On August 9, 1957, the Chicago College All Star Game was held at Soldier Field in Chicago. Originated by the Chicago Tribune in the 1930s, the All Star Game pitted a team of the year’s most talented graduated-senior college football players against the previous season’s NFL championship team. The game was held as a showcase for the best of both the college and professional football worlds, and as a fundraiser for local charities.
Player selections for the college stars – the incoming rookies for the next professional season – were made by public ballot. In the thirties, college players were generally better than their pro counterparts, but the pro teams quickly established themselves as powerhouses to be dealt with. The public loved the competition between the college stars and the pros and the all star game drew great crowds – in 1947, a whopping 105,840 people turned out at Soldier Field to watch the college all stars defeat the Chicago Bears 16-0.
The 1957 game featured the college all stars, including John Brodie of Stanford, Jim Brown of Syracuse, and Paul Hornung of Notre Dame, against the 1956 NFL Champions, the New York Giants. As rain fell on Soldier Field, almost 75,000 fans watched an exciting game in which the lead changed several times. Giants quarterback Chuck Conerly and Brodie both demonstrated their strong passing skills, but in the end the Giants defeated the all stars, 22-12.
Image Credit: The Chicago Tribune Charities