When It Was A Game: The Death Of the Chicago College All-Star Game

For 40 years starting in 1934, the National Football League Champions faced a team of college All-Star seniors from the previous season during an exhibition game called the Chicago College All-Star Game. As one can only imagine, the NFL champions routinely beat the College All-Stars, who only won nine of the 42 contests. Former Bengals quarterback Greg Cook was awarded the MVP for the College All-Stars in 1969 (note: The MVP award was only awarded to the College All-Stars).

In 1976 the Pittsburgh Steelers, Super Bowl X Champions, were beating the College All-Stars 24-0 with 1:22 left in the third quarter when the game was delayed after a torrential rainstorm hit Soldier Field. Thousands among the 52,895 at the game poured onto the field and pulled down the goalposts. The game was called after ushers and police were unable to clear the field.

This would be the last time the midsummer game would be played when Chicago Tribute Charities, Inc. discontinued sponsorship of the event because of "increasing expenses reflected in insurance costs" that doubled because of "high player salaries."

"The College All-Star game played a major role in promoting the growth of the National Football League," Commissioner Pete Rozelle commented. "I regret it is no longer practical economically for Chicago Tribute Charities to sponsor it."

The game raised nearly $4 million for charity dating back 1934 when it was created by Arch Ward, the sports editor of the Chicago Tribute.

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