146 2018 SEASON PREVIEW
HISTORY: HALL OF FAMERS
9/17/20–George Halas, representing the Decatur Staleys, meets with represen
tatives of 11 other clubs at Ralph Hay’s Hupmobile showroom in Canton, Ohio,
forming the American Professional Football Association – which later became
the NFL. Membership is set at $100.
1920–The Staleys shut out 10 of 13 foes, losing only to the Chicago Cardinals (7-6
at Normal Park), and post a 10-1-2 record. Each player is paid $1,900 for the season.
1921–A. E. Staley gives Halas the club with $5,000 to keep the Staleys name for
the year. Decatur Staleys become Chicago Staleys, play in Cubs Park (re-named
Wrigley Field in 1926), and win the APFA title with 9-1-1 record. Halas makes
Dutch Sternaman his partner.
1/28/22–Franchise renamed Chicago Bears.
11/27/22–First Chicago player deal: Bears buy tackle Ed Healey’s contract from
the Rock Island Independents for $100–twice the going rate for a franchise
11/22/25–Harold “Red” Grange signs with Bears and pro football leaves its cradle.
His agent, C.C. (Cash & Carry) Pyle, negotiates a $100,000 deal with the Bears.
Halas takes the Bears and Grange on a coast-to-coast tour that sees the club
play 19 games from Nov. 26 through Jan. 31 interrupted only by a two-week rest.
The Bears post a 13-5-1 record on the trip.
11/26/25–Grange’s first game–36,000 see Bears and Cardinals tie 0-0 in Cubs
Park (re-named Wrigley Field in 1926) with Grange held to 36 yards.
1/16/26–Grange gets two TDs as the Bears impress 70,000 in the LA Coliseum
beating the LA Tigers 17-7.
3/1/26–Bears open offices at 111 W. Washington in Chicago.
1930–After a 4-9-2 1929 season, George Halas replaces himself as head coach with
Ralph Jones. Jones posts a 24-10-7 record during his three seasons.
12/15/30–Bears and Cardinals play football’s first indoor game on an 80-yard field
in Chicago Stadium. The exhibition aids unemployment; Bears win 9-7 before
11/15/31–New Yorkers (including Gov. Alfred E. Smith and Mayor Jimmy Walker) in
field boxes at $100 a seat watch Bears top Giants at Polo Grounds 12-6.
12/18/32–Bronko Nagurski hits Red Grange with a two-yard TD pass and the Bears
top the Portsmouth Spartans 9-0 for the NFL championship. The game was
played before 11,198, indoors at Chicago Stadium on an 80-yard field.
1932–Franchise loses $18,000, prompting Dutch Sternaman to unload his half of
the Bears to George Halas.
1933–George Halas returns as head coach and takes club out of town for training
camp for the first time. University of Notre Dame is the host.
11/5/33–Boston Redskins beat Bears, 10-0, ending Chicago’s 16-game unbeaten streak.
12/17/33–Bears use rookie Jack Manders’ accurate kicking for 11 points and defeat
the Giants 23-21 in the NFL’s first championship game.
1934–Halas University, the Bears alumni association, begins. Annually, Bear
veterans return during season for Homecoming Weekend.
1934–Bears hold training camp at Lane Tech High in Chicago.
8/31/34–A classic is born as 79,432 watch the NFL champion Bears held to a
scoreless tie by the first College All-Star team in a game sponsored by Chicago
Tribune Charities at Soldier Field.
12/2/34–Rookie Beattie Feathers becomes first pro to rush for 1,000 yards in a
season (1,004), leading the NFL.
12/9/34–Undefeated Bears slip before Giants in NFL title tilt at Polo Grounds
30-13 before 35,059. With Chicago leading 10-3 at the half, NY dons basketball
sneakers and scores 27 points.
1935–Training camp is conducted at St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, Wisconsin.
1936–Bears make Joe Stydahar, a tackle from West Virginia, their first draft pick ever.
12/12/37–Bears win Western Division title but lose NFL Championship 28-21 to
Redskins at Wrigley Field. Sammy Baugh hits 18 of 33 for 335 yards and three
TDs. Jack Manders scores 15 of the Bears points. A Chicago player’s share is $127.78.
7/25/39–Future Hall of Famer Sid Luckman signs his first contract after being
selected by the Bears with the second pick of the 1939 NFL draft.
12/8/40–Ten Bears tally TDs as Chicago rips Washington 73-0 for the NFL title
before 36,034 in D.C. The rout signals the beginning of pro football’s modern
era with the formal unveiling of the T-formation. Each player receives $873.
1941–Bear Down, Chicago Bears, the Bears new fight song, is published.
12/14/41–Bears and Packers agree their playoff game should be played to a
“sudden death” finish in event of tie. NFL adopts plan 1/24/42.
12/21/41–Bears throttle the New York Giants 37-9 for the NFL Championship.
1942–George Halas departs in October for the US Navy. The Bears win their final
six games, finish the season 11-0, and advance to the title game but lose to
1943–Hunk Anderson and Luke Johnsos co-coach the wartime Bears for the next
three seasons, compiling a 15-11-2 record.
11/14/43–Sid Luckman becomes the first pro to pass for 400+ yards in a game,
scorching the Giants for 433 yards and seven TDs.
12/26/43–The Bears blast Washington 41-21 in Wrigley Field for the NFL title
before 34,320 fans. Sid Luckman throws five TD passes (2 each to Harry Clark
and Dante Magnani). Bronko Nagurski scores his last Bear TD, a 3-yard run.
12/15/46–With George Halas around for the full season, the Bears whip the
Giants 24-14 before a record NFL title crowd of 58,346 in the Polo Grounds.
After opening with a 21-yard TD pass to Ken Kavanaugh, Sid Luckman gets the
winning score on a 19-yard bootleg.
12/19/47–Bears make the first trade for a draft choice, then select QB Bobby
Layne in the 1948 draft.
12/11/49–Johnny Lujack sets NFL passing record with 468 yards against the Cardinals.
12/17/50–Bears and Rams tie for Western Division title with 9-3 marks but Rams
trip Bears in LA 24-14 to break the tie.
1956–Halas leaves coaching for a third time. Paddy Driscoll gets the position.
12/30/56–Giants, with their sneakers again, trounce Chicago 47-7 before 56,836
in Yankee Stadium for NFL title.
11/2/58–Bears and Rams establish NFL attendance record drawing 90,833 paid
(100,470 actual) in the LA Coliseum. Rams win 41-35.
10/22/61–Bears destroy the scorching 49er shotgun formation 31-0 with Bill
George playing middle guard and the defensive line stunting.
12/29/63–Bears intercept five YA Tittle passes and capture NFL title from Giants
14-10 in Wrigley Field before 45,801 and closed-circuit TV. QB Bill Wade gets
both TDs on two- and one-yard runs. Each Bear earns $5,899.
1964–Flanker Johnny Morris catches NFL record 93 passes.
11/28/64–Bears set standard for draft by selecting LB Dick Butkus and RB Gale
Sayers in first round.
1965–Rookie Gale Sayers bursts into pro football with a NFL-record 22 TDs.
12/12/65–Sayers scores six TDs against 49ers.
1966–Sayers sets NFL combined yards record with 2,440.
5/27/68–The all-time winningest coach in football history, George Halas, retires
from coaching after 40 seasons with 324 wins, 151 defeats, 31 ties.
3/19/70–George Halas elected president of the National Football Conference as
6/16/70–Bear running back Brian Piccolo dies of cancer. Club establishes Piccolo
Fund, raising nearly $9 million for cancer research.
12/13/70–Bears say goodbye to Wrigley Field by trouncing Green Bay 35-17. They
will make Soldier Field their home in 1971.
9/19/71–The Bears open at Soldier Field by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 17-15.
9/12/74–Jim Finks joins Bears as Vice President and General Manager after
serving as Vikings’ GM and NFL Management Council Advisor.
12/17/74–After three seasons and a record of 11-30-1, Abe Gibron departs as head coach.
12/31/74–Former NFL star linebacker Jack Pardee is named Bears head coach–the
first non-Bear to hold the job.