I saw this story over at ESPN.com and it made me chuckle. Bruce Allen, who is the GM of the Washington Redskins, did a guest column for SI.com and talked about George “Papa Bear” Halas. When Bruce was a young lad, his father George Allen was the Bears coach, so he got to know Halas a bit. He tells this story in his column:
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!”
You see, this Bears-Packers rivalry thing is taught from a young age.