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The Chicago Bears are a professional American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division
NFC North
The NFC North is a division of the National Football League's National Football Conference, based in the Upper Midwest region of the United States...

 of the National Football Conference
National Football Conference
The National Football Conference is one of the two conferences of the National Football League . This conference and its counterpart, the American Football Conference , currently contain 16 teams each, making up the 32 teams of the NFL.-Current teams:Since 2002, the NFC has comprised 16 teams,...

 (NFC) in the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

 (NFL). The team is legally and corporately registered as Chicago Bears Football Club, Incorporated.

The Bears have won nine (9) NFL Championships
National Football League championships history
Throughout its history, the National Football League and other leagues have used several different formats to determine their league champion, including a period of interleague match-ups determining a true world champion....

 (eight pre-merger, and one Super Bowl
Super Bowl XX
Super Bowl XX was an American football championship game played on January 26, 1986 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 1985 regular season...

). The Bears hold the NFL records for the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Pro Football Hall of Fame
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame of professional football in the United States with an emphasis on the National Football League . It opened in Canton, Ohio, on September 7, 1963, with 17 charter inductees...

, with 27 members, and the most retired jersey numbers (13). The Bears have also recorded more regular season and overall victories than any other NFL franchise. The franchise recorded its 700th win on November 18, 2010.

The club was founded in Decatur
Decatur, Illinois
Decatur is the largest city and the county seat of Macon County in the U.S. state of Illinois. The city, sometimes called "the Soybean Capital of the World", was founded in 1823 and is located along the Sangamon River and Lake Decatur in Central Illinois. In 2000 the city population was 81,500,...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, in 1919, and moved to Chicago in 1921. Along with the Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are a professional American football team based in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 (originally from Chicago), it is one of only two remaining franchises from the NFL's founding. The team played home games at Wrigley Field on Chicago's North Side through the 1970 season. With the exception of the 2002 season, they have played their home games at Chicago's Soldier Field
Soldier Field
Soldier Field is located on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois, United States, in the Near South Side. It is home to the NFL's Chicago Bears...

 every year since 1971. The stadium is located next to Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron...

, and was recently remodeled in a modernization intended to update stadium amenities while preserving a historic Chicago structure. The team has a storied, long-standing rivalry with the Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are an American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Packers are the current NFL champions...

, whom they have played 183 times. The Bears currently hold the edge in head-to-head matchups with a record of 92–85–6. The two teams have met each other twice in the postseason. The Bears won in 1941 and the Packers won in 2011.

The team headquarters, Halas Hall
Halas Hall
Halas Hall is a building complex in Lake Forest, Illinois, that serves as the Chicago Bears' headquarters. The building hosts the team's front office, as well as indoor and outdoor practice facilities. The franchise spent 20 million dollars to build the complex in 1997. It is four miles west of...

, is in the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest
Lake Forest, Illinois
Lake Forest is an affluent city located in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The city is south of Waukegan along the shore of Lake Michigan, and is a part of the Chicago metropolitan area and the North Shore. Lake Forest was founded around Lake Forest College and was laid out as a town in...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

. The Bears practice at adjoining facilities there during the season. They hold their annual training camp from late July to mid-August at Ward Field
Ward Field (Bourbonnais)
Ward Field is a 2,500-seat stadium in Bourbonnais, Illinois. It is home to the Olivet Nazarene University Tigers football team. Since 2002, Ward Field has hosted the Chicago Bears training camp....

 on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University
Olivet Nazarene University
Olivet Nazarene University is a Christian institution of higher education located in the Kankakee, Illinois village of Bourbonnais. Named for Olivet, Illinois, ONU was originally established as a grammar school in east-central Illinois in 1907...

 in Bourbonnais
Bourbonnais, Illinois
Bourbonnais is a village in Kankakee County, Illinois, United States. The population was 15,256 at the 2000 census, but it was estimated to have grown to 19,119 in 2009...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

.

1919–1970


Originally named the Decatur Staleys, the club was established by the A. E. Staley
A. E. Staley
A. E. Staley was a Decatur, Illinois based processor of corn founded in 1898. It changed its name to Staley Continental in 1985. It produced a range of starch products for the food, paper and other industries, high fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose , ethanol and other agro-industrial...

 food starch company of Decatur
Decatur, Illinois
Decatur is the largest city and the county seat of Macon County in the U.S. state of Illinois. The city, sometimes called "the Soybean Capital of the World", was founded in 1823 and is located along the Sangamon River and Lake Decatur in Central Illinois. In 2000 the city population was 81,500,...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 in 1919 as a company team. This was the typical start for several early professional football franchises. The company hired George Halas
George Halas
George Stanley Halas, Sr. , nicknamed "Papa Bear" and "Mr. Everything", was a player, coach, owner and pioneer in professional American football. He was the iconic longtime leader of the NFL's Chicago Bears...

 and Edward "Dutch" Sternaman
Edward Sternaman
Edward Sternaman , better known as Dutch, was an American player, coach, and owner in professional football for the NFL's Chicago Bears....

 in 1920 to run the team, and turned over full control of the team to them in 1921. However, official team and league records cite Halas as the founder as he took over the team in 1920 when it became a charter member of the NFL.

The team relocated to Chicago in 1921, where the club was renamed the Chicago Staleys. Under an agreement reached by Halas and Sternaman with Staley, Halas purchased the rights to the club from Staley for $
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

100, whereupon they were renamed the Chicago Bears.

The Bears dominated the league in the early years. Their rivalry with the Chicago Cardinals, the oldest in the NFL (and a crosstown rivalry from 1920 to 1959), was key in four out of the first six league titles. During the league's first six years, the Bears lost twice to the Canton Bulldogs
Canton Bulldogs
The Canton Bulldogs were a professional American football team, based in Canton, Ohio. They played in the Ohio League from 1903 to 1906 and 1911 to 1919, and its successor, the National Football League, from 1920 to 1923 and again from 1925 to 1926. The Bulldogs would go on to win the 1917, 1918...

 (who took two league titles over that span), and split with their crosstown rival Cardinals (going 4–4–2 against each other over that span), but no other team in the league defeated the Bears more than a single time. During that span, the Bears posted 34 shutouts.

The Bears' rivalry with the Green Bay Packers is one of the oldest and most storied in American professional sports, dating back to 1921. In one infamous incident that year, Halas got the Packers expelled from the league in order to prevent their signing a particular player, and then graciously got them re-admitted after the Bears had closed the deal with that player.

In 1922, Halas changed the team name from the Staleys to the Bears. The team moved into Wrigley Field, which was home to the Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

 baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 franchise. As with several early NFL franchises, the Bears derived their nickname from their city's baseball team (some directly, some indirectly – like the Bears, whose young are called "cubs"). Halas liked the bright orange-and-blue colors of his alma mater, the University of Illinois
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a large public research-intensive university in the state of Illinois, United States. It is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system...

, and the Bears adopted those colors as their own, albeit in a darker shade of each (the blue is a navy blue
Navy blue
Navy blue is a very dark shade of the color blue which almost appears as black. Navy blue got its name from the dark blue worn by officers in the British Royal Navy since 1748 and subsequently adopted by other navies around the world....

, and the orange is Pantone
Pantone
Pantone Inc. is a corporation headquartered in Carlstadt, New Jersey, USA. The company is best known for its Pantone Matching System , a proprietary color space...

 1665, similar to burnt orange).

The franchise was an early success under Halas, capturing the NFL Championship in and remaining competitive throughout the decade. In 1924 the Bears claimed the Championship after defeating the Cleveland Bulldogs
Cleveland Bulldogs
The Cleveland Bulldogs was a team that played in Cleveland, Ohio in the National Football League. They were originally called the Indians in 1923, not to be confused with the Cleveland Indians NFL franchise in 1922...

 on December 7, even putting the title "World's Champions" on their 1924 team photo. But the NFL had ruled that games after November 30 did not count towards league standings, and the Bears had to settle for second place behind Cleveland. Their only losing season came in .

During the 1920s the club was responsible for triggering the NFL's long-standing rule that a player could not be signed until his college's senior class had graduated. The NFL took that action as a consequence of the Bears' aggressive signing of famous University of Illinois player Red Grange
Red Grange
Harold Edward "Red" Grange, nicknamed "The Galloping Ghost", was a college and professional American football halfback for the University of Illinois, the Chicago Bears, and for the short-lived New York Yankees. His signing with the Bears helped legitimize the National Football League...

 within a day of his final game as a collegian.

After the financial losses of the Championship season, Halas' partner Dutch Sternaman left the organization. Halas maintained full control of the Bears until his death in 1983. He also coached the team off-and-on for forty seasons, an NFL record. In the 1932 "Unofficial" NFL Championship
NFL Playoff Game, 1932
The 1932 NFL Playoff Game was the first ever playoff game held by the National Football League , the major professional American football sports league in the United States. Due to extremely cold weather, the game was played indoors on December 18, 1932 at Chicago Stadium in Chicago...

, the Bears defeated the Portsmouth Spartans in the first indoor American football game at Chicago Stadium
Chicago Stadium
The Chicago Stadium was an indoor sports arena and theater in Chicago. It opened in 1929, and closed in 1994.-History:The Stadium hosted the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL from 1929–1994 and the Chicago Bulls of the NBA from 1967–1994....

.

The success of the playoff game led the NFL to institute a championship game. In the very first NFL Championship, the Bears played against the New York Giants
New York Giants
The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, representing the New York City metropolitan area. The Giants are currently members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

, defeating them 23–21. The teams met again in the 1934 NFL Championship
NFL Championship Game, 1934
The 1934 National Football League Championship Game, also known as The Sneakers Game, was played at the Polo Grounds in New York City on December 9, 1934. The final score was New York Giants 30, Chicago Bears 13. It was the 2nd annual NFL championship game.A freezing rain the night before the game...

 where the Giants
1933 New York Giants season
The 1933 New York Giants season was the ninth season for the club in the National Football League.-Schedule:-Playoffs:-Standings:-See also:*List of New York Giants seasons...

, wearing sneakers defeated the Bears 30–13 on a cold, icy day at the Polo Grounds
Polo Grounds
The Polo Grounds was the name given to four different stadiums in Upper Manhattan, New York City, used by many professional teams in both baseball and American football from 1880 until 1963...

.

From 1940–1947, quarterback
Quarterback
Quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line...

 Sid Luckman
Sid Luckman
Sidney Luckman, known as Sid Luckman, was an American football quarterback for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League from 1939 to 1950...

 led the Bears to victories in four out of the five NFL Championship Games in which they appeared. The team acquired the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

's discarded nickname "Monsters of the Midway
Monsters of the Midway
The "Monsters of the Midway" is most widely known as the nickname for the National Football League's Chicago Bears—particularly the dominant teams of 1940 and 1941...

" and their now-famous helmet "C", as well as a newly penned theme song
Bear Down, Chicago Bears
"Bear Down, Chicago Bears" is the fight song of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. It was written in 1941 by Al Hoffman under the pseudonym Jerry Downs.At home games, the song is played every time the Bears score, even after a safety....

 that declared them "The Pride and Joy of Illinois". One famous victory during that period was their 73–0 victory over the favored Washington Redskins
1939 Washington Redskins season
The 1939 Washington Redskins began with the team trying to improve on their 6-3-2 record from 1938.-Schedule:-Standings:...

 at Griffith Stadium
Griffith Stadium
Griffith Stadium was a sports stadium that stood in Washington, D.C. from 1911 to 1965, between Georgia Avenue and 5th Street, and between W Street and Florida Avenue, NW. An earlier wooden baseball park had been built on the same site in 1891...

 in the 1940 NFL Championship Game; the score is still an NFL record for lopsided results. The secret behind the one-sided outcome was the introduction of a new offensive formation by Halas. The T-formation, as Halas named it, involved two running back
Running back
A running back is a gridiron football position, who is typically lined up in the offensive backfield. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback for a rushing play, to catch passes from out of the backfield, and to block.There are usually one or two running...

s instead of the traditional one in the backfield. Luckman's success at the quarterback position for the Bears has not been matched, as he still holds club records for passing.

After declining throughout the 1950s, the team rebounded in to capture their eighth NFL Championship, which would be their last until 1985. The late 1960s and early 1970s produced notable players like Dick Butkus
Dick Butkus
Richard Marvin "Dick" Butkus is a former American football player for the Chicago Bears. He was drafted in 1965 and he is also widely regarded as one of the best and most durable linebackers of all time. Butkus starred as a football player for the University of Illinois and the Chicago Bears. He...

, Gale Sayers
Gale Sayers
Gale Eugene Sayers also known as "The Kansas Comet", is a former professional football player in the National Football League who spent his entire career with the Chicago Bears....

, and Brian Piccolo, who died of embryonal carcinoma
Embryonal carcinoma
Embryonal carcinoma is a relatively uncommon type of germ cell tumour that occurs in the ovaries and testes.-Ovarian embryonal carcinoma:In the ovary, embryonal carcinoma is quite rare, amounting to approximately three percent of ovarian germ cell tumours. The median age at diagnosis is 15 years...

 in 1970. The American television network ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 aired a movie about Piccolo in 1971 entitled Brian's Song
Brian's Song
Brian's Song is a 1971 ABC Movie of the Week that recounts the details of the life of Brian Piccolo , a Wake Forest University football player stricken with terminal cancer after turning pro, told through his friendship with Chicago Bears running back teammate and Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale...

, starring James Caan and Billy Dee Williams
Billy Dee Williams
William December "Billy Dee" Williams, Jr. is an American actor, artist, singer, and writer.-Early life:Williams was born in New York City, New York, the son of Loretta...

 in the roles of Piccolo and Sayers respectively; Jack Warden
Jack Warden
Jack Warden was an American character actor.-Early life:Warden was born John Warden Lebzelter in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Laura M. and John Warden Lebzelter, who was an engineer and technician. He was of Irish and Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry...

 won an Emmy Award
Emmy Award
An Emmy Award, often referred to simply as the Emmy, is a television production award, similar in nature to the Peabody Awards but more focused on entertainment, and is considered the television equivalent to the Academy Awards and the Grammy Awards .A majority of Emmys are presented in various...

 for his performance as Halas. The movie was later released for theater screenings after first being shown on television.

Halas retired as coach in 1967
1967 Chicago Bears season
The 1967 Chicago Bears season was their 48th regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 7-6-1 record, earning them a second place finish in the newly formed Central Division within the NFL's Western Conference. 1967 also marked the final season with George Halas,...

 and spent the rest of his days in the front office. He became the only person to be involved with the NFL throughout the first 60 years of its existence. He was also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's first induction class in 1963. As the only living founder of the NFL at the February 1970 merger
AFL-NFL Merger
The AFL–NFL merger of 1970 was the merger of the two major professional American football leagues in the United States at the time: the National Football League and the American Football League...

 between the NFL and the American Football League
American Football League
The American Football League was a major American Professional Football league that operated from 1960 until 1969, when the established National Football League merged with it. The upstart AFL operated in direct competition with the more established NFL throughout its existence...

, the owners honored Halas by electing him the first President of the National Football Conference
National Football Conference
The National Football Conference is one of the two conferences of the National Football League . This conference and its counterpart, the American Football Conference , currently contain 16 teams each, making up the 32 teams of the NFL.-Current teams:Since 2002, the NFC has comprised 16 teams,...

, a position that he held until his death in 1983. In his honor, the NFL named the NFC Championship trophy as the George Halas Memorial Trophy.

1970–2003


After the merger, the Bears finished the 1970 season
1970 Chicago Bears season
The 1970 Chicago Bears season was their 51st regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 6-8 record, another below .500 showing, but an improvement over their 1-13 record of the previous season.-Regular season:...

 last place in their division, a repeat of their placing in the 1969 season
1969 Chicago Bears season
The 1969 Chicago Bears season was their 50th regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 1-13 record, the worst in franchise history....

. In 1975
1975 Chicago Bears season
The 1975 Chicago Bears season was their 56th regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted another 4-10 record, in the first season under Jack Pardee.-NFL Draft:-Schedule:-Standings: -References:...

, the Bears drafted
1975 NFL Draft
The 1975 National Football League Draft was held on January 28–29, 1975.-Player selections:-Round one:-Round two:-Round three:-Round four:-Round five:-Round six:-Round seven:-Round eight:-Round nine:-Round ten:...

 Walter Payton
Walter Payton
Walter Jerry Payton was an American football running back who played for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League for thirteen seasons. Walter Payton was known around the NFL as "Sweetness". He is remembered as one of the most prolific running backs in the history of American football...

 from Jackson State University
Jackson State University
Jackson State University is a historically black university founded in 1877 in Natchez, MS by the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York. The Society moved the school to Jackson in 1882, renaming it Jackson College, and developed its present campus in 1902. It became a state supported...

 with their first pick. He won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award in the 1977–78 season
1977 NFL season
The 1977 NFL season was the 58th regular season of the National Football League. The Seattle Seahawks were placed in the AFC West while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were slotted in the NFC Central....

. Payton would go on to eclipse Jim Brown
Jim Brown
James Nathaniel "Jim" Brown is an American former professional football player who has also made his mark as an actor. He is best known for his exceptional and record-setting nine-year career as a running back for the NFL Cleveland Browns from 1957 to 1965. In 2002, he was named by Sporting News...

's NFL career rushing
Rush (American football)
Rushing has two different meanings in gridiron football .-Offense:The first is an action taken by the offensive team that means to advance the ball by running, as opposed to passing. A run is technically any play that does not involve a forward pass...

 record in 1984 before retiring in 1987, and would hold the mark until , when Emmitt Smith
Emmitt Smith
Emmitt James Smith, III is a retired American football player who was a running back in the National Football League for fifteen seasons during the 1990s and 2000s. Smith played college football for the University of Florida, where he was an All-American; thereafter, he played professionally for...

 of the Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are a professional American football franchise which plays in the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference of the National Football League . They are headquartered in Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas...

 surpassed it. Payton's career and personality would capture the hearts of Bear fans, who called him "Sweetness". He died from a rare form of liver cancer in 1999 at the age of 45.

On November 1, 1983, a day after the death of George Halas, his oldest daughter, Virginia McCaskey, took over as the majority owner of the team. Her husband, Ed McCaskey, succeeded her father as the Chairman of the Board. Their son Michael became the third president in team history. Mrs. McCaskey holds the honorary title of "secretary of the board of directors", but the 82-year–old matriarch has been called the glue that holds the franchise together. Mrs. McCaskey's reign as the owner of the Bears was not planned, as her father originally earmarked her brother, George "Mugs" Halas, Jr.
George Halas, Jr.
George Stanley Halas, Jr. , nicknamed "Mugs," was one of four presidents in the history of the Chicago Bears franchise of the National Football League. He was the son of George Halas, who was a former player, head coach, and owner of the Bears, and the co-founder of the NFL. George Jr. joined the...

 as the heir apparent to the franchise. However, he died of a massive heart attack in 1979. Her impact on the team is well-noted as her own family has dubbed her "The First Lady of Sports", and the Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
The Chicago Sun-Times is an American daily newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois. It is the flagship paper of the Sun-Times Media Group.-History:The Chicago Sun-Times is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the city...

 has listed her as one of Chicago's most powerful women.

Mike Ditka
Mike Ditka
Michael Keller Ditka, Jr. is a former American football NFL player, television commentator, and coach. Ditka coached the Chicago Bears for 11 years and New Orleans Saints for three years. Ditka and Tom Flores are the only two people to win Super Bowls as a player, an assistant coach, and a head...

, a tight end
Tight end
The tight end is a position in American football on the offense. The tight end is often seen as a hybrid position with the characteristics and roles of both an offensive lineman and a wide receiver. Like offensive linemen, they are usually lined up on the offensive line and are large enough to be...

 for the Bears from 1961
1961 Chicago Bears season
The 1961 Chicago Bears season was their 42nd regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted an 8-6 record under George Halas, which was an improvement over the 5-6-1 record of the previous season.-Offseason:...

 to 1966
1966 Chicago Bears season
The 1966 Chicago Bears season was their 47th regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 5-7-2 record, earning them a fifth place finish in the NFL Western Conference. This was the club's second losing season in the past three....

, was hired to coach the team by George Halas in 1982
1982 Chicago Bears season
The 1982 Chicago Bears season was their 63rd regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 3-6 record under first year head coach Mike Ditka in a strike shortened season.-NFL Draft:-Schedule:-References:*...

. In the 1985
1985 Chicago Bears season
The 1985 Chicago Bears season was their 66th regular season and 16th post-season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 15-1 record, earning them the top seed in the NFC for the playoffs. The Bears defeated their three post season opponents by a combined score of 91-10 en...

 season the fire in the Bears–Packers rivalry was relit when Ditka used 350–plus pound lineman "Refrigerator" Perry as a truly "wide" receiver
Wide receiver
A wide receiver is an offensive position in American and Canadian football, and is the key player in most of the passing plays. Only players in the backfield or the ends on the line are eligible to catch a forward pass. The two players who begin play at the ends of the offensive line are eligible...

 in a touchdown
Touchdown
A touchdown is a means of scoring in American and Canadian football. Whether running, passing, returning a kickoff or punt, or recovering a turnover, a team scores a touchdown by advancing the ball into the opponent's end zone.-Description:...

 play at Lambeau Field
Lambeau Field
Lambeau Field is an outdoor football stadium in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the home of the NFL's Green Bay Packers. Opened in 1957 as City Stadium, it replaced the original City Stadium as the Packers' home field...

, flagrantly taunting the Packers. The Bears won their ninth NFL Championship, first since the AFL-NFL merger
AFL-NFL Merger
The AFL–NFL merger of 1970 was the merger of the two major professional American football leagues in the United States at the time: the National Football League and the American Football League...

, in Super Bowl XX after the 1985 season in which they dominated the NFL with their then-revolutionary 46 defense
46 defense
The 46 defense is an American football defensive formation. The formation comprises four down linemen, three linebackers, and four defensive backs. The 46 defense was originally developed and popularized by Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, who later became head coach of the...

 and a cast of characters that recorded the novelty rap song "The Super Bowl Shuffle". The season was notable in that the Bears had only one loss, the "unlucky 13th" game of the season, a Monday night
Monday Night Football
Monday Night Football is a live broadcast of the National Football League on ESPN. From to it aired on ABC. Monday Night Football was, along with Hallmark Hall of Fame, and the Walt Disney anthology television series, one of the longest running prime time commercial network television series...

 affair in which they were defeated by the Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins are a Professional football team based in the Miami metropolitan area in Florida. The team is part of the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

. At the time, much was made of the fact that the Dolphins
1972 Miami Dolphins season
The 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only National Football League team to win the Super Bowl with a perfect season. The undefeated campaign was led by coach Don Shula and notable players Bob Griese, Earl Morrall, and Larry Csonka...

 were the only franchise in history to have had an undefeated season and post-season
Perfect Season
A perfect season is any sports season, excluding the playoff portion of a season, in which a team remains undefeated and untied. The feat is extremely rare at the professional level of any team sport, and has occurred more commonly at the collegiate level in the United States.A perfect season may...

. The Dolphins came close to setting up a rematch in the Super Bowl, but lost to the New England Patriots
1985 New England Patriots season
The 1985 New England Patriots season was the 16th season for the team in the National Football League and 26th season overall. The Patriots had a record of eleven wins and five losses, and finished tied for second in the AFC East division. They lost in Super Bowl XX to the Chicago Bears...

 in the AFC title game
AFC Championship Game
The American Football Conference Championship Game is one of the two final playoff matches of the National Football League, the largest professional American football league in the United States. The game is played on the penultimate Sunday in January and determines the champion of the American...

. "The Super Bowl Shuffle" was videotaped the day after that Monday night loss in Miami.

After the 1985 Championship season, the Bears remained competitive throughout the 1980s but failed to return to the Super Bowl
Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League , the highest level of professional American football in the United States, culminating a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. The Super Bowl uses Roman numerals to identify each game, rather...

 under Mike Ditka
Mike Ditka
Michael Keller Ditka, Jr. is a former American football NFL player, television commentator, and coach. Ditka coached the Chicago Bears for 11 years and New Orleans Saints for three years. Ditka and Tom Flores are the only two people to win Super Bowls as a player, an assistant coach, and a head...

. Since the firing of Ditka at the end of the 1992 season, the Bears have made the playoffs five times under three different head coaches: Dave Wannstedt
Dave Wannstedt
Dave Wannstedt is current Assistant Head Coach/Inside Linebackers Coach for the Buffalo Bills in the National Football League. He was most recently head coach of the University of Pittsburgh football team, a position he held for six seasons. Wannstedt is also the former head coach of the Miami...

 from 1993 through 1998, Dick Jauron
Dick Jauron
Richard Manuel Jauron is the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. He was the head coach for the Buffalo Bills from 2006 until November 2009. Jauron has previously held head coaching positions with the Chicago Bears and, on an interim basis, with the...

 from 1999 through 2003, and current head coach, Lovie Smith
Lovie Smith
Lovie Lee Smith is the head coach of the Chicago Bears professional football team of the NFL. Smith has been to the Super Bowl twice, as the defensive coordinator for the 2001 Saint Louis Rams and as the head coach for the Chicago Bears in 2006....

. Before the Bears hired Jauron in January 1999, Dave McGinnis
Dave McGinnis
Dave McGinnis is the linebackers coach of the Tennessee Titans. He formerly was the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals from 2000 through 2003.-Biography:...

 (Arizona's defensive coordinator, and a former Bears assistant under Ditka and Wannstedt) backed out of taking the head coaching position. The Bears scheduled a press conference to announce the hiring before McGinnis agreed to contract terms. Soon after Jauron's hiring, Mrs. McCaskey fired her son Michael as president, replacing him with Ted Phillips
Ted Phillips
Ted Phillips is the President and CEO of the NFL's Chicago Bears. He became president on February 10, 1999, and is the fourth president in the team's history.-References:...

 and promoting Michael to chairman of the board
Chairman of the Board
The Chairman of the Board is a seat of office in an organization, especially of corporations.Chairman of the Board may also refer to:*Chairman of the Board , a 1998 film*Chairmen of the Board , a 1970s American soul music group...

. McCaskey's reign as president has been viewed as a "disaster". Phillips, the current Bears president, became the first man outside of the Halas-McCaskey family to run the team.

2004–present: Lovie Smith era



Lovie Smith
Lovie Smith
Lovie Lee Smith is the head coach of the Chicago Bears professional football team of the NFL. Smith has been to the Super Bowl twice, as the defensive coordinator for the 2001 Saint Louis Rams and as the head coach for the Chicago Bears in 2006....

, hired on January 15, 2004, is the third and current (as of 2010) post-Ditka head coach. Joining the Bears as a rookie head coach, Smith brought the highly successful Tampa 2
Tampa 2
The Tampa 2 is an American football defensive strategy popularized by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers National Football League team in the mid 1990s-early 2000s. The Tampa 2 is typically employed out of a 4-3 defensive alignment, which consists of four linemen, three linebackers, two cornerbacks, and...

 defensive scheme with him to Chicago. Before his second season with the Bears, the team rehired their former offensive coordinator and then Illinois
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a large public research-intensive university in the state of Illinois, United States. It is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system...

 head coach Ron Turner
Ron Turner (football coach)
Ron Turner is an American football coach. He is currently the quarterbacks coach for the Indianapolis Colts. He was previously the head coach of the Illinois Fighting Illini football team from 1997 to 2004...

 to improve the Bears' struggling offense. In , the Bears won their division and reached the playoffs
NFL playoffs, 2005-06
The National Football League playoffs for the 2005 season began on January 7, 2006 and led up to Super Bowl XL on February 5, 2006 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan....

 for the first time in four years. Their previous playoff berth was earned by winning the NFC Central in . The Bears improved upon their success the following season, by clinching their second consecutive NFC North title during Week 13 of the season, winning their first playoff game since 1995, and earning a trip to Super Bowl XLI
Super Bowl XLI
Super Bowl XLI was an American football game that featured the American Football Conference champion Indianapolis Colts and the National Football Conference champion Chicago Bears to decide the National Football League champion for the 2006 season...

. However, they fell short of the championship, losing 29–17 to the Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts are a professional American football team based in Indianapolis. They are currently members of the South Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League ....

. Following the 2006 season, the club decided to give Lovie Smith a contract extension through 2011, at roughly $5 million per year. This comes a season after being the lowest paid head coach in the National Football League.

The club has played in over a thousand games since becoming a charter member of the NFL in . Through the 2010 season, they led the NFL in overall franchise wins with 704 and had an overall record of 704–512–42 (going 687–494–42 during the regular season and 17–18 in the playoffs). On November 18, 2010 the Bears recorded franchise win number 700 in a win against the Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins are a Professional football team based in the Miami metropolitan area in Florida. The team is part of the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

.

On April 2, 2009, the Bears made one of the biggest trades in franchise history, acquiring Pro Bowl
Pro Bowl
In professional American football, the Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League . Since the merger with the rival American Football League in 1970, it has been officially called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference against those...

 quarterback Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler (American football)
Jay Christopher Cutler is a quarterback for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He played football at Vanderbilt University. Cutler began his professional football career with the Denver Broncos, who selected him as the 11th overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft...

 and a 5th round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft
2009 NFL Draft
The 2009 NFL Draft was the seventy-fourth annual meeting of National Football League franchises to select newly eligible football players. The draft took place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 25 and 26, 2009. The draft consisted of two rounds on the first day starting at 4:00...

 from the Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are a professional American football team based in Denver, Colorado. They are currently members of the West Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 in exchange for quarterback Kyle Orton
Kyle Orton
Kyle Orton is an American football quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. He played college football at Purdue, where he started four straight bowl games. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft...

, the Bears' 1st and 3rd round selections in the 2009 NFL Draft
2009 NFL Draft
The 2009 NFL Draft was the seventy-fourth annual meeting of National Football League franchises to select newly eligible football players. The draft took place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 25 and 26, 2009. The draft consisted of two rounds on the first day starting at 4:00...

 and the Bears' 1st round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft
2010 NFL Draft
The 2010 NFL Draft was the 75th annual meeting of National Football League franchises to select newly eligible football players. Unlike previous years, the 2010 draft took place over three days, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, with the first round on Thursday, April 22, 2010, at 7:30 pm...

. On February 1, 2010, offensive guru Mike Martz
Mike Martz
Michael Martz is a former NFL head coach and currently the offensive coordinator for the National Football League's Chicago Bears....

 was hired by the Chicago Bears as their offensive coordinator. On March 5, 2010, the Bears made a big splash in free agency, signing defensive end Julius Peppers
Julius Peppers
Julius Frazier Peppers is an American football defensive end for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. Nicknamed The Freak of Nature, he was drafted by the Carolina Panthers second overall in the 2002 NFL Draft...

, running back Chester Taylor
Chester Taylor
Chester Lamar Taylor also known as "Che Tay" is an American football running back of the National Football League who is currently on the Arizona Cardinals. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2002 NFL Draft...

, and tight end Brandon Manumaleuna
Brandon Manumaleuna
-St. Louis Rams:Manumaleuna was selected in the fourth round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He signed with the team on June 21, 2001. He agreed to a three-year $1.15 million contract including a $255,000 signing bonus. In 2001, Manumaleuna only had one reception on the season...

 spending over $100 million on the first day of free agency. The Chicago Bears got their 700th regular season win on November 18, 2010 by beating the Miami Dolphins 16–0. This makes the Bears the first team in the NFL to reach the regular season win mark of 700. On December 20, 2010, the Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings 40–14 at TCF Bank Stadium
TCF Bank Stadium
TCF Bank Stadium, sometimes referred to as either "The Bank" or "The Gopher Hole," is the football stadium for the Minnesota Golden Gophers college football team at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota...

 in Minneapolis to clinch the NFC North
NFC North
The NFC North is a division of the National Football League's National Football Conference, based in the Upper Midwest region of the United States...

 Division title, their third in six years but first since 2006, when they reached Super Bowl XLI
Super Bowl XLI
Super Bowl XLI was an American football game that featured the American Football Conference champion Indianapolis Colts and the National Football Conference champion Chicago Bears to decide the National Football League champion for the 2006 season...

. With a 38–34 win against the New York Jets
New York Jets
The New York Jets are a professional football team headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, representing the New York metropolitan area. The team is a member of the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

, the Bears clinched the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye
Bye (sports)
A bye, in sports and other competitive activities, most commonly refers to the practice of allowing a player or team to advance to the next round of a playoff tournament without playing...

 for the 2010–11 NFL playoffs
2010–11 NFL playoffs
The National Football League playoffs for the 2010 season began on January 8, 2011 and led up to Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas....

. They reached the NFC Championship Game following the defeat of the Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team...

, where they played Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are an American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Packers are the current NFL champions...

 at Soldier Field
Soldier Field
Soldier Field is located on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Illinois, United States, in the Near South Side. It is home to the NFL's Chicago Bears...

 – only the second playoff meeting between the two storied rivals, the only other game played in 1941. The Bears lost the game, 21–14.

Ownership


Virginia McCaskey, her children, and grandchildren control 80% of the team, and Mrs. McCaskey votes her children's stock as well as her own. Patrick Ryan, executive chairman of Aon Corp., and Aon director Andrew McKenna
Andrew McKenna
Andrew McKenna Jr is the immediate past chairman for the Illinois Republican Party. McKenna became the chairman in 2005, and stepped down in August 2009. He was succeeded by Pat Brady. He was preceded by Judy Baar Topinka....

 own 15% of the club, and Kevin owns 5% of the club. In a Crain's Chicago Business article, one businessman described his wishes for the team to maximize its potential. In 2009 Yahoo! Sports listed the McCaskey as the third worst owner in the NFL, stating "[T]hey get less for what they’ve got than any team in our league." There have been rumors that the McCaskey family might split up over the team.

In 2008, Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

 magazine reported that the Chicago Bears franchise is worth $1.1 billion, making it the ninth richest franchise in the NFL. Chicago is the National Football League's second largest market. The team has major sponsorship deals with Chase, Miller Brewing Company
Miller Brewing Company
The Miller Brewing Company is an American beer brewing company owned by the United Kingdom-based SABMiller. Its regional headquarters are located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the company has brewing facilities in Albany, Georgia; Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; Eden, North Carolina; Fort Worth, Texas;...

, Cadillac
Cadillac
Cadillac is an American luxury vehicle marque owned by General Motors . Cadillac vehicles are sold in over 50 countries and territories, but mostly in North America. Cadillac is currently the second oldest American automobile manufacturer behind fellow GM marque Buick and is among the oldest...

, United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

, Motorola
Motorola
Motorola, Inc. was an American multinational telecommunications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, which was eventually divided into two independent public companies, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions on January 4, 2011, after losing $4.3 billion from 2007 to 2009...

, U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular
United States Cellular Corporation, d.b.a. U.S. Cellular , owns and operates the sixth largest wireless telecommunications network in the United States, behind Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, and Metro PCS. , they serve about 6.1 million customers in 126 markets in...

 and Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke...

. The team was the first in the NFL to have a presenting sponsor, with the 2004 season advertised as "Bears Football presented by BankOne
Bank One Corporation
Some of the banks that were merged into these banks include:*Bank One**Security National Bank & Trust **Affiliated Bankshares of Colorado **American Fletcher Corp. **City National Bank and Trust Co...

 (now Chase)". Additionally, the Bears have an agreement with WFLD-TV (the Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

 affiliate in Chicago) to broadcast pre-season football games.

Logo


The club's first logo was introduced in the early 1950s as a black bear on top of a football. They kept this until 1962, when the Bears trademark 'C' logo was first introduced.

The change in their logo from the black bear was due to the addition of logos on helmets
Football helmet
A football helmet is a protective device used primarily in American football and Canadian football. It consists of a hard plastic top with thick padding on the inside, a face mask made of one or more plastic bars, and a chinstrap. Some players add polycarbonate visors to their helmets, which are...

, which pro football teams started adding in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Unlike some NFL franchises that have had many different looks over time, the Bears have kept the wishbone 'C' for over 40 years.

In 1974
1974 Chicago Bears season
The 1974 Chicago Bears season was their 55th regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 4-10 record, another dismal season led to the termination of Abe Gibron as head coach.-NFL Draft:-Schedule:-Standings:...

, the team decided to keep the same white 'C' logo but to change the color of it from white to orange with a white trim. This is the current logo; however, the club has since introduced alternative logos, including a black bear inside of the orange wishbone 'C', introduced in 1995, and an orange bear head, introduced in 1999.

Uniforms


In 1920 the team introduced uniforms containing brown and blue stripes. In the 1930s, the franchise's uniform underwent substantial alterations. By 1933 the Bears donned all-orange jerseys with navy numbers and matching black helmets. In 1936, they modified this design into "an early version of psychedelia
Psychedelic art
Psychedelic art is any kind of visual artwork inspired by psychedelic experiences induced by drugs such as LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin. The word "psychedelic" "mind manifesting". By that definition all artistic efforts to depict the inner world of the psyche may be considered "psychedelic"...

" by adding three orange stripes to their helmets, changing the color of the jerseys from orange to white, complementing the new white jerseys with fourteen navy and orange alternating stripes on the sleeves, and introducing socks with a similar striped pattern extending from ankle to knee. Because of poor response from the fans and the media, this design lasted only one season.
By 1949
1949 Chicago Bears season
The 1949 Chicago Bears season was their 30th regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a competitive 9-3 record under head coach George Halas, but the team finished in second place in the NFL Western Division for a third time missing out on a chance to add more...

, the team was wearing the familiar navy blue shirts with white, rounded numbers. In 1956
1956 Chicago Bears season
The 1956 Chicago Bears season was their 37th regular season and 11th postseason completed in the National Football League. The club posted 9-2-1 record under first year head coach Paddy Driscoll placing them in first place of the Western Conference and in their first title game since 1946...

, the team added "TV numbers" to the sleeves. The Bears 'C' logo first appeared on the helmets in 1962
1962 Chicago Bears season
The 1962 Chicago Bears season was their 43rd regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 9-5 record, earning them a third place finish in the NFL Western Conference.-Schedule:-Standings:-References:...

. The logo changed from white to a white-bordered orange logo 11 years later, and has remained unchanged ever since. The Bears added the initials GSH to the left sleeve of their jerseys in 1984
1984 Chicago Bears season
The 1984 Chicago Bears season was their 65th regular season and 15th post-season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 10-6 record, earning them a spot in the NFL playoffs...

 in memory of George Halas
George Halas
George Stanley Halas, Sr. , nicknamed "Papa Bear" and "Mr. Everything", was a player, coach, owner and pioneer in professional American football. He was the iconic longtime leader of the NFL's Chicago Bears...

.

For decades, the team was known as the only NFL team to wear jersey numbers that were not the traditional block-style numbers (though during the 1971 season, the Bears road jerseys used the block-style numbers). Although a handful of other NFL teams and the Houston Oilers
Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans are a professional American football team based in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. They are members of the South Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Previously known as the Houston Oilers, the team began play in 1960 as a charter...

 during their early AFL
American Football League
The American Football League was a major American Professional Football league that operated from 1960 until 1969, when the established National Football League merged with it. The upstart AFL operated in direct competition with the more established NFL throughout its existence...

 days experimented with rounder jersey numbers, by the mid-1960s the Bears were the only team left to continue wearing rounded jersey numbers. Since the mid-1990s, however, several teams have shifted away from the block numbers in favor of numbers that match a specific team font (e.g. Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are a professional American football team based in Denver, Colorado. They are currently members of the West Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

, Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens are a professional football franchise based in Baltimore, Maryland.The Baltimore Ravens are officially a quasi-expansion franchise, having originated in 1995 with the Cleveland Browns relocation controversy after Art Modell, then owner of the Cleveland Browns, announced his...

, Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

, etc.) or in the case of the Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The team currently belongs to the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Founded in , the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC...

, match the jersey number font with the helmet numbers while otherwise leaving the jersey design alone.

Other variations to the Bears uniforms over the years include the addition of navy blue pants as a part of the road kit in 1984. During the 1994 season
1994 Chicago Bears season
The 1994 Chicago Bears season was their 75th regular season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 9–7 record under head coach Dave Wannstedt. The club was one of four teams from the NFC Central to make the playoffs. This was also the NFL's 75th Anniversary so it saw the Bears...

, the Bears – with most of the other NFL franchises – introduced throwback uniform
Throwback uniform
Throwback uniforms and jerseys are one-time or limited-time variations on a sports team's uniforms styled to resemble uniforms from that team's past. They have proven popular in all major pro and college sports in the USA, not only with fans, but with the teams' marketing and merchandising...

s to be worn in the honor of the NFL's 75th anniversary. These uniforms with brown and blue stripes resemble the original Bears uniforms worn in the 1920s. On October 7, 2002 the Bears wore navy blue pants with their navy blue home jerseys for the first time, and lost at home to Green Bay before a national Monday Night Football audience. The Bears did not wear the all-blue combination again until the 2006 regular season finale against the Packers
2006 Green Bay Packers season
- Game summary :The Packers opened the regular season on September 10 with a 26-0 loss to the Chicago Bears, the Packers' first scoreless game since October 17, 1991....

, also a loss, on December 31.


On November 13, 2005 and October 29, 2006 (both times in games against the San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the West Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team was founded in 1946 as a charter member of the All-America Football Conference and...

), the Bears introduced an orange alternate home jersey. The orange swaps roles with the navy blue on this alternate jersey, as it becomes the dominant color while the navy complements. The orange jerseys were worn again on October 19, 2008 at home against the Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings joined the National Football League as an expansion team in 1960...

 in a 48–41 victory.

The Bears also wore the orange jerseys against the Detroit Lions on October 28, 2007 and most recently in a November 1, 2009 game vs. the Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns are a professional football team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are currently members of the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 (Bears won 30–6). The Bears previously wore orange jerseys as part of a throwback uniform in a Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. In Canada, Thanksgiving falls on the same day as Columbus Day in the...

 game at the Dallas Cowboys in 2004. Their uniforms, especially for their classic look, have been cited as one of the best in the league.

Since 2005, the Bears have worn their alternate orange jerseys for one home game a season that is near Halloween
Halloween
Hallowe'en , also known as Halloween or All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly holiday observed around the world on October 31, the night before All Saints' Day...

. For the 2005–07 and 2010 home openers, the team wore the white jerseys with the navy blue pants. The team is 4–0 in these games, beating the Lions in 2005, 2006, and 2010, and beating the Chiefs in 2007.

The Bears will honor the original Monsters of the Midway during the 2010 season by wearing throwback uniforms of the era for selected games. The uniforms are a nod to the 1940s when the Bears won four NFL titles with Hall of Famers Danny Fortman, Sid Luckman, George McAfee, George Musso, Bronko Nagurski, Joe Stydahar and Clyde "Bulldog" Turner.

Mascots


Before the introduction of Staley Da Bear
Staley Da Bear
Staley Da Bear is the official mascot of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He is an anthropomorphic bear with a customized team jersey. Staley's name is eponymous to A. E. Staley, who originally founded the Bears’ franchise in 1919. He debuted during the 2003 Chicago Bears season...

, the club had two unofficial mascots named "Rocky" and "Bearman". "Rocky" was a man who donned a "1" Bears jersey, carried a megaphone
Megaphone
A megaphone, speaking-trumpet, bullhorn, blowhorn, or loud hailer is a portable, usually hand-held, cone-shaped horn used to amplify a person’s voice or other sounds towards a targeted direction. This is accomplished by channelling the sound through the megaphone, which also serves to match the...

, and started chants all over Soldier Field during the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. There is no known source of who "Rocky" was, except that he disappeared from Soldier Field in the early 1990s and presumably lived in Northwest Indiana
Northwest Indiana
Northwest Indiana, also known as the South Shore and The Calumet Region or simply The Region, comprises Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties in Indiana. This region neighbors Lake Michigan and is part of the Chicago metropolitan area...

. Don Wachter, also known as "Bearman", is a season ticket
Season ticket
A season ticket is a ticket that grants privileges over a defined period of time.-Sport:In sport, a season ticket grants the holder access to all regular-season home games for one season without additional charges. The ticket usually offers a discounted price over purchasing a ticket for each of...

 holder who decided in 1995 that he could also assist the team by cheerleading. The club allowed him to run across the field with a large Bears flag during player introductions and each team score. In 1996, he donned his "costume" of face paint, bear head and arms, and a number 46 jersey. "Bearman" was forced to stop wearing his costume with the introduction of Staley Da Bear
Staley Da Bear
Staley Da Bear is the official mascot of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He is an anthropomorphic bear with a customized team jersey. Staley's name is eponymous to A. E. Staley, who originally founded the Bears’ franchise in 1919. He debuted during the 2003 Chicago Bears season...

 in 2003; however, in 2005 Wachter was allowed in costume again.

Stadium


Soldier Field, located on Lake Shore Drive
Lake Shore Drive
Lake Shore Drive is a mostly freeway-standard expressway running parallel with and alongside the shoreline of Lake Michigan through Chicago, Illinois, USA. Except for the portion north of Foster Avenue , Lake Shore Drive is designated as part of U.S...

 in Chicago, is the current home to the Bears. The Bears moved into Soldier Field in 1971 after outgrowing Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field is a baseball stadium in Chicago, Illinois, United States that has served as the home ballpark of the Chicago Cubs since 1916. It was built in 1914 as Weeghman Park for the Chicago Federal League baseball team, the Chicago Whales...

, the team's home for 50 years, and Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

's residential neighbors objected to their playing at Dyche Stadium, now called Ryan Field. After the AFL-NFL Merger
AFL-NFL Merger
The AFL–NFL merger of 1970 was the merger of the two major professional American football leagues in the United States at the time: the National Football League and the American Football League...

, the newly merged league wanted their teams to play in stadiums that could hold at least 50,000 fans. Even with the portable bleachers that the team brought into Wrigley, the stadium could still only hold 46,000. Soldier Field's playing turf was changed from astroturf
AstroTurf
AstroTurf is a brand of artificial turf. Although the term is a registered trademark, it is sometimes used as a generic description of any kind of artificial turf. The original AstroTurf product was a short pile synthetic turf while the current products incorporate modern features such as...

 to natural grass in time for the start of the 1988 season. The stadium was the site of the infamous Fog Bowl
Fog Bowl (American football)
In American football, the Fog Bowl was the name given to the December 31, 1988 National Football League playoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chicago Bears. A heavy, dense fog rolled over Chicago's Soldier Field during the 2nd quarter, cutting visibility to about 10-20 yards for the...

 playoff game between the Bears and Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles are a professional American football team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

.

In 2002
2002 Chicago Bears season
The 2002 Chicago Bears season was their 83rd regular season completed in the National Football League. Though the team had hopes of returning to the playoffs after an unexpected 13-3 season the previous year, the club posted a dismal 4-12 record and missed the postseason...

, the stadium was closed and rebuilt with only the exterior wall of the stadium being preserved. It was closed on Sunday, January 20, 2002, a day after the Bears lost in the playoffs
NFL playoffs, 2001-02
The NFL playoffs following the 2001 NFL season led up to Super Bowl XXXVI.For the first time, the NFL scheduled prime time playoff games for the first two rounds in an attempt to attract more television viewers. Saturday wild card and divisional playoff games were moved from 12:30 p.m. and 4:00...

. It reopened on September 27, 2003 after a complete rebuild (the second in the stadium's history). Many fans refer to the rebuilt stadium as "New Soldier Field". During the season, the Bears played their home games at the University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium
Memorial Stadium (Champaign)
thumb|right|300px|Original plan for Memorial Stadium circa 1921. Caption from [[Popular Mechanics]] Magazine, 1921Memorial Stadium is a football stadium located in Champaign, Illinois, in the United States, on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The stadium is dedicated as...

 in Champaign
Champaign, Illinois
Champaign is a city in Champaign County, Illinois, in the United States. The city is located south of Chicago, west of Indianapolis, Indiana, and 178 miles northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. Though surrounded by farm communities, Champaign is notable for sharing the campus of the University of...

, where they went 3–5.

Many critics have negative views of the new stadium. They believe that its current structure has made it more of an eyesore than a landmark; some have dubbed it the "Mistake on the Lake". Soldier Field was stripped of its National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 designation on February 17, 2006.

In the 2005 season
2005 NFL season
The 2005 NFL season was the 86th regular season of the National Football League.With the New England Patriots as the defending league champions, regular season play was held from September 8, 2005 to January 1, 2006...

, the Bears won the NFC North Division and the No. 2 Seed in the NFC Playoffs, entitling them to play at least one home game in the postseason. The team hosted (and lost) their divisional round match on January 15, 2006 against the Carolina Panthers
2005 Carolina Panthers season
-Regular season:-Postseason:-Wild Card playoffs:The Panthers forced five turnovers, limited the Giants to only 109 yards of total offense, and became the first club to shut out a home playoff team since the Los Angeles Rams shut out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1980 NFC Championship Game...

. This was the first playoff game at Soldier Field since the stadium reopened.

The stadium's end zone
End zone
In gridiron-based codes of football, the end zone refers to the scoring area on the field. It is the area between the end line and goal line bounded by the sidelines. There are two end zones, each being on an opposite side of the field...

s and midfield were not painted until the 1982 season
1982 NFL season
The 1982 NFL season was the 63rd regular season of the National Football League. A 57-day long players' strike reduced the 1982 season from a 16-game schedule per team to an abbreviated nine game schedule...

. The design sported on the field included the bolded word "Chicago" in both end zones. In 1983, the end zone design returned, with the addition of a large wishbone "C" Bears logo painted at midfield. These field markings remained unchanged until the 1996 season
1996 NFL season
The 1996 NFL season was the 77th regular season of the National Football League and the season was marked by notable controversies from beginning to end...

. In 1996 the midfield wishbone "C" was changed to a large blue Bears head, and the end zone design were painted with "Bears" in cursive. This new design remained until the 1999 season
1999 NFL season
The 1999 NFL season was the 80th regular season of the National Football League. The Cleveland Browns returned to the field for the first time since the 1995 season...

, at which point the artwork was returned to the classic "Chicago" and the "C". In the new Soldier Field, the artwork was tweaked to where one end zone had the word "Chicago" bolded and the other had "Bears".

The Bears in popular culture


While the Super Bowl XX Champion Bears were a fixture of mainstream American pop culture in the 1980s, the Bears made a prior mark with the 1971 American TV movie Brian's Song
Brian's Song
Brian's Song is a 1971 ABC Movie of the Week that recounts the details of the life of Brian Piccolo , a Wake Forest University football player stricken with terminal cancer after turning pro, told through his friendship with Chicago Bears running back teammate and Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale...

 starring Billy Dee Williams
Billy Dee Williams
William December "Billy Dee" Williams, Jr. is an American actor, artist, singer, and writer.-Early life:Williams was born in New York City, New York, the son of Loretta...

 as Gale Sayers and James Caan as Brian Piccolo. The film told of how Piccolo helped Sayers recover from a devastating knee injury to return to his status as one of the league's best players, and how Sayers in turn helped the Piccolo family through Brian's fatal illness. A 2001 remake of the movie for ABC starred Sean Maher
Sean Maher
Sean Maher is an American actor, best known for his role as Simon Tam in the science fiction television series Firefly and followup movie Serenity.-Early life:...

 as Piccolo and Mekhi Phifer
Mekhi Phifer
Mekhi Thira Phifer is an American actor. He is perhaps best known for his multi-year role as Dr. Greg Pratt on NBC's long-running medical drama ER and his co-starring role opposite Eminem in the feature film 8 Mile...

 as Sayers.

The 1985 team is also remembered for recording the song "The Super Bowl Shuffle", which reached number forty-one on the Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

 and was nominated for a Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

. The music video for the song depicts the team rapping
Rapping
Rapping refers to "spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics". The art form can be broken down into different components, as in the book How to Rap where it is separated into “content”, “flow” , and “delivery”...

 that they are "not here to start no trouble" but instead "just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle". The team took a risk by recording and releasing the song before the playoffs had even begun, but were able to avoid embarrassment by going on to win Super Bowl XX by a then-record margin of 46–10. That game was one of the most watched television events in history according to the Nielsen ratings
Nielsen Ratings
Nielsen ratings are the audience measurement systems developed by Nielsen Media Research, in an effort to determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States...

 system; the game had a rating of 48.3, ranking it seventh in all-time television history.

In addition to the "Super Bowl Shuffle" rap song, the Bears' success in the 1980s – and especially the personality of head coach Mike Ditka – inspired a recurring sketch on the American
Television in the United States
Television is one of the major mass media of the United States. Ninety-nine percent of American households have at least one television and the majority of households have more than one...

 sketch comedy
Sketch comedy
A sketch comedy consists of a series of short comedy scenes or vignettes, called "sketches," commonly between one and ten minutes long. Such sketches are performed by a group of comic actors or comedians, either on stage or through an audio and/or visual medium such as broadcasting...

 program
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

 Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

, called "Bill Swerski's Superfans
Bill Swerski's Superfans
Bill Swerski's Superfans was a recurring sketch about Chicago sports fans on the American sketch comedy program Saturday Night Live. It was a prominent feature from 1991–1992, and its characters have made various other appearances since its inception....

". The sketch featured Cheers
Cheers
Cheers is an American situation comedy television series that ran for 11 seasons from 1982 to 1993. It was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions, in association with Paramount Network Television for NBC, and was created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles...

 co-star George Wendt
George Wendt
George Robert Wendt III is an American actor, best known for the roles of Norm Peterson and Tug Clarke on the television shows Cheers and Modern Men.-Early life:...

, a Chicago native, as host of a radio talk-show (similar in tone to WGN radio
WGN (AM)
WGN is a radio station in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is the only radio station owned by the Tribune Company, which also owns the flagship television station WGN-TV, the Chicago Tribune newspaper and Chicago magazine locally. WGN's transmitter is located in Elk Grove Village, Illinois...

's "The Sportswriters"), with co-panelists Carl Wollarski (Robert Smigel
Robert Smigel
Robert Smigel is an American actor, humorist, comedian and writer known for his Saturday Night Live "TV Funhouse" cartoon shorts and as the puppeteer and voice behind Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog.-Early life:...

), Pat Arnold (Mike Myers
Mike Myers (actor)
Michael John "Mike" Myers is a Canadian actor, comedian, screenwriter, and film producer of British parentage...

) and Todd O'Connor (Chris Farley
Chris Farley
Christopher Crosby "Chris" Farley was an American comedian and actor. Farley was a member of Chicago's Second City Theatre and cast member of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live from 1990 to 1995....

). To hear them tell it, "Da Bears" and Coach Ditka could do no wrong. The sketch stopped after Ditka was fired in 1993. The sketch usually showed the panelists drinking lots of beer and eating lots of Polish sausage, and often featured Todd getting so agitated about what was happening with the Bears that he suffered a heart attack, but quickly recovered (through self-administered CPR
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an emergency procedure which is performed in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person in cardiac arrest. It is indicated in those who are unresponsive...

). The sketch also features the cast predicting unrealistic blowout victories for Bears games. Da Super Fan sketch has not been brought back by SNL, with the exception of a single appearance by Horatio Sanz
Horatio Sanz
Horatio Sanz is a Chilean-born American actor and comedian best known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1998-2006. Sanz most recently starred alongside his former SNL castmate Chris Parnell in the Comedy Central series Big Lake.-Early life:Sanz, the youngest of three sons, was born in...

 as a Super Fan for the Cubs on Weekend Update
Weekend Update
Weekend Update is a Saturday Night Live sketch that comments on and parodies current events. It is the show's longest running recurring sketch, having been on since the show's first broadcast, and is typically presented in the middle of the show immediately after the first musical performance...

 in 2003. Outside of SNL, George Wendt reprised his role of Swerski in the opening promo of Super Bowl XL
Super Bowl XL
Super Bowl XL was an American football game pitting the American Football Conference champion Pittsburgh Steelers against the National Football Conference champion Seattle Seahawks to decide the National Football League champion for the 2005 season...

 on ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

.

On TV shows based in Chicago such as Married... with Children
Married... with Children
Married... with Children is an American surrealistic sitcom that aired for 11 seasons that featured a dysfunctional family living in Chicago, Illinois. The show, notable for being the first prime time television series to air on Fox, ran from April 5, 1987, to June 9, 1997. The series was created...

, Still Standing
Still Standing (TV series)
Still Standing is an American sitcom television series. It debuted on CBS on September 30, 2002, and ended March 8, 2006. Lifetime obtained the United States syndication rights to the show in February 2005 and aired it until 2009...

, According to Jim
According to Jim
According to Jim is an American sitcom television series starring Jim Belushi in the title role as a suburban father of three children. It originally ran on ABC from October 3, 2001 to June 2, 2009.-Synopsis:Jim is an abrasive but lovable suburban father...

, Early Edition
Early Edition
Early Edition is an American television series that aired on CBS from September 28, 1996 to May 27, 2000. Set in the city of Chicago, Illinois, it follows the adventures of a man who mysteriously receives each Chicago Sun-Times newspaper the day before it is actually published, and who uses this...

 and The Bernie Mac Show
The Bernie Mac Show
The Bernie Mac Show is an American sitcom featuring comic actor Bernie Mac and his wife Wanda raising his sister's three kids: Jordan, Bryana and Vanessa. The show aired for five seasons , concluding with a half-hour series finale on Fox....

, the main characters are all Bears fans, and have worn Bears' jerseys and t-shirts on some occasions. Some episodes even show them watching Bears games. Roseanne
Roseanne (TV series)
Roseanne is an American sitcom broadcast on ABC from October 18, 1988 to May 20, 1997. Starring Roseanne Barr, the show revolved around the Conners, an Illinois working class family...

 is another TV show based outside of Chicago to feature the Bears as the consensus household favorite. That 70's Show featured several Bears references, as it was based in Wisconsin, home of the Packers. On one episode while the gang is at a Bears vs. Packers game, Eric comes to the seat in a Walter Payton jersey and is booed by the surrounding Packers fans. In an episode of the Disney Channel
Disney Channel
Disney Channel is an American basic cable and satellite television network, owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company. It is under the direction of Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. The channel's headquarters is located on West Alameda Ave. in...

 show Shake It Up
Shake It Up (TV series)
Shake It Up is an American television sitcom airing on Disney Channel in the United States. The series premiered on November 7, 2010. Created by Chris Thompson and starring Bella Thorne and Zendaya, the show follows the adventures of Cece Jones and Rocky Blue as they star as background dancers on...

, based in Chicago, recurring character Dina Garcia (Ainsley Bailey) sold scalped
Ticket resale
Ticket resale is the act of reselling tickets for admission to events. Tickets are bought from licensed sellers and are then sold for a price determined by the individual or company in possession of the tickets. Tickets sold through secondary sources may be sold for less or more than their face...

 Chicago Bears tickets. More recently, Modern Family
Modern Family
Modern Family is an American television comedy series created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan, which debuted on ABC on September 23, 2009. Lloyd and Levitan serve as showrunner and executive producers, under their Levitan-Lloyd Productions label...

 character Cameron Tucker
Cameron Tucker
Cameron Scott Tucker is a fictional character on the American television series Modern Family. He is portrayed by Eric Stonestreet.Cameron, also referred to as Cam, is Mitchell's partner of five years, and one of Lily's fathers, who has a very big dramatic personality. His bubbly outgoing...

 has been shown as a Bears fan.

Ditka's success and popularity in Chicago has led him to land analyst roles on various American football pregame shows. Ditka worked for both the NFL on NBC
NFL on NBC
NFL on NBC is the brand given to NBC Sports coverage of National Football League games until 1998, when NBC lost the NFL American Football Conference rights to CBS...

 and CBS's The NFL Today
The NFL Today
The NFL Today is an American sports series that precedes the American football program The NFL on CBS on CBS Sports. The program usually airs at noon on Sundays of the National Football League regular season...

, and he currently works on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown
Sunday NFL Countdown
NFL GameDay redirects here. For the video games series, see NFL GameDay Sunday NFL Countdown is a pregame show of all the NFL action for that week. The official name is Sunday NFL Countdown presented by IBM. The show airs on ESPN, ESPN HD, TSN and TSN HD from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern time every...

 and provided Friday night analysis on the Bears on CBS 2 Chicago
WBBM-TV
WBBM-TV, virtual channel 2 , is the CBS owned-and-operated television station in Chicago, Illinois. WBBM-TV's main studios and offices are located in The Loop section of Chicago, as part of the development at Block 37, and its transmitter is atop the Willis Tower.-History:WBBM-TV traces its history...

, the CBS Chicago affiliate, called "2 on Football" with former CBS 2 Sports Director Mark Malone
Mark Malone
Mark M. Malone is a former American football quarterback in the NFL.-Playing career:Malone was the nation's most recruited quarterback in 1975 out of El Cajon Valley High School near San Diego, California...

. He is also the color analyst for all local broadcasts of Bears preseason games. Ditka also co-starred himself alongside actor Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell
John William "Will" Ferrell is an American comedian, impressionist, actor, and writer. Ferrell first established himself in the late 1990s as a cast member on the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, and has subsequently starred in the comedy films Old School, Elf, Anchorman, Talladega...

 in the 2005 comedy film
Comedy film
Comedy film is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humour. They are designed to elicit laughter from the audience. Comedies are mostly light-hearted dramas and are made to amuse and entertain the audiences...

 Kicking & Screaming.

Also, Ditka, Dick Butkus
Dick Butkus
Richard Marvin "Dick" Butkus is a former American football player for the Chicago Bears. He was drafted in 1965 and he is also widely regarded as one of the best and most durable linebackers of all time. Butkus starred as a football player for the University of Illinois and the Chicago Bears. He...

, Walter Payton
Walter Payton
Walter Jerry Payton was an American football running back who played for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League for thirteen seasons. Walter Payton was known around the NFL as "Sweetness". He is remembered as one of the most prolific running backs in the history of American football...

, Jim McMahon
Jim McMahon
James Robert "Jim" McMahon, Jr. is a former American football player. He played college football at Brigham Young University, where he was a two-time All-American and later in the professional ranks with the Chicago Bears, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona...

, William "Refrigerator" Perry
William Perry (American football)
William Perry is a former professional American football player. He is best known for his years as a defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears. In reference to his large size, he was popularly known as "The Refrigerator" or, abbreviated, "The Fridge".-Life and athletic career:Perry was born in...

 and Brian Urlacher
Brian Urlacher
Brian Keith Urlacher is an American football player for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League . He attended the University of New Mexico, where he was one of the school's most decorated athletes. In addition to setting multiple university records, Urlacher earned consideration for the...

 are among Bears figures known for their appearances in TV commercials. Urlacher, whose jersey was among the league's best-selling in 2002, was featured on Nike
Nike, Inc.
Nike, Inc. is a major publicly traded sportswear and equipment supplier based in the United States. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, which is part of the Portland metropolitan area...

 commercials with former Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are a member of the South Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 quarterback Michael Vick
Michael Vick
Michael Dwayne Vick is an American football quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League...

.

In the 1985 cartoon Punky Brewster
Punky Brewster
Punky Brewster was an American sitcom about a girl named Punky Brewster being raised by her foster parent...

, the Bears are playing the Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are an American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Packers are the current NFL champions...

 in the episode "The Quartersize Quarterback". In the 1961 cartoon The Yogi Bear Show
The Yogi Bear Show
The Yogi Bear Show is an animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions about a fast-talking picnic basket stealing bear named Yogi. The show debuted in syndication on January 30 and ran for 33 episodes until December 30 in 1961 and included two segments, Snagglepuss and Yakky...

, Yogi helps the Bears beat the New York Giants
New York Giants
The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, representing the New York City metropolitan area. The Giants are currently members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

.

Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase
Cornelius Crane "Chevy" Chase is an American comedian, writer, and television and film actor, born into a prominent entertainment industry family. Chase worked a plethora of odd jobs before moving into comedy acting with National Lampoon...

) from the National Lampoon's Vacation series
National Lampoon's Vacation (film series)
National Lampoon's Vacation is a series of comedy films that were originally inspired by National Lampoon magazine. The series primarily features the misadventures of the Griswold family, whose attempts to enjoy vacations and holidays are plagued with continual disasters and strangely ridiculous...

 appears in some scenes wearing a black Chicago Bears ball cap. He wears the same Chicago Bears cap throughout all four Vacation movies.

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher made a cameo in the seventh season of the HBO series Entourage in 2010.

Local radio and television


Currently, WBBM
WBBM (AM)
WBBM is an all-news CBS radio station in Chicago, Illinois broadcasting on the AM dial at 780 kHz. It is owned by CBS along with WBBM-TV....

 (780 AM/105.9 FM) airs the Bears games with Jeff Joniak doing the play-by-play, along with color commentator Tom Thayer, who played for the Bears from 1985–1992, and sideline reporter Zach Zaidman. Over the years, many Bears play-by-play broadcasters have included Jack Brickhouse
Jack Brickhouse
John Beasley "Jack" Brickhouse was an American sportscaster. Known primarily for his play-by-play coverage of Chicago Cubs games on WGN-TV from 1948 to 1981, he received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983...

, Wayne Larrivee
Wayne Larrivee
Wayne Larrivee is an American sportscaster, who is the radio play-by-play voice of the Green Bay Packers and football and basketball play-by-play voice for the Big Ten Network.-Early life and career:...

, and color commentator Hub Arkush. Their current preseason TV announcers on Fox Chicago
WFLD
WFLD, virtual channel 32 , is the Fox owned-and-operated television station, based in Chicago, Illinois; through its parent company News Corporation, the station is owned in a duopoly with area MyNetworkTV affiliate WPWR-TV...

 are Sam Rosen
Sam Rosen (sportscaster)
Sam Rosen is an American sportscaster, best known as the primary play-by-play announcer for the New York Rangers games on MSG. On June 8, 2008, Rosen was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame....

 (play-by-play), Erik Kramer
Erik Kramer
William Erik Kramer , is a former American football quarterback. He attended John Burroughs High School in Burbank, CA. After attending Los Angeles Pierce College and playing as their quarterback, Kramer transferred to North Carolina State University where he finished a successful college football...

 (color commentary) and Lou Canellis (sideline reporter).

Statistics and records



Bill George
Bill George
William J. George was a professional football player, playing linebacker, for the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Rams....

 and Doug Buffone
Doug Buffone
Douglas John Buffone is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League. Buffone, the son of a coal miner , attended high school at Shannock Valley High School in Rural Valley, Pennsylvania.-College career:Buffone played...

 hold the record for the most seasons in a Bears uniform with 14. George did it between the 1952 and 1965 seasons and Buffone during the 1966 through 1979 seasons. On the other hand, Steve McMichael
Steve McMichael
-World Wrestling Federation :After the end of his NFL career, he appeared at ringside in the WWF for Lawrence Taylor at WrestleMania XI on April 2, 1995 in Hartford, Connecticut. Taylor was wrestling Bam Bam Bigelow and there were several football players at ringside to keep wrestlers from...

 holds the record for most consecutive games played by a Bear with 191; he accomplished the feat from 1981 to 1993. In second place is Payton, who played 186 games from 1975 to 1987 at running back, a position considered to be conducive to injury, only missing one game in a span of 13 seasons.

Placekicker
Placekicker
Placekicker, or simply kicker , is the title of the player in American and Canadian football who is responsible for the kicking duties of field goals, extra points...

 Kevin Butler
Kevin Butler (American football)
Kevin Gregory Butler is a former professional American football placekicker. He played college football for the University of Georgia Bulldogs, and then played professionally for the Chicago Bears and the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League...

 holds the club record for scoring the most points in his ten-year Bear career. He scored 1,116 points as the Bears kicker from 1985 to 1995. He is followed in distant second place by Payton, with 750 points. Payton holds the team record for career rushing yards with 16,726. That was an NFL record until Emmitt Smith
Emmitt Smith
Emmitt James Smith, III is a retired American football player who was a running back in the National Football League for fifteen seasons during the 1990s and 2000s. Smith played college football for the University of Florida, where he was an All-American; thereafter, he played professionally for...

 of the Dallas Cowboys broke it in . Neal Anderson
Neal Anderson
Charles Neal Anderson is a former American college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League for eight seasons in the 1980s and 1990s...

, who played from 1986 to 1993, is the closest to Payton's record with 6,166 yards. Mark Bortz
Mark Bortz
Mark Steven Bortz was a guard in the National Football League. He attended the University of Iowa and was drafted by the Bears in 1983 for the Chicago Bears and played there until 1994.-Professional career:...

 holds the record for most Bear playoff appearances, with 13 between 1983 and 1994, and is followed by Kevin Butler, Dennis Gentry
Dennis Gentry
Dennis Louis Gentry is a former professional American football player who was selected by the Chicago Bears in the 4th round of the 1982 NFL Draft. He spent his entire 11-year NFL career with the Bears from 1982 to 1992, and was a part of the Bears team that was victorious in Super Bowl XX versus...

, Dan Hampton
Dan Hampton
Daniel Oliver Hampton also known as "Danimal" is a retired Hall of Fame American football defensive tackle who played twelve seasons for the Chicago Bears from 1979 to 1990 in the National Football League. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002...

, Jay Hilgenberg
Jay Hilgenberg
Jay Walter Hilgenberg is a former American football player in the NFL. He played center for the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and the New Orleans Saints from 1981 to 1993.-Football career:...

, Steve McMichael, Ron Rivera
Ron Rivera
Ronald Eugene Rivera is the head coach of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. Rivera was a linebacker on the 1985 Chicago Bears, who won Super Bowl XX. Rivera was the defensive coordinator for the 2006 Chicago Bears, who won the National Football Conference championship and competed in Super Bowl XLI...

, Mike Singletary
Mike Singletary
Michael "Mike" Singletary is an American football coach and former professional football player. He is currently the linebacker coach and assistant head coach for the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL....

, and Keith Van Horne
Keith Van Horne
Keith Van Horne is a retired American football tackle.-High school:Keith attended Fullerton High School, Fullerton, California.His Fullerton football varsity team mate was future NFL...

, who have each played in 12 playoff games.

The 1940 Chicago Bears team holds the record for the biggest margin of victory in an NFL game (playoff
NFL playoffs
The National Football League playoffs are a single-elimination tournament held at the end of the regular season to determine the NFL champion. Six teams from each of the league's two conferences qualify for the playoffs based on regular season records, and a tie-breaking procedure exists in the...

 or regular season) with a 73–0 victory over the Washington Redskins in the 1940 NFL Championship Game. The largest home victory for the Bears came in a 61–7 result against the Green Bay Packers in 1980. The largest defeat in club history was a 52–0 loss against the Baltimore Colts in 1964. The club recorded undefeated regular seasons in 1934 and 1942, but (unlike the 1972 Dolphins) did not win the championship game in either season. In 1934, the club completed a 13–0 record but were defeated by the New York Giants, and in 1942 the club completed an 11–0 record but were defeated by the Redskins. Had the Bears won either championship, the club would have completed a championship three-peat – a feat completed only by the Packers (twice), although no team has done it since the AFL-NFL merger. Halas holds the team record for coaching the most seasons with 40 and for having the most career victories of 324. Halas' victories record stood until Don Shula
Don Shula
Donald Francis "Don" Shula is a former American football cornerback and coach.He is best known as coach of the Miami Dolphins, the team he led to two Super Bowl victories, and to the National Football League's only perfect season. Shula was named 1993 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated....

 surpassed Halas in . Ditka is the closest Bears coach to Halas, with 112 career victories. No other Bears coach has recorded over 100 victories with the team.

During the 2006 season
2006 Chicago Bears season
The 2006 Chicago Bears season was their 87th regular season and 25th post-season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 13-3 regular season record, the best in the NFC, improving on their previous year’s record of 11-5...

, return specialist Devin Hester
Devin Hester
Devin Hester is an American football wide receiver and return specialist for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League . He played college football at the University of Miami, where he became the first person in the university’s recent history to play in all three phases of American football...

 set several kick return records. He currently holds the franchise record for most return yards with 2,261. He had six touchdown returns, setting a record for most returns in a single season. In 2007, he recorded another six touchdown season from returns. One of the most notable of these returns came on November 12, 2006, when he returned a missed field goal for a 108-yard touchdown. The record tied former teammate Nathan Vasher
Nathan Vasher
Nathaniel DeWayne Vasher is an American football cornerback who is currently a free agent in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft...

's previous record, which was set almost a year earlier. Additionally, Hester set a Super Bowl record by becoming the first person to return an opening kick of a Super Bowl for a touchdown. On December 20, 2010, Hester set an NFL record for most touchdowns on a punt or kickoff return with his 14th career return coming against the Minnesota Vikings.

Season-by-season results

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed or in progress by the Bears. For the full season-by-season franchise results, see List of Chicago Bears seasons.


Note: The Finish, Wins, Losses, and Ties columns list regular season results and exclude any postseason play.

Record as of December 28, 2008
Super Bowl Champions  Conference Champions Division Champions Wild Card Berth


{| class="wikitable" style="font-size: 95%; width:98%;"
|-
!rowspan="2" style="width:5%;"|Season
!rowspan="2" style="width:5%;"|Team
!rowspan="2" style="width:5%;"|League
!rowspan="2" style="width:5%;"|Conference
!rowspan="2"|Division
!colspan="4"|Regular season
Regular season (NFL)
The National Football League regular season begins the weekend after Labor Day. Each team plays 16 games during a 17-week period. Traditionally, the majority of each week's games are played on Sunday afternoon, with weekly games on Sunday night and Monday night, and occasional games on Thursday...


!rowspan="2"|Post Season
NFL playoffs
The National Football League playoffs are a single-elimination tournament held at the end of the regular season to determine the NFL champion. Six teams from each of the league's two conferences qualify for the playoffs based on regular season records, and a tie-breaking procedure exists in the...

 Results
!rowspan="2" style="width:20%;"|Awards
!rowspan="2" style="width:20%;"|Ref
|-
!Finish
!Wins
!Losses
!Ties
|-
!align="center"|
|align="center"|2006
2006 Chicago Bears season
The 2006 Chicago Bears season was their 87th regular season and 25th post-season completed in the National Football League. The club posted a 13-3 regular season record, the best in the NFC, improving on their previous year’s record of 11-5...


|align="center"|NFL
|align="center" style="background: #C3B091;"|NFC *
|align="center" style="background: #D0E7FF;"|North **
|align="center" style="background: #D0E7FF;"|1st **
|align="center"|13
|align="center"|3
|align="center"|0
|colSpan="2"|Won Divisional Playoffs (Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. They are currently members of the Western Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team joined the NFL in 1976 as an expansion team...

) (27–24 OT)
Won Conference Championship (Saints) (39–14)
Lost Super Bowl XLI
Super Bowl XLI
Super Bowl XLI was an American football game that featured the American Football Conference champion Indianapolis Colts and the National Football Conference champion Chicago Bears to decide the National Football League champion for the 2006 season...

 (Colts
Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts are a professional American football team based in Indianapolis. They are currently members of the South Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League ....

) (29–17)
|align="center"|
|-
!align="center"|2007
2007 NFL season
The 2007 NFL season was the 88th regular season of the National Football League.Regular-season play was held from September 6 to December 30....


|align="center"|2007
2007 Chicago Bears season
The 2007 Chicago Bears season was the team's 88th regular season in the National Football League. The season officially began on September 9, 2007 against the San Diego Chargers, and concluded on December 30 against the New Orleans Saints...


|align="center"|NFL
|align="center"|NFC
|align="center"|North
|align="center"|4th
|align="center"|7
|align="center"|9
|align="center"|0
|colSpan="2"|
|align="center"|
|-
!align="center"|
|align="center"|2008
2008 Chicago Bears season
The 2008 Chicago Bears season is the franchise's 89th regular season in the National Football League. They finished the 2008 season with a 9-7 record, improving upon their 7-9 record from the 2007 season...


|align="center"|NFL
|align="center"|NFC
|align="center"|North
|align="center"|2nd
|align="center"|9
|align="center"|7
|align="center"|0
|colSpan="2"|
|align="center"|
|-
!align="center"|
|align="center"|2009
2009 Chicago Bears season
The 2009 Chicago Bears season is the franchise's 90th season overall in the National Football League. The Bears had looked to improve upon their 9–7 record from 2008 and return to the playoffs for the first time since the 2006 season, but failed to do so for the third consecutive season. The team...


|align="center"|NFL
|align="center"|NFC
|align="center"|North
|align="center"|3rd
|align="center"|7
|align="center"|9
|align="center"|0
|colSpan="2"|
|align="center"|
|-
!align="center"|
|align="center"|2010
2010 Chicago Bears season
The 2010 Chicago Bears season was the franchise's 91st season overall in the National Football League. Coming off a disappointing 7–9 record in the 2009 season and failing to qualify for the NFL playoffs for a third consecutive season, the Bears sought to develop their roster and improve on...


|align="center"|NFL
|align="center"|NFC
|align="center" style="background: #D0E7FF;"|North **
|align="center" style="background: #D0E7FF;"|1st **
|align="center"|11
|align="center"|5
|align="center"|0
|colSpan="2"|Won Divisional Playoffs (Seahawks) (35–24)
Lost Conference Championship (Packers) (21–14)
|align="center"|
|-
!align="center" rowSpan="8" colSpan="6"|Totals
!W
!L
!T
!colspan="3"|
|-
!align="center"|704
!align="center"|512
!align="center"|42
!colSpan="3"|All-time regular season record (1920–2010)
|-
|align="center"|17
|align="center"|18
|align="center"|—
|align="center" colSpan="3"|All-time postseason record (1932–2010)
|-
!align="center"|721
!align="center"|530
!align="center"|42
!colSpan="3"|All-time regular season and postseason record (1920–2010)
|-

Records


{| class="wikitable" style="margin:left"
|+ All-Time Bears Leaders
! Leader || Player || Record Number || Years on Bears
|-
| Passing || Sid Luckman
Sid Luckman
Sidney Luckman, known as Sid Luckman, was an American football quarterback for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League from 1939 to 1950...

 || 14,686 passing yards || 1939-1950
|-
| Rushing || Walter Payton
Walter Payton
Walter Jerry Payton was an American football running back who played for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League for thirteen seasons. Walter Payton was known around the NFL as "Sweetness". He is remembered as one of the most prolific running backs in the history of American football...

 || 16,726 rushing yards || 1975-1987
|-
| Receiving || Johnny Morris || 5,059 receiving yards || 1958-1967
|-
| Coaching Wins || George Halas
George Halas
George Stanley Halas, Sr. , nicknamed "Papa Bear" and "Mr. Everything", was a player, coach, owner and pioneer in professional American football. He was the iconic longtime leader of the NFL's Chicago Bears...

 || 318 wins || 1920-1967
|}

Pro Football Hall of Famers


In the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Pro Football Hall of Fame
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame of professional football in the United States with an emphasis on the National Football League . It opened in Canton, Ohio, on September 7, 1963, with 17 charter inductees...

, the Bears have the most enshrined primary members with twenty-seven, however the club also have had three Hall of Famers spend a minor portion of their career with the franchise. Founder, owner, head coach, and player George Halas, halfback
Halfback (American football)
A halfback, sometimes referred to as a tailback, is an offensive position in American football, which lines up in the backfield and generally is responsible for carrying the ball on run plays. Historically, from the 1870s through the 1950s, the halfback position was both an offensive and defensive...

 Bronko Nagurski
Bronko Nagurski
Bronislau "Bronko" Nagurski was a Canadian-born American football player. He was also a successful professional wrestler, recognized as a multiple-time world heavyweight champion.-Youth and collegiate career:...

, and Red Grange
Red Grange
Harold Edward "Red" Grange, nicknamed "The Galloping Ghost", was a college and professional American football halfback for the University of Illinois, the Chicago Bears, and for the short-lived New York Yankees. His signing with the Bears helped legitimize the National Football League...

 were a part of the original class of inductees in 1963. The franchise saw 14 individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame from 1963–1967. Defensive end
Defensive end
Defensive end is the name of a defensive position in the sport of American and Canadian football.This position has designated the players at each end of the defensive line, but changes in formations have substantially changed how the position is played over the years...

 Richard Dent
Richard Dent
Richard Lamar Dent is a former American football defensive end, who played primarily for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He was the MVP of Super Bowl XX...

, a member of the Super Bowl XX
Super Bowl XX
Super Bowl XX was an American football championship game played on January 26, 1986 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League champion following the 1985 regular season...

 team is the most recent Bear inducted, a part of the Class of 2011.

Retired numbers


The Bears have retired thirteen uniform numbers, which is the most in the NFL, and ranks fourth behind the basketball Boston Celtics (21), baseball New York Yankees (16), and hockey Montreal Canadiens (15) for the most in North American professional sports.



Coaching staff

For a more in-depth look into the history of the head coaches of the Bears, see List of Chicago Bears head coaches

External links



  • Chicago Bears Official Club Homepage
  • Chicago Bears at the National Football League
    National Football League
    The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

     Official Homepage
  • Chicago Bears at the Chicago Sun-Times
    Chicago Sun-Times
    The Chicago Sun-Times is an American daily newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois. It is the flagship paper of the Sun-Times Media Group.-History:The Chicago Sun-Times is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the city...

     Online Website
  • Chicago Bears at the Chicago Tribune
    Chicago Tribune
    The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, and the flagship publication of the Tribune Company. Formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper" , it remains the most read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region and is...

    Online Website
  • Chicago Bears History at BearsHistory.com
  • Chicago Bears Information at Sports E-Cyclopedia.com