Nov. 24, 1963: Bears, Steelers play to 17-17 tie

Written by Dan Gigler on .

In researching something else altogether, I came across this quasi-historical footnote: the Steelers hosted the Bears, their opponent this weekend, on Sunday, November 24, 1963, two days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. 

Although there was no drop in attendance, the NFL was roundly criticized for playing games that Sunday -- Pete Rozelle called it the biggest mistake of his career -- and that memory lingered and influenced the obvious decision to suspend games in the weekend following September 11, 2001.

Nonetheless, the games went on that Sunday. Here is the Post-Gazette's account of the game (and the jump page) along with some photographs unearthed around the web, plus an AP story from the same day about criticism of the NFL having played the games

bears steelers coin tossOpening coin toss.

chi-bears jfkBears players bow their heads in respect.  

ditka chi-bears29action1-19631101Mike Ditka makes a catch for Chicago.

dick hoakDick Hoak runs over Doug Atkins.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.