Sid Luckman, star quarterback for Chicago Bears, dies at 81

Columbia offered no athletic scholarships, so Luckman had to work his way through college painting walls and washing dishes in his fraternity house.

An outstanding college tailback at Columbia from 1936 to 1938, he was named an All-American in 1937 and 1938.

Luckman's versatile skills and his talent and sense of the game caught the attention of the Bears' owner and coach, George Halas.

Halas was introducing the modern version of the T-formation offense — which puts emphasis on speed, deception and passing skills — and Luckman had the skills Halas needed. Luckman's mastery of the T-formation helped popularize professional football and made the Bears virtually unstoppable.

Luckman played for four championship Chicago teams in 1940, 1941, 1943 and 1946. In the 1940 title game, he led the Bears to a 73-0 rout of the Washington Redskins.

He was named the National Football League's Most Valuable Player in 1943. That year, he set a single-game record by throwing seven touchdowns against the New York Giants. In that game, he threw for 453 yards in the 56-7 trouncing, the first time a quarterback had thrown for more than 400 yards in a single game.

Luckman was named All-Pro five times — 1941 to 1944 and 1947.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965.

After 12 years in the NFL, Luckman retired and launched a successful business career in the packaging industry.