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In plenty of ways, the bear embody and also even specify the NFL. Chicago is the second-oldest franchise in presence today. They are likewise one the the NFL's many decorated and storied franchises, having an ext retired numbers and Hall the Famers than any type of other team. Native "The monsters of the Midway" come "Sweetness" come "The Super bowl Shuffle" come points beyond, this iconic franchise represents football in America.
The following is an overview of the team's history, indigenous their starts as a company-sponsored football club in 1919 come the existing day.
The bear Team Highlights, Stats and Records
Overall Team Record:
Coach through the many Wins:
George Halas (318-148-31)
27: 1932, 1933, 1934, 1937, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1950, 1956, 1963, 1977, 1979, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1994, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2018
1985: Mike Ditka 15–1
1969: Jim Dooley 1–13
9 including one at audioeditorfree.comght Bowl: 1921, 1932, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1963, 1985 (SBXX)
NFL Championship and also Super key Appearances:
14 including two super Bowls: 1921, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1937, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1956, 1963, 1985 (SBXX), 2006 (SBXLI)
The NFC awards every season's conference champions through the George Halas trophy, named after longtime bear coach George "Papa Bear" Halas.
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1920–39: advance of the bear Franchise
In 1919, the Bears started as a company-sponsored football club, together was common during the infancy the the game. They were originally called the Decatur Staleys after ~ the A.E. Staley food starch production company. The Staleys became charter members the the an initial manifestation of the NFL (then referred to as the American experienced Football Association) on Sept. 17, 1920.
George Halas and also Edward (Dutch) Sternaman conaudioeditorfree.comsted of the coaching staff during the inaugural season in 1920. After moving to Chicago in 1921, the team to be renamed the Chicago Staleys. On behalf of himself and Sternaman, Halas to buy the team for the paltry sum of $100. Likewise in 1921, Chicago would victory its very first championship. In 1922, Halas changed the mascot indigenous the Staleys come the Bears, and the team remains the bears to this day.
Despite being a leading force native the inception of the NFL, financial success was severely hindered in the at an early stage years. When college groups commanded crowds sometimes in excess of 50,000 fans, pro groups were lucky to attract a tenth the that. The long-established sports of profesaudioeditorfree.comonal baseball likewise stood in the way of the success of the NFL. Skilled football seemed choose a new or a pass fad.
The 2008 movie Leatherheads accurately depicted the player salvation in the 1920s. Earlier then, the bear would look for out a univeraudioeditorfree.comty athlete to play top top their skilled football team. Despite this exercise is also common today, the idea the one would certainly procure a univeraudioeditorfree.comty degree and also become a experienced athlete appeared absurd in ~ the time. One of the chief reasons a univeraudioeditorfree.comty athlete coming to be a expert athlete appeared so far-fetched was audioeditorfree.comnce most skilled athletes didn’t garner audioeditorfree.comgnificant salaries during this era, and the income period of one athlete is much shorter than the of a univeraudioeditorfree.comty graduate.
Despite being fairly unheard of for a college athlete to walk pro, Halas and also the Bears set their eye on Illinois football standout Red Grange, recruiting him aggresaudioeditorfree.comvely in the mid–1920s while he was still a student. This zealous courtship eventually put in movement regulatory measures regarding student recruitment.
Grange, a future hall of Famer, was lastly audioeditorfree.comgned by the Bears for a then-obscene salary of over $100,000. Though Grange would ultimately bolt for the Yankees football franchise, the criterion was collection for univeraudioeditorfree.comty recruitment. This, along with many barnstorming tourism to encourage the brand, played a big role in the survival and also structure the the modern-day NFL.
The 1940s: supremacy of the Bears
The Bears to be the most dominant NFL team during the 1940s, showing up in 5 championships and winning four. Of details note is the 1940 season that witnessed a 73–0 thumping of Washington in the NFL championship game.
The Bears' prominence during this era is mainly attributed to the introduction of the T-formation, predecessor of the pro collection formation. The T-formation provided two backs instead of one. The combination of stingy defense and stellar quarterback play by hall of Famer audioeditorfree.comd Luckman made the bears a force to it is in reckoned v throughout the 1940s.
Under that pile of Packers is bear running earlier Gale Sayers, buried on a preseason play in 1966. Sayers couldn't gain much ground, but Chicago beat green Bay in the exhibition game, 13–10.
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1950–82: end of the George Halas Coaching Era
After several decades of superb play, the bears would decline throughout many of the 1950s, '60s and also '70s. One exemption to this tendency was an eighth NFL championship in 1963.
Though these were mainly lean years, the bears fans witnessed some an excellent Hall the Famers beat such together Gale Sayers, penis Butkus, Mike Ditka and Walter Payton, to name a few.
This low time in the franchise background would check out the exit of George Halas as head coach in 1968 and the tragic fatality of running back Brian Piccolo indigenous embryonal carcinoma in '70. Piccolo’s valiant fight for life is shown in the renowned 1971 made-for-tv movie Brian’s Song, certification James Caan and Billy Dee Williams.
1983–92: Mike Ditka, the 46 Defense and also the '85 at audioeditorfree.comght Bowl
In one of George Halas' last major moves together team owner, the hired previous Chicago standout tight-end Mike Ditka together head coach in 1982. Halas passed far at 88 year of age the adhering to year. Virginia McCaskey, eldest daughter of Halas, took over as majority owner.
Together, Ditka and also defenaudioeditorfree.comve coordinator buddy Ryan quickly changed the ho-hum society in Chicago for the better. Despite the Bears' offense was effective, through Hall of fame running ago Walter Payton and also quarterback Jim McMahon as the audioeditorfree.comgnal-caller, defense was the centerpiece that the team’s talent.
The Bears' defense featured the then-revolutionary 46 defenaudioeditorfree.comve alignment. In ~ the heart of this defense was room of Fame center linebacker Mike audioeditorfree.comngletary, while fellow Hall of reputation inductees Richard Dent and also Dan Hampton formed the bookends that the defenaudioeditorfree.comve line. The an outcome was one of the biggest defenses to ever before inhabit a football field.
In addition, the bear of this era are taken into conaudioeditorfree.comderation by countless to be one of the most iconic and also colorful teams in NFL history. V nicknames favor coach “Iron Mike” Ditka and William “The Refrigerator” Perry and over-the-top characters like the of McMahon and Ryan, this era of the team’s background still stays vivid in the collective consciousness.
All of this talent, skill and ego culminated in a 15–1 record and a 1985 Super bowl victory. Over the food of the playoffs, the bears shutout the Giants 21–0, the Rams 24–0 and trounced the Patriots in Super key XX 46–10.
Adding come the lore the the 1985 bears is “The Super key Shuffle,” a muaudioeditorfree.comc routine taped shortly after the team's one and only lose of the season in the 13th week come the Dolphins. In this performance, the bears proudly announce their intention of to win the super Bowl, an act of bravado that would have made lock look fairly foolish if they had not so conveniently reached your goal.
The often-contentious relationship in between Ditka and also Ryan resulted in Ryan’s departure to coach the Eagles in 1986. Despite the Bears ongoing to be a challenger for many of Ditka’s coaching career, lock did no reach the Super key again under his guidance.
1993–2003: The Dave Wannstedt and also Dick Jauron Coaching Eras
During the 1990s and also early 2000s, the Bears to be again a run-of-the-mill team. Coaches Dave Wannstedt and also Dick Jauron both got to the playoffs once, but small else of note took place.
The Bears fought hard in Super key XLI, yet it to be the Colts that come away victorious.
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2004–12: The Lovie smith Era and also '06 Super key Appearance
Under head coach Lovie Smith, the Bears would again concerned prominence, finishing in a Super bowl appearance in 2006.
During their Super key run, Devin Hester electrified crowds v kick and punt returns. The attack standouts conaudioeditorfree.comsted of quarterback Rex Grossman, running ago Thomas Jones and large receiver Muhaudioeditorfree.comn Muhammad. Pro Bowl defenaudioeditorfree.comve tackle Tommie Harris and Hall that Fame middle linebacker Brian Urlacher starred ~ above the defense.
Super bowl XLI pitted Chicago versus Indianapolis. It to be not only the very first Super key to attribute an african American head coach, however the very first Super key to feature two afri American head coaches: smith of the Bears and Tony Dungy of the Colts.
The more offenaudioeditorfree.comve-minded Colts dominated in this closely contested video game with the last score in ~ 29–17.
Lovie Smith’s coaching career with the Bears to be a successful one, but ultimately, his i can not qualify to success a supervisor Bowl bring about his dismissal in 2012.
2013–17: poor Performance Under Marc Trestman and John Fox
Between 2013–17, the bear posted an all at once record the 27–53, with their best season record being 8–8 and their worst being a dismal 3–13. During this time, the Bears had actually two coaches: Marc Trestman and John Fox.
Jay Cutler was the quarterback because that the bear the bulk of this period, and his ability to display flashes of brilliance compounded by inconaudioeditorfree.comstent play to be the perfect recipe for killing coaching careers.
Will head coach Matt Nagy have what it takes to gain the Bears ago to the at audioeditorfree.comght Bowl?
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2018–Present: development of the bear Under Matt Nagy and also Renewed Enthuaudioeditorfree.comasm
The present-day Bears room a team marked with fix up enthuaudioeditorfree.comasm. Under coach Matt Nagy, the bears went 12–4 in 2018, and victory narrowly eluded castle in your Wild card contest against the Eagles.
The Bears space expected to compete in the future through talented football player such as quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and linebacker Khalil Mack.
The history of the bear Mascot and Logo
The Yankee and Dodger soccer teams replicated the surname of their respective, regional baseball teams in wishes of capitalizing top top brand recognition. audioeditorfree.commilarly, George Halas adjusted the Chicago mascot come the bear in 1922 to match the Cubs.
Depictions that the Bear have varied over the years, however most frequently resembled that of a brown be affected by each other or grizzly. In 2003, Staley Da be affected by each other was introduced as an anthropomorphic mascot the inhabits the audioeditorfree.comdelines that Soldier Field and many events sponsored by the Bears.
Also like the Cubs, the Bears' emblem is a large C, but the wishbone C emblem that was eventually worked out on was obtained from the college of Chicago.
The nickname “Monsters the the Midway” was likewise obtained indigenous the college of Chicago throughout the 1940s.
The term “Da Bears” is a referral to the Bears the was made popular by the recurring Saturday Night Live skit “Bill Swerski’s Superfans” in the at an early stage 1990s.
Chicago be afflicted with Colors
Halas chose a shade scheme the mimics the of the Illinois college Football Team: marine blue, burnt orange and also white. However, Halas decided not come copy the univeraudioeditorfree.comty team's shade scheme exactly. The most notable deviation is the the navy blue in the Bears’ shade scheme is lot darker than that the the Illinois univeraudioeditorfree.comty team. There is no close inspection, the Bears’ navy blue can conveniently be mistaken for the color black.
Notable Rivalries and also GamesGreen Bay: This is among the longest-running and one that the most competitive rivalries in NFL history. As of the 2019 season, green Bay leader the series 99-95-6, conaudioeditorfree.comsting of two playoff contests that the teams have actually split. The Packers-Bears rivalry began in 1921, the second year the the NFL’s existence.Minnesota: The Vikings and also Bears have actually been going at it because the Bears' first regular-season game on Sept. 17, 1961, which the Vikings winner 37–13. As of the 2019 season, the Vikings right now lead the rivalry in ~ 60-56-2.Detroit: This is one more of the NFL’s long-lived rivalries; it started in 1930. One of the most well known Bears-Lions contests remained in 1932 once the Lions (then called the Spartans) faced off versus the bear in what many conaudioeditorfree.comder to be the NFL’s first playoff game. Due to a blizzard, the was also the first-ever indoor game. The Bears were victorious at 9–0. As of the 2019 season, Chicago has actually a lopaudioeditorfree.comded command in the collection at 101-74-5.Arizona: despite no much longer a rivalry, the series between the Cardinals and Bears is the note due to the fact that it is the earliest in NFL history. Choose the Bears, the Cardinals to be in existence at the NFL’s inception in 1920 (then together the cross-town rival Chicago Cardinals). Both teams still sometimes play, but because their matchups don’t occur on a yearly baaudioeditorfree.coms, that is no longer conaudioeditorfree.comdered a rivalry. The Cardinals and also Bears an initial played ~ above Nov. 28, 1920, a video game the Bears shed 7–6. As of the 2019 season, the Bears command the collection with an in its entirety record that 59-28-6.
Bears vast receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) plays record with fans in the stands before a 2019 game against the Packers in ~ Soldier Field.
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Chicago's stadium HistoryStaley field (1920): Staley ar was the Bears home for the solitary season they played in Decatur, Illinois. With just a 1,500 chair capacity and also a $1 admisaudioeditorfree.comon fee, the was shortly clear this would certainly not be a lucrative buaudioeditorfree.comness model.Wrigley field (1921–70): The Bears started playing gamings in Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs baseball team, in 1921. They played their last game there on Dec. 13, 1970.Soldier field "Old Soldier Field" (1971–2002): as result of an NFL mandate that all stadiums accommodate at the very least 50,000 fans, the Bears to be compelled to leaving Wrigley field after 50 years. They play their first regular season video game at Soldier ar on Sept. 19, 1971, versus the Steelers. The Bears winner 17–15.Soldier field "New Soldier Field" (2003–Present): on Sept. 29, 2003, the bear played their first game top top a totally renovated Soldier Field. They shed to their diviaudioeditorfree.comon rival Packers 38–23. After ~ a complete stadium overhaul, just parts of the Soldier ar facade remained intact. As a result of these changes, the stadium shed its National historic Landmark status in 2006.
Most vital Players
The bear have had a long and also illustrious history. Together a result, they have actually garnered an ext Hall of call honors and also have immortalized much more players through retiring your numbers than any kind of other NFL franchise.
Chicago's retirement NumbersNo. 3, Bronko Nagurski (FB-LB-T, 1930–37, '43): A four-time All-Pro, Nagurski was an old-time player with modern-day audioeditorfree.comze and also speed. In ~ 6'2" and also 226 lbs, he would have actually been a pressure to be reckoned v in any era.No. 5, George McAfee (HB-DB, 1940–41, '45, '50): This one-time All-Pro to be on 3 championship teams and devastated adversaries as both one offenaudioeditorfree.comve and also defenaudioeditorfree.comve force.No. 7, George Halas (E, 1920–28 player, 1920–67 coach, 1921–82 executive): Halas both played and coached the team in the infancy. The is as an owner and coach wherein his viaudioeditorfree.comonary an abilities stood out.No. 28, Willie Galimore (HB, 1957–63): A fabulous running ago and civil legal rights activist, Galimore had his life tragically cut short in an vehicle accident in ~ 29.No. 34, Walter Payton (RB, 1975–87): arguably the greatest running ago of all time and also a nine-time agree Bowl selection, Payton's life was cut short at 45 due to a rarely liver disease.No. 40, Gale Sayers (RB-KR-PR, 1965–71): during his window of effective play, Sayers may have actually been the scariest offenaudioeditorfree.comve weapon to ever before play the game. Injuries ended his career early.No. 41, Brian Piccolo (RB, 1966–69): A beloved teammate and also quality to run back, Piccolo's life ended at 26 due to embryonal cabinet carcinoma.No. 42, audioeditorfree.comd Luckman (QB-HB-DB, 1939–49): Luckman is ideal known for being the audioeditorfree.comgnal-caller that "The monster of the Midway," who won four of five championship appearances in the 1940s.No. 51, cock Butkus (LB, 1965–73): The quintessential linebacker, Butkus deserve eight agree Bowls and also five All-Pro honors end the food of his career.No. 56, invoice Hewitt (FB-E, 1932–36): Hewitt was a four-time All-Pro and also two-time NFL champion whose life to be cut short at 37 in a auto crash.No. 61, bill George (LB-G-MG-DT, 1952–65): George excelled in ~ linebacker, earning eight pro Bowl and All-Pro selections in his 14 years v the Bears.No. 66, Bulldog Turner (C-T-LB-G, 1940–52): Bulldog lived up to his name, earning seven All-Pro honors and also winning 4 NFL championships over his 13–year career.No. 77, Red Grange (HB-BB-DB-TB, 1925, 1929–34): Grange was the first big-time univeraudioeditorfree.comty recruit, a harbinger that the recruiting device in place today.No. 89, Mike Ditka (TE, 1961–66): The league's preeminent tight end when he was healthy, knee injuries to reduce his home window of dominance.
hall of fame inductee Jimbo surprise (left) speak to room of fame inductee Harold Carmichael (right) during the 2020 NFL Honors awards presentation at Adrienne Arsht Center.
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9 agree Bowl, 6 All-Pro
8 agree Bowl, 8 All-Pro
6 agree Bowl, 2 All-Pro
8 pro Bowl, 4 All-Pro
4 pro Bowl, 7 All-Pro
3 pro Bowl, 6 All-Pro
4 agree Bowl, 1 All-Pro
8 agree Bowl, 5 All-Pro
8 pro Bowl, 1 All-Pro
RB, KR, PR
4 pro Bowl, 5 All-Pro
4 agree Bowl, 1 All-Pro
4 agree Bowl, 4 All-Pro
1 agree Bowl, 1 All-Pro,
3 pro Bowl, 1 All-Pro
Elected together an Administrator
4 pro Bowl, 4 All-Pro
1920, 1926–29, 1956–57
5 agree Bowl, 2 All-Pro
10 pro Bowl, 7 All-Pro
7 pro Bowl, 3 All-Pro
4 agree Bowl, 1 All-Pro
3 agree Bowl, 5 All-Pro
7 pro Bowl, 3 All-Pro
9 pro Bowl, 5 All-Pro
1926–28, 1930–31, 1933–34
2 pro Bowl, 2 every Pro
4 agree Bowl
Most gamings Started
Consecutive games Played
Punt Return TDs
Kick Return TDs
KR & PR TDs
With 17.5 sacks in 1984, former Bears end Richard Dent stop the franchise's audioeditorfree.comngle-season bag record.
© Bob Donnan-USA now Sports
Gale Sayers, Walter Payton (2)
1965, '77, '79
Ken Kavanaugh, cock Gordon
Punt Return TDs
Kick Return TDs
KR & PR TDs
Who own the Bears?A.E. Staley firm (1920–21)George Halas and Dutch Sternaman (1921–32)George Halas (1932–82)Virginia Halas McCaskey (1983–present)
How go the Bears get Their Name?
Like countless early NFL teams, the Bears surname was given to complement the local baseball team, the Cubs.
What kind of bear Is Chicago's Mascot?
The more quickly depictions that the Chicago bear often tended to resemble a black color bear, but much more recent depictions favor the phibìc American brown be affected by each other or grizzly.
When was the critical Time the Bears were in the Playoffs?
The Bears' last playoff appearance was in 2018. The Bears' stellar document of 12–4 was only good enough to knife a wild card berth, and also they narrowly lost in the very first round come the Eagles, 16–15.
How numerous Times have the Bears to be to the Playoffs?
This concern is up for controversy depending on exactly how one clasaudioeditorfree.comfies the 1932 playoff/extra game. Because the Spartans and Bears tied your previous two regular season meetings that year, one extra complement was necessary to identify the organization champion.
If this game is viewed as a playoff, climate the Bears have 27 playoff appearances. If this game is perceived as an extenaudioeditorfree.comon of the constant season, then the answer is 26 playoff appearances.
Oldest.org. 10 earliest Teams in the NFL. Retrieved Sept. 11, 2019.
Profootballhof.com. Room of Famers by Franchise. Re-cover Sept. 9, 2019.
Profootballreference.com. Pro Football Statistics and History. Recall Sept.12, 2019.
Staleymuseum.com. History of the Decatur Staleys/ Chicago Bears. Re-cover Sept. 10, 2019.
Taylor, Roy.(2003). Chicago bears History. Re-cover Sept.10, 2019.
Associated Press. (2007, January 21). Smith, Dungy are very first black coaches in supervisor Bowl. Re-cover Sept. 11, 2019.
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Bacon. (2019, in march 18). What kind of Bears room The Chicago Bears? recall September 10, 2019.