The Chicago Bears are a franchise that competes in the NFL as a member of the NFC North Division. They are based in Chicago and have one of the richest histories in the league. They hold the record for most entries in the NFL Hall of Fame, have the highest number of retired jerseys, and are leading the scoreboard as the franchise with more wins than any other team in the NFL.
It goes without saying that the history of this team, which is why we wanted to take a closer look and highlight all of the most notable moments, records, and achievements. Without any further ado, let’s start from the beginning – the team’s establishment.
The Team’s Establishment
The Chicago Bears’ establishment takes us back all the way to 1920. Their first season as a team was played that same season. An interesting fact about the team is that when they were established, they went by the name the Decatur Staleys since they were created by A.E Stanley, a food company from Illinois. As time passed by, the club was renamed in 1921 as the Chicago Staleys, and finally got its final name as the Chicago Bears in 1922. At that same time, the team moved to Wrigley Field and dominated the NFL in the first years.
Between the 1940s and 1960s, the Bears experienced a lot of ups and downs. During The Monsters of the Midway era, they broke many records in the 40s, broke down during the 1950s, but caught a second wind in the 60s. In the era between 1969 and 1982, the team experienced numerous struggles but managed to get back on its feet and win several championships, which we are going to talk about later.
These days, the Matt Nagy era has proven to be a bit rocky, as well. In the 2020 season, the Bears opened up with a 5-1 record but lost the next six games. They finished the season with an 8-8 record, qualified for the playoffs, but lost to the New Orleans Saints 21-9.
Drafts Throughout the Years
The Bears draft picks have had numerous good names throughout the years. Some of the best names that deserve a mention are Cody Whitehair, Eddie Goldman, Eddie Jackson, James Daniels, and Bilal Nichols. These names have managed to make a huge contribution to the team and help it on the path towards numerous successes.
As you know, the NFL drafts take place annually and in these events, the franchises get to choose seven prospects that they believe will have a good future in the most prestigious football league in the USA. The number of the NFL draft even is corresponding with the season in which the players will begin playing.
Earlier in this article, we mentioned that the Bears have a rich history that includes several trophy awards. The most notable championship that the franchise has in its trophy cabinet is the 1985 Super Bowl in which the Bears beat the New England Patriots. Additionally, the team has a total of 8 NFL Championships, 4 Conference Championships – 2 of which are in the NFC Western, and 2 are in the NFC.
Finally, the Bears have 19 Division Championships. 4 of them are in the NFC North, with the latest one being in 2018, 7 of them are in the NFC Central, and 8 are in the NFC Western.
Hall of Famers and Retired Numbers
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, one of the records that the Bears hold is that they have the most entries in the NFL Hall of Fame and the highest number of retired numbers. Let’s start with the retired numbers first.
The Bears have 14 retired uniform numbers – 89, 77, 66, 61, 56, 51, 42, 41, 40, 34, 28, 7, 5, and 3. As for the Hall of Fame Inductees, there are 36. 30 of them made their entry by having a primary contribution with the Bears while the other 6 had a minor portion of their career spent at the franchise.
George Halas, the founder, long-time owner and head coach of the Bears was among the first inductees in the Hall of Fame and the most recent people to be included on the list are Ed Sprinkle and Jimbo Covert in 2020.
The 100 Greatest Bears of All-Time
Finally, it is worth mentioning the list of the 100 Greatest Bears of All-Time. This list was created in 2019 to honor the Bears’ centennial anniversary. They were voted by Hall of Fame writers Don Pierson and Dan Pompei. 4 active players at the time made it on this list Khalil Mack (ranked 60th), Kyle Long (ranked 74th), Akiem Hicks (ranked 75th), and Eddie Jackson (ranked 96th). The entry to the list meant a lot to Kyle Long as he retired one year after being selected. Call that cream of the crop to a fantastic career.