Red Grange breaking through the Chicago Cardinals defensive line, November 27, 1925.
flipFlip to Official program for Red Grange's professional debut with the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving Day, 1925.
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A game in progress with football players on a field.

Credit: Image Donated by Corbis - Bettmann

Just six days after playing his last game for the University of Illinois, Red Grange made his professional football debut for the Chicago Bears. Some 39,000 attended the Thanksgiving Day game–at a time when average attendance was about 5,000–and watched the Bears and Cardinals battle to a 0-0 tie. Over the next 18 days, the Bears played 7 games to record crowds, including more than 70,000 who showed up to see Grange and the Bears play the Giants at the Polo Grounds. The gates receipts from this game, which boasted by far the largest crowd in NFL history, were reported to have saved the Giants team from bankruptcy.

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