Likely a footnote on the season, but significant in football history was the fact that Willie Thrower joined the Chicago Bears and on October 18, 1953, he broke the color barrier for quarterbacks against the San Francisco 49ers in front of 36,909 fans at Wrigley Field. The Bears finished at 3–8 in 1953 and scored 218 points while allowing their opposition to score 262. George Blanda quarterbacked all 12 games that year. Fullback Fred Morrison, the leading Bears’ ground-gainer, had 95 rushes for 307 yards and two touchdowns. Jim Dooley was the leading receiver with 53 catches for 841 yards and 4 touchdowns. For 1953, the NFL’s American Conference was renamed the Eastern Conference and the conference to which the Bears belonged, the National Conference, was renamed the Western Conference. The Western Conference existed from 1953-1966. A new team, the Baltimore Colts would be a Western Conference member and they would quickly develop into a contender. The Bears first round draft choice was defensive back Billy Anderson. Other notables drafted were Zeke Bratkowski, Larry Strickland, and Stan Jones.
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