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Harold "Red" Grange - Whirlwind Schedule

Famous Sports StarsFootballHarold "Red" Grange Biography - All-around Athlete, Coaxed To The Gridiron, Fateful Michigan Game, Chronology, Goes Out In Style - SELECTED WRITINGS BY GRANGE:

Whirlwind Schedule

Capitalizing on Grange's popularity, the Bears, with the assistance of Pyle, quickly devised a whirlwind hybrid schedule of exhibition and regular season games, during which they played nineteen games in sixty-seven days. The first ten games took place over just eighteen days in the East and Midwest. After a two week break, they played nine more games in the South and on the West Coast.

Fans proved Pyle and the Bears management good businessmen. While only 7,500 attended the last Bears game before the team acquired Grange, a standing-room-only crowd of 36,000 showed up at Cubs Park (now Wrigley Field) on Thanksgiving Day 1925 to see the Galloping Ghost debut against the Chicago Cardinals. The game itself was nothing to write home about; it ended in a 0-0 tie.

Still, Grange continued to draw record crowds. More than 65,000 came out to see him in both New York and Los Angeles. Pyle used his client's overwhelming popularity to score him several lucrative endorsement deals. In the off-season, Pyle committed Grange to numerous exhibition games and landed him two movie roles as well, in One Minute to Play and The Racing Romeo. (Grange later went on to star in his own movie serial, The Galloping Ghost.)

With an extra $125,000 in endorsements and acting fees on top of his money from the Bears, Grange returned to Wheaton a bona fide celebrity, with all the trappings. By this time, he was driving a $5,500 Lincoln and wearing a $500 raccoon coat. But Grange did not only bring material wealth home with him to Wheaton. He also arrived with numerous bruises and the exhaustion that accompanies such a rigorous schedule.

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