CIN (21) @ CHI (24)
MIN (30) @ CHI (31)
CHI (40) @ PIT (23)
CHI (32) @ DET (40)
NO (26) @ CHI (18)
NYG (21) @ CHI (27)
CHI (41) @ WAS (45)
GB (20) @ CHI (27)
DET (21) @ CHI (19)
BAL (20) @ CHI (23)
STL (42) @ CHI (21)
CHI (20) @ MIN (23)
On December 12, 1965, the Bears 22-year-old rookie running back, Gale Sayers, tied an NFL record by scoring six touchdowns in a single game against the San Francisco 49ers at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL. Sayers would overcome muddy field conditions to accomplish this monumental feat, while his six scores would be comprised of four rushing TDs, one receiving TD and one punt return for a TD.
At that time, it was well-known around the league what the Bears wanted to do on offense…which was run the ball all day long. Because of this, the 49ers came up with a special defense specifically centered on stopping Gale Sayers which of course, had no effect.
"This sounds ridiculous, I know," said former Bears teammate and All-Pro wide receiver, Johnny Morris, "but he could cut in midair, so he was as good on a muddy field as a dry one. When you run downfield and cut, you`ve got to plant your foot and push off, but what Gale could do was turn his hip as he was in the air, turn his right foot over his left and he`d change direction."
Sayers started off his scoring binge in the first quarter with an 80-yard pass reception thrown by Bears QB Rudy Bukich. His second and third TDs would come in the second quarter on 21- and 7-yard rushes, while the third quarter would see his TD total rise to five with another two touchdown runs of 1 and 50 yards. Sayers capped off his record-tying day with an 85-yard punt return as the Chicago Bears went on to win the game 61-20.
Other Bears players who took part in that game would recount two other touchdowns Sayers could have scored had he not slipped on one and had Coach George Halas not replaced him with backup RB Jon Arnett for the other, but fate would leave him tied for the record in one of the greatest performances ever by a running back.
The other two players in NFL history to accomplish this feat were Ernie Nevers of the Chicago Cardinals in 1929 and Dub Jones of the Cleveland Browns in 1951.
Walter Payton is without a doubt one of the most beloved and accomplished players in the history of the NFL, but his name didn’t just magically appear in the record books—nor did he swindle his way into the hearts of his admirers. It took infinite hours heaped upon days and years filled with hard work and determination to become who he was. A special kind of dedication found solely in the rarest of individuals—a courage and resolve which were never more evident than in what was considered a legendary part of his off-season training routine: Climbing ‘the hill’.
What is now known as “Payton’s Hill” is a landfill site some 92-feet high located at Nickol Knoll in Arlington Heights, Illinois, about 26 miles outside of Chicago. Here, Payton would push his body to the limits sprinting up and down the 45-degree inclined hill sometimes 20 times a day. When most players might be found weight-lifting in a cozy gym or using the comforts of a smooth track to train aerobically, Payton preferred a more archaic type of workout consisting of whatever earthly obstacles he could find.
Scaling up and down the steep hill was a grueling activity that worked both his quads and glutes, with each being among the particular muscle groups needed to perform various explosive movements. This exhausting exercise would also do well to increase his both his strength and stamina, two traits Walter would certainly be remembered for during his playing career. As a result, the Bears Hall-of-Famer would miss just one game in 13 years and this with being one of the most punishing running backs ever to play the game.
"If I'm going to get hit," Payton said, "why let the guy who's going to hit me get the easiest and best shot? I explode into the guy who's trying to tackle me."
Walter Payton will be remembered for a great many things both on and off the playing field, not the least of which will be the superhuman efforts he displayed in his “Workout on the Hill”.
The Chicago Bears may be the longest-running franchise in the NFL, but weren’t always the Chicago Bears. In fact, when the team was first established way back in 1920, they weren’t even based out of Chicago!
In 1919, the general superintendent of the A.E. Staley Company, George Chamberlain, and its Fellowship Club put together a football team that had done very well against the competition surrounding the Decatur, IL area, which is where the company was based. Wanting more, Mr. Chamberlain decided to hire George Halas and Edward "Dutch" Sternaman as coaches to see how his team would stack up against the best semi-pro and industrial teams in the country. The original name of this team was called the Decatur Staleys; though they would go on to change their name to the Chicago Staleys in 1921 when they relocated to Chicago.
George Halas and Edward Sternaman would then purchase the club from Staley in 1921 for a whopping price of $100, at which point they changed the name to what it is today; the Chicago Bears.
The Bears had two different mascots—“Rocky” and “Bearman”—from the 1970s through the beginning of the 2000s, but in 2003, the Bears changed their official mascot to “Staley Da Bear” in order to honor those who originally founded the Bears franchise.
Please visit our partner site Heritage Sports Art by clicking here, Scott's framed art pieces are an amazing gift for any sports fan!
Contrary to popular belief, the idea for the “Super Bowl Shuffle” did not, in fact, come from any of the Chicago Bears players on the 1985-86 Super Bowl winning team. It came from a regular Bears fan named Richard Meyer, who then wrote, produced, and choreographed the now-famous rap song just weeks before. The Chicago players (listed here) who participated in the song were hesitant to get in on the act at first, but were glad they did so in the end as the song made over $300,000 in profits, which was then donated to needy families in the Chicago-land area.
The “Super Bowl Shuffle” was not the first song created by a professional sports team (and certainly not the last), but is definitely considered to be the most famous as it not only sold over 500,000 copies, but also reached as high as No. 41 on the music charts and actually received a Grammy Award nomination.
You can see the Super Bowl Shuffle lyrics by clicking here.
As it turned out, five future Hall of Famers would be taken in the 1965 NFL Draft, with two of those players being chosen with back-to-back picks in the first round by the Chicago Bears.
Those players were none other than Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers.
Butkus, who grew up on the south side of Chicago, was a two-time All-American linebacker taken with the third pick out of the University of Illinois. His impact would be felt immediately, both around the league and on his own team as he led the Bears in tackles, interceptions, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries during his first season as a pro. In addition, he would quickly become known as “The Most Feared Man in the Game”, as Sports Illustrated would make clear by displaying his mug on their cover with that precise caption.
At a playing weight of 6’3”, 245-pounds, Butkus was unquestionably the most ferocious and intimidating player in the league who self-admittedly would just as soon try to take an opposing players head off as tackle him. As a result of his on-field savagery during his nine-year career, Butkus was selected to the Pro Bowl eight times while making the All-Pro team six times.
Although his relationship with George Halas and the Bears became strained after his career was cut short in 1973 due to multiple knee surgeries (Butkus claimed the Bears continued to play him even when they knew he needed knee surgery), they would eventually mend fences when Butkus took over as a color analyst for the Bears during radio broadcasts in 1985. His post-football career also included many appearances in various TV shows and commercials, as well as cameo roles in movies such as Necessary Roughness, Any Given Sunday and Johnny Dangerously.
Gale Sayers, the second of those back-to-back first round picks, was also a two-time All-American in college and taken with the fourth pick out of the University of Kansas. Known as “The Kansas Comet”, Sayers, too, would leave an immediate mark on both the NFL and his own team setting multiple records during his first season in the league. One of those records was his rookie total of 22 touchdowns (14 rushing, six receiving, one punt return, one kickoff return), while another would be his incredible performance of six TDs in a single game against the San Francisco 49ers. He also had 2,272 all-purpose yards that season, a record that would eventually be broken by numerous others, including himself the very next season. Needless to say, Sayers was the unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year.
Like Butkus, Sayers’ career was cut extremely short due to multiple knee injuries. Though he would end up playing just 68 games in his entire career over seven years (just four complete seasons), Gale is generally recognized by all those within the sport as one of the top 25 players to ever play the game. He is still the youngest player ever to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as he was enshrined in 1977 at the ripe young age of 34.
His dear friendship with fellow running back and teammate Brian Piccolo, and Piccolo’s coinciding battle with testicular cancer (embryonal cell carcinoma), led to the making of the movie Brian’s Song, which was more or less fashioned from Sayers’ autobiography, I Am Third, which he wrote in 1971.
Butkus (#51) and Sayers (#40) will forever be linked in the hearts of Chicagoans as each had their numbers retired by the Bears during a Monday night game against the Green Bay Packers in 1994
The other three Hall of Famers to be taken in the 1965 NFL Draft were quarterback “Broadway” Joe Namath (first round, 12th pick), wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff (third round, 39th pick) and Chris “The Hangman” Hanburger, a linebacker who was known for his love of the clothesline tackle (18th round, 245th pick).
Click here to download this awesome image by David T.
Walter Payton is a very important person to me and the two partners that I started Pyromaniac.com with. First off, we are all from Chicago and are old enough (37) to be actively a part of Payton's entire career. I suppose we were only 3 when he was drafted, but I'd swear to Mary Magdalene I was wearing #34 Bears paraphernalia when I first learned to use something other than a diaper. Walter Payton was the biggest star Chicago sports had seen before Jordan showed up and change the world. He was a mega star. Our fantasy league's trophy is called the Payton Award, named of course after our childhood hero. Flat out, our blood runs hyper deep for "Sweetness".
11 years ago, Walter Payton died while battling a liver disease and waiting on the organ donor transplant list for a shot at extending his blessed life, a wish that never came to fruition. The greatest running back in the history of the NFL would have been 56 years old today if he were still alive. This post is meant to briefly honor Walter, a humble, sweet and tender workhorse, but we also want to deliver a strong message to people to become organ donors so people can live on with our organs if god forbid something were to happen to any of us. At least allow something positive to come out of our passing. Sounds weird to type, ones own mortalty… that is for sure. But a positive from a negative is a good way to go out.
My father, Greg Noonan, had a liver and a heart transplant on Nov. 29th 2001, so I know first hand how important organ donor awareness is, and how amazing today's technology is in keeping people alive wth other living and deceased people's vital organs. My dad lived another 6 years after his "double dip" procedure, and every extra moment with him was cherished to say the least.
Last season we printed a limited run of 85 (in honor of the 1985 Monsters of the Midway) splendid silkscreened posters of Walter "Sweetness" Payton to try to promote organ donor awareness. We still have some of these posters left, and they are on sale in our store by clicking here:
Buy this limited run Walter Payton silscreened poster (86 of these were made) by clicking here.
If you haven't made yourself a organ donor yet, you can easily do so by going to your State's donate life site here:
Please click on the "commit to donation" button! At some point, hopefully far off in the future you could save someone else's life. Which is a pretty amazing thing to achieve!
Brett Favre compiled 253 consecutive regular-season starts as quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, a streak which began on Sept. 27, 1992 and ended on Dec. 30, 2007. The streak would grow to 297 as he moved on to play for both the New York Jets (2008) and Minnesota Vikings (2009-10), but during his years with Packers, the Bears made their way through 21 different starting quarterbacks—the most in the league during that time period.
Those 21 Bears quarterbacks are listed below (in alphabetical order):
Henry Burris, Chris Chandler, Will Furrer, Brian Griese, Rex Grossman, Jim Harbaugh, Chad Hutchinson, Erik Kramer, Craig Krenzel, Dave Krieg, Shane Matthews, Cade McNown, Jim Miller, Rick Mirer, Moses Moreno, Kyle Orton, Jonathan Quinn, Steve Stenstrom, Kordell Stewart, Steve Walsh, Peter Tom Willis.
The year is 2009 and the Bears have been without a viable starting quarterback since, well, I guess Jim McMahon in the mid-1980’s. In the 20 years since McMahon last lined up under center, Chicago had plowed through 22 different signal-callers—with the best of them likely being Erik Kramer, who’s career 76.6 QB Rating and 18-28 record for the Bears shows just how futile the position had been for them.
Enter Bears general manager, Jerry Angelo.
Chicago wasn’t thought to have been in the market for a new quarterback at the time, seeing how Kyle Orton had gone 21-12 for the Bears over the last three seasons. But when it became apparent that the Broncos’ young Pro Bowl QB at the time, gunslinger Jay Cutler, would be made available via trade, Angelo threw his hat into a crowded ring occupied by several teams including Washington, Detroit, Tampa Bay, and Tennessee.
Denver wanted quite a bit in return for their disheartened QB, who had just learned that his new head coach, Josh McDaniels, had recently made an effort to trade for another starting quarterback, Matt Cassel, whom he had worked with as the QB coach and offensive coordinator in New England. With a reconciliation clearly unattainable, the Broncos made it known that Cutler could be had for the price of no less than two first-round picks, which was a very steep price to pay for a relatively unproven player with a career record of 17-20. Angelo and the Bears decided it was worth it.
On April 3, 2009, with the NFL Draft just a few weeks away, Chicago decided to pull the trigger. In fact, to assure themselves of a triumph over the multiple other teams vying for Cutler’s services, the Bears upped the ante by offering the Broncos their first-round picks in 2009 (18th overall) and 2010 (turned out to be 11th overall), a third-round pick in 2009 (84th overall), and current starting QB, Kyle Orton. In return, Chicago received both 25-year-old QB Jay Cutler along with the Broncos 2009 fifth-round draft pick (140th overall).
The fall-out of the trade would be massive, as the masses in both Chicago and Denver—as well as around the league—were split as to whether or not the price of the Bears new franchise quarterback was too high, especially considering the fact that the Broncos had zero leverage in the deal (due to Denver’s owner, Pat Bowlen, demanding that Cutler be traded no matter what). The amount of fans that would end up chiming in on the transaction was innumerable, as were the opinions they would share.
In any case, the Chicago Bears finally had that one, elusive piece to the puzzle they had lacked for what must have seemed like an eternity to their fans – A franchise quarterback.
Let’s take a look at the final results of this memorable trade between the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos:
Bears select Johnny Knox with that fifth-round pick in 2009
Broncos select DE Robert Ayers with the 2009 1st-round pick (18th overall)
Broncos traded that 2009 3rd-round pick (84th overall) along with their other 3rd-round pick (79th overall) to Pittsburgh for a 2nd- and 4th-rounder (64th and 132nd overall) in 2009:
Broncos select TE Richard Quinn with the 2nd-round pick (64th overall)
Broncos select T Seth Olsen with the 4th-round pick (132nd overall)
The 2010 1st-round pick was used in four other trades, so to simplify the confusion; here are the players the Broncos ended up with:
Broncos select WR Demaryius Thomas (1st-round, 22nd overall)
Broncos select QB Tim Tebow (1st-round, 25th overall)
Broncos select WR Eric Decker (3rd-round, 87th overall)
Players the Broncos lost out on with all the picks they traded away:
G Kraig Urbik (2009, 3rd-round, 79th overall)
WR Mike Wallace (2009, 3rd-round, 84th overall)
T Anthony Davis (2010, 1st-round, 11th overall)
DE Brandon Graham (2010, 1st-round, 13th overall)
WR Dez Bryant (2010, 1st-round, 24th overall)
LB Sergio Kindle (2010, 2nd-round, 43rd overall)
TE Aaron Hernandez (2010, 4th-round, 113th overall)
TE Dennis Pitta (2010, 4th-round, 114th overall)
Jim McMahon was quite the character while he was the Quarterback for the Chicago Bears. Throughout his career, McMahon was known for both on- and off-field antics from being a practical joker during training camps but he is most famously remembered for his wearing a headband while on the sidelines. This would really not seem like a big deal but it did lead to him being fined by then NFL commissioner, Pete Rozelle, as it had an unauthorized corporate logo on it, Adidas. The very next week his headband simply said "Rozelle". It was reported that before Super Bowl XX hundreds of fans mailed McMahon headbands in hopes he would wear them during the game. Pete Rozelle gave him a stern warning not to wear anything "unacceptable". McMahon decided, in a way that truly McMahon, to help bring attention to Juvenile Diabetes by wearing a headband simply stating "JDF Cure", before switching to one stating "POW-MIA", and finally one with the word "Pluto", the nickname of a friend of his stricken with a brain tumor. McMahon was a trailblazer and was definitely not the kind of player that would listen to authority figures when he was strayed. This was also evidenced by the famous “Mooning” incident before Super Bowl XX, when he wanted to give journalists a better look at his possible injury.
You can buy some pretty cool gear from HOMAGE by Click Here.
The Chicago Bears have a much storied history that includes Championships and Hall of Famers, but also was witness to two special backfields with extra special relationships.
The first was Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo. The story of them forming a bond was not very typical considering at the time, the players were segregated by race for hotel room assignments. The Bears decided to change their pairing based on position, such that wide receivers would room together, quarterbacks would room together and so on. The running back position was the only one where there was one black and one white player. Piccolo was the starting fullback, with Sayers as the tailback and they formed an amazing friendship which was put to the test when Piccolo was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to chest after having difficulty breathing in a game against Atlanta on Nov. 16th of 1969. He had to endure numerous surgeries and passed away on June 16th 1970. Before Piccolo died, Sayers said: "I love Brian Piccolo and tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him too." Their story was documented in the movie Brian’s Song which starred James Caan as Brian Piccolo and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) as Gale Sayers.
Walter Payton was the greatest running back to ever play the game, at least that’s what Bears fans believe, myself a Bears fan included. For the last 7 years of Walter’s career he had his mate in the backfield in fullback Matt Suhey. The two of them developed such a strong friendship that was easily the equal of their predecessors. On and off the field the 2 were inseparable and their families were great friends. Unfortunately, as in the case of Piccolo and Sayers, Payton was struck with liver disease and announced this to the public in February of 1999 after much speculation that he had contracted AIDS. Payton had a rare autoimmune liver disease known as primary sclerosing cholangitis, which may have led to his cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer). He spent the remaining months of his life speaking out for people to become organ donors until his death on Nov 1, 1999.
Matt Suhey had become so close to Walter that Payton named Suhey as the executor of the Payton estate upon the time of him passing. Suhey is still a major part of the Payton family and Connie Payton and Walter’s kids have talked about how Suhey became a surrogate father during and after Payton’s illness. The parallels between Piccolo/Sayers and Payton/Suhey are many and unfortunately both end with great individuals being taken way too young.
The 1940 NFL Championship game, played in Washington D.C. on December 8th, was one of the most memorable games in football history as it not only featured the top two teams at the time—the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins—but was also the first game to be broadcast nationwide.
The game was a rematch from three weeks prior when the Redskins beat the Bears in a defensive struggle, 7-3. Many thought this contest would play out the same way as the first, but would quickly be proven wrong when Bears fullback, Bill Osmanski, ran for a 68-yard touchdown just three plays into the game. During their very next possession, Washington looked like as if they would tie up the game and give fans the barnburner they were looking for, but a dropped TD pass and missed field goal later gave the Bears all the momentum they needed in order to carry out what would become the most dominant, one-sided victory in NFL history.
This historic achievement, however, did not come about in the usual fashion of the day.
George Halas—the innovative and ingenious Bears coach at the time—took this monumental opportunity of playing on football’s grand stage to scrap the commonly-used “single-wing offense” in order to implement a new offense for his team to run; the “T-Formation”. It wasn’t the first time this style of offense was ever used, but the updated version of it Halas created for this game took the football world by storm as the “T” would go on to dominate both college and pro football for decades after.
The Bears quarterback, 24-year-old Sid Luckman, would run Halas’ new offense to perfection taking his team out to a 28-0 halftime lead before blowing the game wide open with another 26 points in the third quarter alone. At one point in the fourth quarter, Chicago was actually asked not to kick any more extra points because they had run out of game balls to use (there were no nets at the time, so extra points/field goals would sail into the stands and be kept as souvenirs). Alas, it was too late, as the last two touchdowns of the game were scored using practice balls instead of real ones.
The Bears would end up scoring 11 touchdowns in their 73-0 victory with seven coming on the ground, one through the air, and three more on interception returns. In fact, the game’s margin of victory wasn’t the only record to be had in this game, as the Bears set a playoff record with eight interceptions on the day.
After the game, sportswriters and reporters would ask the Redskins future Hall of Fame QB, Sammy Baugh, if he thought the outcome would have been different if the receiver (Charlie Malone) had not dropped his touchdown pass in the first quarter. Baugh replied, “Sure. The final score would have been 73-7.”
Besides George Halas and his T-Formation forever changing football as we know it, this was also the last game ever in which an NFL player (Dick Plasman, Bears) played without a helmet.
"PLEASE, SEE THAT MY BRAIN IS GIVEN TO THE N.F.L.’S BRAIN BANK" -D.D.
Dave Duerson was an important member of the World Champion Chicago Bears in Super Bowl 20, and then went on to win another championship playing for the Tuna's NY Giants in Super Bowl 25 - aka, Scott Norwood's "Wide Right Game". He was an All-American at Notre Dame, an All-Pro and a 4 time Pro-bowler at the NFL level even winning NFL Man of the Year Award winner in 1987.
After the NFL he became a financially succesfull business man and served on the committee which reviewed the disability claims of retired NFL players. As Mike Mayock would say, "he was a well spoken man", by all accounts blessed and made the most of his opportunities.
Then, the Dementia set in! All those big hits on a turf type which was nothing more than concrete with a layer of threaded green plastic shavings over it came back to rear it's ugly head. Pun fully intended. On February 17, 2011 Dave Duerson sent a text message to his family, and shot himself in the chest. After studying his brain, the doctor's realized that indeed football had ruined his brain. Duerson would complain about it, and now wents his loss to be a gain for future football players through research.
R.I.P. David Russell Duerson (November 28, 1960 – February 17, 2011)
Here is an amazing article on Chicago's very own WGN.com website - The Final Days of Dave Duerson, you can read it by clicking here.
The first half weather was normal, but by the end of halftime Soldier Field was totally immersed in fog. The Chicago Bears went on to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 12-20 in what was one of the craziest NFL playoff games ever. On TV, you couldn't see a thing, it was hilarious, you were watching a big ball of smoke with a football game happening within it. Literally, zero visability watching this game on TV. Never seen anything like it. Randall Cunningham had 407 passing yards in this low visibitity battle, but it wasn't enough for ex-Chicago Bear defensive master mind, Buddy Ryan to top his old boss Mike Ditka. 1988 may have been the best year of my life ladies-wise, that sophmore year of high school was fruitful... just sayin'!
Check out some of these photos:
Chicago has always been known for its harsh and freezing winters, but no matter how abominable the conditions may be, Chicagoans all know there’s nothing like being at a Bears game when that snow starts a fallin’. Fans wear it as a badge of honor—the ability to endure the elements while rooting on their favorite team—and in the end, there is no better memento than when their beloved Bears bring home a victory.
Probably the most perfect example of an occasion such as this happened on January 12th, 1986, when the Bears met up with the Los Angeles Rams to see which team would move on to play in Super Bowl XX. Chicago’s defense—which is generally considered to be one of the best three defenses of all time—had just shut out the New York Giants the previous weekend and was in the midst of doing the same to the Rams when one of the more memorable events in Chicago Bears history took place.
The fourth quarter had just begun, and as if to join in on the regalement of a raucous sell-out crowd, the Chicago winter sky let loose a cascade of floating white cheers, much to the approval of the 63,522 attending fans. The flakes were full and large, not the flimsy little tic-tac-types you sometimes see, and it seemed the more the crowd cheered, the harder the snow fell.
A little more than midway through the fourth, the Rams were still losing 17-0 when they crossed the 50-yard line and into Bears territory. No team in the Super Bowl era had ever put up consecutive shut outs in the playoffs and there was absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind—this dominating Bears defense wanted to be the first. And that’s when it happened…
It was third and 11 when QB Dieter Brock dropped back to pass. It might not have made a difference, but the Rams decided to use their tight end to block DE Richard Dent on the play, whom Dent proceeded to run right over on his way to sacking the quarterback. In the process, Dent managed to knock the ball loose from Brock’s hands and after a couple of frantic, chaos-filled seconds, Bears linebacker Wilber Marshall emerged with the ball.
Rams Hall of Fame running back, Eric Dickerson, ran after Marshall with the hopes of bringing the bigger man down—but to no avail. Wilber Marshall would run alongside Otis Wilson and William “The Fridge” Perry 52 yards into the end zone, sealing the Bears shutout victory, 24-0.
This particular play, due to the circumstance and sheer magnitude of both the play and game itself, was voted to be the most iconic moment of the Bears 1985-86 Super Bowl winning season.
Wilber Marshall was an incredible player during his 12 seasons as an NFL linebacker, but to Chicagoans and Bears fans around the world, Wilber Marshall is a legend who will never be forgotten.
1985 NFC Championship Game - Bears vs Rams
Mike Brown was one of the most beloved Bears of the 2000’s. He had a knack for always being around the ball. He had trouble dealing with injuries during his career, but one thing that he did not lack was a flair for the dramatic. In the 2001 season Mike Brown was able to do something that has never been done before and most likely will never be done again.
It was week 7 of the Season and the Bears were hosting the San Francisco 49ers. The Bears were entering the 4th Quarter trailing 28-16 (and at one point were down 19 points) and needed a 15 point 4th Quarter to send the game to Overtime. Once the game went to Overtime, the Bears kicked off to the 49ers and they had their first play of the Overtime from their own 20 yard line. Jeff Garcia was looking for premiere WR Terrell Owens over the middle and inexplicably he alligator armed the catch and it bounced right into the hands of Mike Brown at the 30 yard line of the 49ers and he ran untouched to the endzone to end the game with an Interception for a TD in overtime. That was a great moment for Brown and the Bears, but he was not done yet.
The very next week the Bears were hosting the Cleveland Browns and once again found themselves trailing in the game 21-7 in the fourth quarter. In order for the Bears to send the game into overtime it took a Hail Mary reception by James Allen with no time left to send it into Overtime and stun the crowd. The game, now in overtime and with 12:12 left on the clock, was now in the hands of the Cleveland Browns who had the ball at their own 23 yard line. Tim Couch went back to pass and had his pass deflected and it drops right into the hands of Mike Brown at the 15 yard line as he then ran untouched into the endzone to end the game.
Mike Brown is the only player to end consecutive games in overtime with Interceptions returned for TD’s. When you think of the odds of this happening in consecutive weeks and then have it be the same player who does it 2 weeks in a row, you have the improbable moment of all time. I don’t think this will ever happen again, hats off to you Mike Brown.
In order to win the Super Bowl it is imperative to have great draft classes.
Over the last 20 years, the Bears have had trouble regaining the glory of their Draft classes in the 1980’s, but no Draft Class of the Bears was better than the epic draft of 1983. Not even the Draft the 1965 Draft which landed Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus.
The 1983 Draft was the beginning of the rebuilding for the Bears new Head Coach, Mike Ditka. Jim Finks was the General Manager who helped build the memorable 1985 Super Bowl champions with the Draft Class of 1983. In the first round with the 6th overall pick, the Bears selected OT Jim Covert -- an absolute beast and the best lineman on the 85’ Super Bowl team. With their 2nd pick in the first round, the 18th overall pick, the Bears landed WR Willie Gault. While Willie did not set the NFL on fire, he was a very important cog to the Bears Super Bowl run.
The Bears had one pick in each of the next two rounds and used them to solidify their defensive backfield. Both of these DBs also turned out to be starters on the '85 Super Bowl team. The first of them in round 2, with the 33rd overall pick, was “LA” Mike Richardson. In the 3rd round, with the 64th overall pick, was Dave Duerson.
The Bears then had two 4th round picks and hit a home run again on the first of those picks selecting OG Tom Thayer with the 91st pick. He, too, would become a starter along the offensive line for the '85 Super Bowl team. Their second pick of the round was TE Pat Dunsmore, who did not pan out, and the Bears now had to wait until the 8th round for their next pick (yes, drafts used to be 12 rounds long).
The Bears had another two picks in the 8th round and may have come up with two of the best 8th round picks of all-time. With their first of the two picks, the Bears selected Hall of Fame DE Richard Dent (203rd overall), who would go on to become the MVP in Super Bowl XX. The last great pick of the Bears 83’ Draft Class was the second of those 8th round picks when the Bears selected OG Mark Bortz (219th overall), another starter for the Super Bowl Champions of 1985.
This Draft by Jim Finks is one of the greatest in NFL Draft history—let alone the Bears history—and proves that the Draft is truly one of the most important factors in building a Championship team.
All of us Bears fans have been waiting patiently for another Draft like this... and we are still waiting.
So a bunch of us football fanatics were sitting around the TV waiting for the 2007 Super Bowl to begin when someone suggested we each put in $5 to call who would score the first touchdown of the game. Plenty of players were tossed in the mix before it came to me—Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and Thomas Jones being among them—though I was happy to hear that one particular name had not been offered before my turn arrived.
“Devin Hester. No doubt about it,” was my reply. “Just watch—Hesty’s gonna take home the opening kickoff and end this bet before it starts.”
14 seconds into Super Bowl XLI, the friendly wager was settled as Hester became the first player in Super Bowl history to return the game’s opening kickoff for a touchdown. I, of course, ponied up for a few pizzas with my earnings, but making the call and knowing it would happen was 100% worth it.
Hester may have only been a rookie during that 2006-07 season, but the entire NFL already knew what could happen should Hester get his hands on the ball, so the Colts were obviously taking a huge risk just by kicking it to him. It was a decision they paid dearly for…and a gamble they would come nowhere close to taking again for the remainder of the game.
Hester ended up returning a league-leading three punts, two kickoffs, and one missed field goal attempt for touchdowns during the ’06-07 regular season. He would again lead the league in returns for touchdowns during his sophomore season when he took back four punts and two kickoffs for scores. At this point, there was no doubt the Bears had an once-in-a-lifetime star on their hands. And even though Hester would have two down seasons in a row from 2008-09 to 2009-10 when he had zero returns for TDs (most likely due to his transformation into a starting wide receiver), his genius would reemerge the following two seasons as Devin would combine to return five punts and one kickoff for touchdowns from 2010 through the end of 2011.
Six seasons is all it took for the dynamic return-specialist out of Miami University to set the NFL record for combined special teams return touchdowns in a career (18; 12 punts, 5 kickoffs, 1 missed field goal). That’s how dominant a kick/punt-returner Devin Hester has been thus far as a pro. With the ball in his hands, Devin has become one of the most feared players to ever step foot on the gridiron as he is a legitimate threat to take it to the house whenever he touches the ball.
Watch the following YouTubes of the master at play and you’ll be saying the same thing as the rest of the NFL nation… Devin Hester is just plain ridiculous.
As a young pro, Mike Singletary thought he knew all about Dick Butkus. You could not be a Chicago Bearslinebacker over the past four decades, after all, and not hear about the legendary defender from fans and former players, avoid photos of the snarling No. 51 down every hallway, or feel him lurking over your shoulder.
"I thought, 'OK, big guy, nasty, dirty,'" Singletary said. "Then one day [in my rookie season] I said, 'You know what? I really need to watch him. Everything I had heard about him from running backs and offensive linemen, he must have been something special.' So I took some video footage, went home, sat down and watched.
"I had no idea. Wow. I just had no idea he played the way he played. Talk about intimidation. And then I got it. I don't think I did up until that time, but to actually see him play, that was special."
Brian Urlacher felt the same way about Butkus and Singletary.
"As a kid, I watched highlights of them a little bit but then when you get here and realize who they are, that's when you start watching highlights, and he was mean," Urlacher said of Butkus. "He just knocked the crap out of people. And everybody knows about Singletary's eyes, but he was a good player. He hit people just as hard as Butkus did, and he was always in the right spots. People say, 'Well, he had a great D-line,' but he always put them in the right spots to make plays as well."
Urlacher still practically recoils whenever he is compared to Butkus or asked how it feels to be in the fraternity of great Bears middle linebackers like Butkus and Singletary, despite the fact that after 11 NFL seasons, few would argue he will one day join the two in Canton.
"I don't feel like I'm in that fraternity," Urlacher said recently. "They're in the Hall of Fame, you know? That's where I want to be when I get done, but I still don't feel like I'm in that category yet. They're great players and recognized as great players by their peers and all the smart people who vote on the Hall of Fame. So they're in there for a reason. And I don't feel like I'm in that category yet."
Read the rest of this amazing article writen by Melissa Isaacson from ESPN.com Chicago by clicking here.
Pyromaniac.com Character Wallpapers:
-Chicago Bears Legends wallpaper - Click here to download - (1920x2000)
-Walter Payton Organ Donor Poster - (or you can buy a limited run 'of 86' silkscreened poster now by clicking here)
-Remembering Walter Payton (July 25, 1954 - November 1, 1999) - Click here
From the Norge Ski Club Website:
"We are the oldest, continuously open ski club in the United States.
The club was started in 1905 by a group of Norwegian men. Most lived in Chicago and came out to Fox River Grove to ski jump. They created cottages on our club grounds to give them a place to stay while they were working on building up the club grounds or just having fun ski jumping. Over the years, men and women of all nationalities have joined the club to experience the thrills and enjoyment of ski jumping.
In the early years of the club, huge crowds came in from Chicago and its suburbs to see our tournaments.
The clubs has also had some promotional jumps. Once the Norge ski club rented out Navy Pier in Chicago and set up a jump where the jumpers landed in the water.
Another big event was when the Norge Ski Club rented out Soldier Field in Chicago and built a huge scaffolding for a jump event. They used crushed ice instead of snow to jump from and land on. It must have been exciting to jump from this tower at Soldier Field."
Check out the Norge website: http://www.norgeskiclub.com/index.php/club-info/
The Bears have always been a Franchise that stands alone in the NFL. The Bears have always done things a little bit different than the rest of the league. Take, for example, the case of the Jersey worn by the team. For decades, the Bears were known as the only NFL team to wear jersey numbers that were not the traditional block-style numbers. This was always a distinguishing characteristic as you knew you were watching the Bears if you saw the round numbers. There were teams in the AFL who also had round numbers, but by the mid-1960s the Bears were the only team left to continue wearing rounded jersey numbers. In more recent times, starting in the mid 1990’s there were more teams that joined the Bears in their rounded numbers, but looking back into history the rise of rounded numbers can be directly attributed to the Chicago Bears Franchise.
In 1967, Alan Page began his Hall of Fame football career up in Minnesota when the Vikings took the Notre Dame defensive tackle with their first round selection (15th overall) in the 1967 NFL Draft. From there, Alan would put together an incredible 15-year playing career as he was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times while making the All-Pro first-team on six different occasions (he was also an All-Pro second-team selection three times).
In 1971, Page was the first AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year as well as the first defensive player to be named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. He once started 215 consecutive games, amassed 148.5 sacks throughout his career, had three safeties (second-most all-time), was an NFLPA player representative for seven years and a member of the NFLPA Association Executive Committee from 1972-75.
Though most of his accolades and records would come as a member of the Vikings famed defensive line called the “Purple People Eaters”, his final four professional years would be spent elsewhere as he signed on with the Chicago Bears in 1978 and played there until he retired after the 1981 season. In his four seasons as a Bear, Page recorded 40 of his 148.5 career sacks and would be selected to the 1980 NFC All-Conference First-Team.
Being elected to the Hall of Fame is an extremely rare and special accomplishment in life, but what might be even more extraordinary is what Mr. Page did with his life outside of football.
While still playing football, Page went to the University of Minnesota Law School and earned his Juris Doctor in 1978. In the football off-seasons from 1979-81, and up through 1984, Page worked for the Minneapolis Law Firm of Lindquist and Vennum. From there, in 1985, he would be appointed Special Assistant Attorney General and then promptly after that, promoted as the Assistant Attorney General. However, his incredible journey would not end there as in 1992, Page would be the first African-American ever to be elected to a seat as an Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.
He may have played most of his career with the Vikings—as his #88 being retired by the Minnesota franchise will show—but it is still an honor to have had such an amazing man play for the Chicago Bears, even if only for a short, four years.