August 9, 2018

Bear Down!

If there’s one good thing about the late-summer doldrums, it’s that it’s still early enough to get excited about the fall before the Chicago weather starts to change our minds. One month from today, the bell rings again on the most storied rivalry in professional sports, as the Bears host the Packers on Monday Night Football at Soldier Field! Let’s go through some surprising Chicago football facts that might come in handy over the next few weeks:

  • Bears-Packers is the oldest rivalry in the NFL, and the Packers currently hold a 96-94-6 all-time lead, thanks to a recent winning streak largely based on Jay Cutler’s infuriating ineptitude. As a matter of fact, for visitors to Chicago looking to act natural and blend in with the rest of us, bashing Jay Cutler is a common pastime that might unite you with just about anyone from anywhere in this city!
  • The iconic, orange-and-blue elongated C forming the Bears logo is a ripoff! They were just copying their local predecessors: the C, and the nickname “Monsters of the Midway” was actually the emblem for the city’s first football powerhouse, the University of Chicago Maroons.
  • I can already hear you asking: “the University of Chicago has a football team?” Believe it or not, the Maroons were pioneers in the development of college football! They were charter members of the Big Ten conference (along with Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Purdue, Northwestern, and Minnesota), and the very first winner of the Heisman Trophy was a Chicago halfback named Jay Berwanger. The man who founded the program, Amos Alonzo Stagg, is a member of the Basketball and College Football Halls of Fame.
  • Soldier Field has been an iconic football stadium for almost a hundred years—the unofficial count of 123,000 spectators for a 1927 match between Notre Dame and USC would still be the highest of all time—but it’s only been home to the Bears since 1971. Before that, they shared Wrigley Field with the Cubs, if you can imagine that!
  • In fact, the name “Bears” was chosen by founder George Halas as a nod to their Wrigley cohabitors. For the first three years of their existence, they were the Decatur Staleys: a company team of A.E. Staley Food Starch in Decatur, Illinois.
  • The Bears aren’t even Chicago’s oldest professional football team, and the Packers weren’t their original rivals: the Arizona Cardinals were founded in 1898 and played in Chicago for more than 60 years before moving to St. Louis and then Arizona.
  • Yes, everybody still loves the Super Bowl Shuffle; no, we still have not gotten over 1985; yes, we apologize for Mike Ditka still being important, and no, we probably won’t beat the Packers this year, either. But there’s always hope!
If you’re interested in coming into town for a Bears game experience, talk to us soon! Weekends fill up fast, and Soldier Field is just a bus ride away! Maybe we’ll have some luck and get to see a playoff game (or two!) here come January—but don’t wait until then!