Chicago Bears owners Mike and Virginia McCaskey during the NFC Championship game at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois on January 21, 2007. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
One of the enduring characteristics of the Bears, in addition to a strong running game and a hard-nosed defense, is that it's a family business.
That means the team can do things like soften the impact of a possible lockout on their employees by making sure their staff is happy. And that's exactly what the Bears did.
Both the coaches and the front office staff were assured that they would not have to take a paycut if NFL's labor problems lead to a lockout, and would only lose money if actual games were canceled. That move is what not only give the Bears the hallmarks of the best family businesses, but also makes it a desirable place for coaches and players to work.
That doesn't mean their aren't downsides to the Bears being run by a family whose fortune is based mostly on the football team.
They don't have the same sort of cash to pour into the team or stadium, like Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who financed Gilette Stadium without taxpayer help. That leads to lost revenue and having to share Soldier Field with a park district that uses it for everything from concerts to high school football games during the NFL season. It sometimes leads to the team taking on the character of the family, as Virginia McCaskey is rumored to be the reason the Bears no longer employ cheerleaders.
But if it comes down to a team making sure their employees can pay their bills or having the Honey Bears, I'll take the family-run business and no cheerleaders any day.