Today we continue to take a look at the greatest Chicago Bears players throughout the decades. It hopefully won’t be long before we can enjoy football on Sundays again, which would mean that the COVID-19 pandemic has lessened to a significant degree. Until then, let’s check out the next batch of incredible Monsters of the Midway.
Sid Luckman: Boy, could the Bears use a quarterback like Luckman nowadays. During his 12 seasons with Bears between 1939 and 1950, Luckman led the team to four NFL championships in 1940, 1941, 1943, and 1946. Luckman revolutionized the quarterback position, thanks to his understanding of the complex T-formation, which, when matched with his passing accuracy, resulted in many victories. The quarterback took home the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award in 1943 and was the first player to record seven touchdown passes in a single game that same year against the New York Giants. With all the disappointment at the quarterback position for the Bears over the last few decades, too bad we couldn’t clone Sid.
Dan Hampton: Loved by Chicago and feared by opponents, the Bears defensive tackle and defensive end known as “Danimal” helped orchestrate the team’s dominance for over a decade on the defensive side of the ball. From his rookie season in 1979, Hampton was already piling up awards and accolades for his punishing play. The four-time Pro Bowler and 2002 Hall of Fame inductee racked up 82 sacks for the Bears between 1979 and 1990, and his juggernaut style of play helped the team win the Super Bowl in 1986 against the New England Patriots. Hampton gave it his all on the field and had numerous defensive player of the year awards (and ten knee surgeries) to prove that he is one of the mightiest ever to don a Bears uniform.
Mike Singletary: Singletary was tough as nails and captained the Bears’ unstoppable defenses of the 1980s. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 and 1988, Singletary only missed two games in his 12-year career (1981- 1992) as a defensive linebacker for the team. With a total of 1,488 career tackles, Singletary ranked as first or second leading tackler in each of his seasons after his rookie year. He led the franchise in most Pro Bowl appearances at ten and earned his way into Hall of Fame in 1998.
Brian Urlacher: It should come as no surprise that most of the players spotlighted here earned their prestige on the defensive side, and Urlacher is no exception. Selected ninth in the 2000 NFL Draft, Urlacher spent all 13 of his playing years as a Chicago Bear. The 6’4’’ and 258- pound dominant middle linebacker was a frightening mix of speed and skill that gave opposing quarterbacks nightmares. The 2005 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and eight-time Pro Bowler recorded a franchise-record 1,179 tackles during his career in Chicago, including a 25 tackle performance against the Cardinals in 2006. Urlacher retired in 2013, got a hair transplant, and now can be seen on every other billboard along the Chicago expressways touting a hair restoration company. But, Bears fans will never forget the bald beast on the field who destroyed offenses every Sunday like clockwork.
Tune in tomorrow when we take a look at the great players from another legendary Chicago team: The Chicago Blackhawks.
ERIC KAPLAN AND DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO