Pivotal Pro Football Moments
1933: Hook and Ladder and Grange Win the Title
December 17, 1933 – NFL Championship Game: New York Giants @ Chicago Bears
The 25,000 fans at Wrigley Field who attended the NFL's first East-West championship game had seen a back and forth contest in which the lead changed hands five times. Coach Steve Owens' Giants had taken a 21-16 lead midway through the final period.
The Giants forced a punt on the Bears' next possession. With an opportunity to run down the clock, they couldn't move and had to punt. But Ken Strong's shanked boot traveled only 8y to the Giants 47.

L-R: Ken Strong, Keith Molesworth, Bronco Nagurski, Dale Burnett
Keith Molesworth connected with Carl Brumbaugh for nine, then Bronco Nagurski ran for four for a first down at the NY 34. That's when the Bears pulled a trick play out of their repertoire. Bronk again took the direct snap and thundered toward the line. However, he stopped short and jumped up to throw. His target was E Bill Hewitt, who was easy to spot because he was one of the few players who still refused to wear a helmet. One of the wary Giants, HB Dale Burnett, quickly came up to slam Hewitt but just before he did, Bill flipped a long lateral to E Bill Karr at the 25. The crowd watched as Billy set sail for the goal line with Strong racing across the field. Just when it looked like Ken would make the tackle short of pay dirt, Gene Ronzani took him out with a savage block. Jack Man­ders split the uprights to make it 23-21.
  The Giants should have been prepared for the "hook and ladder" play since the lowly
  Philadelphia Eagles had used it for a touchdown against them just the week before.

L: Bill Hewitt laterals to Bill Karr on the Bears' touchdown play. R: Gene Ronzani
But no one should have expected the Giants to go down without a fight. They had tried a special play on their first possession of the game. As Giant C Mel Hein remembered it in The First Fifty Years: The Story of the National Football League: "This was a play we had to alert the officials about ahead of time. We put all the linemen to my right except the left end. Then he shifted back a yard, making me end man on the line, while the wingback moved up on the line on the right. Harry Newman came right up under me, like a T-for­mation quarterback. I handed the ball to him between my legs and he immediately put it right back in my hands - the shortest forward pass on record. I was supposed to fake a block and then just stroll down the field waiting for blockers, but after a few yards I got excited and started to run, and the Bear safety, Keith Molesworth, saw me and knocked me down. I was about 15y from the goal, but we never did score on that drive." When Bears' DT George Musso tackled Newman, he bellowed, "Where the hell's the ball?" Some accounts say Hein hid the ball under his shirt.

L-R: Mel Hein, Harry Newman, Red Grange
On the first snap after the kickoff following the Bears' fourth quarter touchdown, the Giants lined up as they had earlier on Hein's hidden-ball play. However, this time New­man pitched out to Burnett. As the Bears chased him, Hein went downfield as a receiver, but swarming Bears knocked down Dale's pass. On the final snap, Newman threw to Burnett in the open field, but HB Red Grange made a game-saving play. Red recalled: "I was alone in the defense and Burnett was coming at me with somebody on the side of him [Hein]. I could see he wanted to lateral, so I didn't go low. I hit him around the ball and pinned his arms. I never did throw him."