Monday, July 9, 2012
The definition of 'cuss word' in Chicago
By Kevin Seifert
Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen offered a very solid NFC North-centric story Monday in a guest column over at SportsIllustrated.com. You don't need much set-up, other than to know Allen was present for a meeting in 1964 with Chicago Bears owner George Halas, and his coach, George Allen, who also happened to be Bruce Allen's father. Take it away, Bruce:
Of course, it would be irresponsible of me to mention NFL owners and not bring up the original -- the one and only George Halas. Halas' list of contributions to the game is endless. Beside being the leader in the formation of the NFL, his coaching accomplishments will never be surpassed. Ironically, Coach Halas taught me my first "cuss" word.
In 1964 I was sitting in the back seat of his car on the way to Bears training camp at St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana while he and my father were discussing personnel and objectives for the team. I caught him staring at me in the rear view mirror, noticing how intently I was trying to follow the conversation. He turned to me at one point and said: "That's great you want to learn about the team, I think it's time you learn your first cuss word."
After a slight pause, Halas looked at my father for approval (not that he needed it). He continued: "You can only use this word on a really bad person, someone you really hate or who did something very very bad." He then made me acknowledge that I understood, to which I responded: "Yes, Coach!" After what seemed like the longest minute ever, he turned around and said one word with an intensity that I had never seen: "PACKER." And then he added: "Don't tell your mom I told you!"
Can't make it up, huh?