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New York Giants Relaxed and Confident in Advance of Championship Game

Dec. 27, 1963 - The New York Giants, who will battle the Bears Sunday at Wrigley Field for the NFL championship, were a relaxed and confident group as they stepped down the ramp from the chartered United airliner at Chicago’s O’Hare field. Sam Huff, the noted linebacker, was asked to comment on newspaper reports that the Bears had said they were glad they were meeting the Giants rather than the contending Pittsburgh Steelers. “So are we,” said Sam. Allie Sherman (pictured at Wrigley), the Giants’ youthful coach, comported himself with the poise of Perry Mason as his obligatory press conference. “The Bears say we have no weaknesses, and we say they have none,” Sherman said. “So, it’s a draw. Naturally, neither of these statements is true.” Sherman, a two-time loser in championship game competition, was asked what a head coach in his position does in preparing a team for such a key contest. “Well, you try to do what you can do best,” he said. “You don’t try to innovate. We’re a professional football team. Naturally, we’re thrilled to be here. But we’ve been in these things before. We’re not going to get hysterical — but we’re not going to be flat either. I anticipate no problems.” Meanwhile, commissioner Pete Rozelle, appearing at press headquarters in the Sheraton-Chicago hotel, said he was not concerned about the remote possibility of the game extending into darkness. If the score is tied at the end of the regulation playing time, league rules provide for a sudden death overtime. Wrigley Field, of course, is not equipped with lights, which prompted last week’s decision to move the start time up from 1 p.m. to noon. “We should have 4½ hours of reasonable light,” said Rozelle. “If we haven’t settled it in that time, game officials will have to decide whether it is too dark to continue.” Rozelle predicted that the expected record gross gate of nearly $1.5 million will produce a record player pool of roughly $750,000 to be divided between the Giants and the Bears. The projected gross gate does not include the league’s share of receipts from closed-circuit television, which Rozelle estimated would be between $25,000 and $50,000. The gross gate will include the following expected revenue sources: Sellout at ballpark, $500,000; NBC network television, $926,000; film rights, $25,000; and local radio (Chicago and New York), $10,000.


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