Chicago Bears

The Chicago Man Behind Matt Nagy's Popular GSH Gaiter

Chicagoan Mike Schaefer created the gaiter, sent it to Nagy, and couldn't believe when the Bears coach showed on TV wearing it

Since he was a little boy growing up in Jefferson Park, Mike Schaefer has been in love with the Bears.

"I'm a pretty obsessed Bears fan," Schaefer said. "Been that way since I was born. I was born in '83, so the '85 Bears left a pretty big impact on me as a young kid."

To this day, nothing has changed for the 37-year-old. His love for the Bears is still as strong as ever.

"Season tickets have been in the family since the '70s," said Schaefer. "I bought them from my dad in '05, so for the last 15 years, I've been going to games. I call it church on Sunday."

During the week, Schaefer keeps a busy schedule as the VP of Sales for a tech startup, but when he wants to unwind, he designs Chicago-themed items (mostly Bears gear) that he sells on his website, He's been doing it for about a year.

"It's sort of a hobby in my down time," he said.

One of the Bears items Schaefer makes and sells? Gaiters, which cover people's mouth and nose. Because of the ongoing pandemic, this season, all NFL coaches are required to wear either a mask, neck gaiter and/or face shield. The combination of his hobby and the league's new protocol got Schaefer thinking.

"As interest started to grow, I figured, 'Heck, I might as well send a couple to Matt Nagy,'" he said.

On Schaefer's website, the white gaiter with the letters GSH - paying tribute to Bears founder George S. Halas - received a lot of interest. So he sent one to Nagy at Halas Hall.

"I had zero expectations that I would ever know he got it," he admitted.

But amazingly, a few weeks after sending he gaiter, Nagy wore it when the Bears hosted the Saints in early November.

"The first time they panned to him on the sidelines, I lost it," Schaefer remembered. "I couldn't believe that what I had sent him, what I had made, was on the field, in a prominent place, during a Bears game."

After the game, sales for the gaiter Nagy wore skyrocketed, and while it's tempting to pocket the profits, Schaefer has decided to donate all of them to Bears Care, the charitable arm of the Bears. He feels like it's the right thing to do.

"I realized with all the nuttiness in the world right now, if you have the opportunity and the means to do something that's good, you should make those decisions -- you should take those opportunities," Schaefer said.

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