Chet Bulger, 91, of Chicago Cardinals’ 1947 Title Team, Dies
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Backfielders and linemen from the Chicago Cardinals football team. Chet Bulger is third from the right.
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Chet Bulger, a top lineman on the last Cardinals team to win the N.F.L. championship, died Thursday. He was 91.
His death was confirmed by the De La Salle Institute, the school in Chicago where he coached and taught for three decades.
Bulger played in the N.F.L. from 1942 to 1950, starting with the Chicago Cardinals and spending his final season with the Detroit Lions. In 1947, he helped the Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 28-21, for the N.F.L. championship. The Cardinals lost the 1948 title game to the Eagles, 7-0, then did not play for the championship again until reaching this year’s Super Bowl.
“I’m still a Cardinal, always a Cardinal,” Bulger told The Associated Press in a telephone interview a few days before the Super Bowl. “I can’t see too well anymore, but I’m going to get up real close to the TV to watch that game. Maybe we’ll win that Super Bowl. Wouldn’t that be something?”
The Arizona Cardinals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-23.
Bulger was born in Maine and went to Auburn as a track star. He walked on to the university’s football team and later joined the Cardinals. In 1944, the Cardinals and the Steelers merged their franchises for one year, splitting home games in Chicago and Pittsburgh. The combined team went 0-10, and drew the nickname of the Car-Pitts — as in, every opponent walked right over them.
“We were terrible,” Bulger said last month. “You’d get beat so bad, you’d cry.”
Bulger scored seven points in his N.F.L. career, kicking an extra point in 1943 and returning a fumble for a touchdown in 1945.
Bulger stayed in Chicago after his playing days and taught and coached at De La Salle, where he stayed through 1982. He became the athletic director, and the school named its main athletic field for him. In later years, he helped raise money for De La Salle.