Chicago Bears

11 Chicago Bears Legends to be Honored in Centennial Season

The Bears will honor each of their 10 decades of existence in their 10 home games this season

As part of their 100th season celebration, the Chicago Bears are honoring their rich history by showcasing the players that made each of their 10 decades of existence special.

The Bears will use their 10 home games (two preseason games and eight regular season games) to honor the 10 decades of team history. The team will also give away special-edition bobbleheads at each of the games to honor the players that made the team’s history so special.

Aug. 8 vs. Carolina – 1920s

Most people know the “Galloping Ghost” from his time at the University of Illinois, but Red Grange also had a stellar NFL career. He appeared in 96 career NFL games, rushing for 569 yards and 21 touchdowns for the Bears and the New York Yankees. He was honored with a bobblehead at the team’s preseason opener.

Aug. 29 vs. Tennessee – 1950s

The Bears of the 1950s had some struggles, but linebacker Bill George was a ray of sunshine, racking up 18 interceptions and 17 fumble recoveries in 14 seasons with the Bears. He was an eight-time AP 1st Team All-Pro, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974.  

Sept. 5 vs. Green Bay – 1980s

Who better to honor for the team’s first regular season game than the Bears of the 1980s, who won Super Bowl XX in 1986 and were one of the NFL’s dominant forces. After a Hall of Fame career as a player, head coach Mike Ditka reshaped the Monsters of the Midway in the 1980s, becoming a Chicago sports icon in the process.

Sept. 29 vs. Minnesota – 1930s

In the NFL’s second decade, the Bears won a pair of NFL championships and three division titles, and Bronko Nagurski was a big part of that success. The fullback rushed for 2,778 career yards and 25 touchdowns with the Bears, and he had seven passing touchdowns for good measure in his career. He was part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s first class in 1963.

Oct. 20 vs. New Orleans – 1970s

Before the glory days of the 1980s, Bears fans didn’t have a lot of success to cheer about, but Walter Payton burst onto the scene in 1975 and changed the trajectory of the franchise. He rushed for 16,726 yards in his NFL career, a record amount when he retired in 1987, and he racked up a staggering 110 career rushing touchdowns. His number 34 was retired by the team, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Oct. 27 vs. Los Angeles Chargers – 2000s

The Bears in the 2000s won three divisional titles and the 2006 NFC Championship, and linebacker Brian Urlacher was arguably the catalyst for all of it. He was named to eight Pro Bowls, was named a First Team All-Pro four times, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.

Nov. 10 vs. Detroit – 1940s

Before Jay Cutler came along, Luckman was the owner of just about every major passing record in Bears history. The quarterback threw for 14,686 yards and 137 touchdowns in 12 seasons with the Bears, being named to three Pro Bowls and a First Team All-Pro on five different occasions. Luckman was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1965.

Nov. 24 vs. New York Giants – 1960s

Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus will forever be linked together in Bears lore, and with good reason. The players were taken with back-to-back picks in the first round of the 1965 NFL Draft, and both went on to have storied NFL careers with the club. Sayers was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977, and Butkus followed suit in 1979.

Dec. 5 vs. Dallas – 1990s

The Bears captured a division title in 1990 and made the playoffs on three different occasions, and Mike Singletary continued the team’s incredible run of stellar linebacker play. In his Bear career, Singletary registered 19 sacks, 12 fumble recoveries, and seven interceptions in 179 career games. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

Dec. 22 vs. Kansas City – 2010s

A key member of the Bears’ playoff teams throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s, Devin Hester quickly established himself as arguably the greatest punt returner to ever play the game. He racked up 13 career punt return touchdowns for the Bears and added five more as a kick returner before retiring in 2016.

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