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Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Flashback: NFL's first playoff

By espnW

Chicago Stadium
Hopefully the viewing quality at the first NFL championship game was better in person than it appears to be in this photograph.

On this day in 1932, the NFL held its first championship game. The Chicago Bears, featuring legends Red Grange and Bronko Nagurski, beat the Portsmouth Spartans 9-0. Prior to the meeting, the league had determined its annual champion based on the regular-season standings. In 1932, Chicago and Portsmouth tied and the NFL was forced to have a playoff game. Wrigley Field was picked as host, but, due to severe weather conditions, the game was moved indoors to nearby Chicago Stadium. With some rule modifications in place to adapt to the narrow indoor 80-yard dirt field, the Bears won the title after scoring the game's lone touchdown on a controversial pass from Nagurski to Grange. The playoff game, which was witnessed by 11,198 fans, was so popular that the league reorganized into two divisions in 1933 and the winners have squared off for a league championship ever since. This year's game, Super Bowl XLVIII, is scheduled for Feb. 2 at New Jersey's outdoor MetLife Stadium, which features a 100-yard field and a seating capacity of 82,500.