championship since 2011 when they beat the Bears 21-14. Their scores seem to always sit happily in the 20s.
While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Green Bay Packers in the 2021 Championship, the historic value of this game is more about how this was the 4th loss in a ten-year period for the Packers. Someone cut them a break, they have to get a win soon, surely!
#2. San Francisco 49ers Vs Chicago Bears, 1985.
This game is historic as it was the first-ever time that the George Halas Trophy was given to the NFC Championship winner. And boy ‘o’ boy, what a game it was. The 49ers zeroed the Bears in that NFC game on the 6th January 1985, at 23-0. An absolute slaughter, however, months later in the following October, the Bears got their revenge. However, despite their later revenge, they were never the team to win the first-ever George Halas Trophy.
We bet the 49ers are very proud of that feat! We would be!
#3 Atlanta Falcons Vs Minnesota Vikings, 1998.
This game is well renowned for ‘The Kick’. And it was one of the weirdest postseason upsets in history. The Atlanta Falcons overcame a 13 point deficit to stun the Vikings, who went 15-1 during the regular season. While ahead 27-20, Gary Anderson, who did not miss a field goal during the regular season, missed a 38-yard attempt with only 2:07 left. The Falcons used this as Chris Chandler hit Terance Mathis for the game-tying touchdown with 57 seconds left.
Minnesota was forced to punt after Randall Cunningham’s third-down pass to Randy Moss fell incomplete.
The teams exchanged punts before two Chandler completions to tight end O.J. Santiago, and two runs by Jamal Anderson set up Morton Anderson’s game-winning, jaw-dropping 38-yard kick.
The game was won on Jan 11th 1999 by the Atlanta Falcons, beating the Vikings 30-27. While it was a tight game, the kick absolutely made it, and it was one of the most astounding things the NFC saw in history that led to the George Halas Trophy.