There are only two remaining charter members of the National Football League, and the Chicago Bears is one of them. The team’s thousand-game history began in 1920 in Decatur, Illinois when the Staley Starch Company sponsored a football team billed as the Staleys. On September 17 of the same year, the Staleys, then represented by George Halas, joined the American Professional Football Association with a franchise fee of $100. You can watch the Chicago Bears Football team at this Milwaukee Bar.
In 1921, the Staley Starch Company gave George and the team five thousand dollars and the permission to move to Chicago on the condition that the team would retain the Staleys brand for a year, which the team did. In the same year, the Staleys bagged the league championship, and a year later, Staleys was renamed the Chicago Bears, and the American Professional Football Association became the National Football League.
Right from the beginning, the Chicago Bears has been among the pro football league’s most powerful and competitive franchises. In 1922, they signed up Rock Island’s Ed Healey for a hundred dollars making them the first team to get a player from another team. Three years later, Red Grange of All-America joined the Bears and was showcased by the team before the pro football league’s first big crowd.
In 1932, the NFL held its first indoor game in which the Chicago Bears won with 9-0 record against the Portsmouth Spartans. And in the 1933 NFL Championship series, the Bears defeated the New York Giants, 23-21. In 1940, Washington Redskins lost, 73-0, to Bears who made four straight NFL championships within the decade.
The 1950s was a different story as the Bears made just one playoff appearance and failed to win an NFL title inspite of winning more than half of their total games within the decade. In 1963, a 14-10 victory over the New York Giants eventually broke the team’s 17-year winless spell.
The Bears greatly and deeply owe much of their victories and successess both on and off the field to their Papa Bear, George Halas who, for four decades, served the team as a father, a friend, a trainer, a coach, a leader, a manager, a secretary, and in practically every way possible. Halas retired after the 1967 season leaving a coaching record of 324 victories, which stood for 27 years. He passed away on October 31, 1983 and it was his grandson George McCaskey who carried on his legacy and the Bears’ tradition by serving as the club’s Chairman of the Board.
Before the Bears entered its 75th year, it has compiled an overall record of 586-384-42, qualified 21 times for the playoffs, bagged 19 division titles as well as 8 NFL Championships and Super Bowl XX. And apart from its impressive record and performance, the team also bears the pride and pleasure of having in their family true Bear legends and pro football hall of famers such as Grange, Nagurski, Luckman, Butkus, Sayers, Payton, Turber, and Fontmann.