NFL News of March 31, 2003

George Moose Connor

One of the greatest of the two-way pro football players, George Connor made his mark wherever he lined up.

All-NFL at offensive and defensive tackle, Connor became the first of the big, mobile linebackers when the Bears needed the 6-foot-3-inch, 240-pounder to stop the sweeps of Philadelphia’s great running back, Steve Van Buren, in the late 1940s. Connor stayed at linebacker, defining the position for future generations of Bears greats, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1975.

A lifelong Chicagoan, Connor died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on Monday after a long illness. He was 78.

Connor, nicknamed “Moose,” was the consummate Chicago football hero. After starring at De La Salle, Holy Cross and Notre Dame, he insisted he play pro football for the Bears, forcing the old Boston Yanks to trade him.

Connor was an All-American at Holy Cross before World War II interrupted his college career. When he returned, he made All-American twice on two undefeated Notre Dame teams. In 1946, he was the winner of the first Outland Trophy awarded to the nation’s top lineman.

— Don Pierson, The Chicago Tribune “Two-way star George `Moose’ Connor dead at 78″

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