The historic Soldier Field is home to the NFL Chicago Bears

Neighborhood News: On Draft Day – Bear Down, Chicago Bears!

The historic Soldier Field is home to the NFL Chicago Bears

They’re known as the ‘Monsters of the Midway,’ ‘The Bruise Brothers,’ and most popularly, ‘DA BEARS.’ 

Tonight (April 27, 2023), the Chicago Bears are going into the 87th Annual NFL Draft with the 9th pick, following a trade with the Carolina Panthers for multiple draft picks and wide receiver D. J. Moore. This is a critical decision for a franchise that’s been around since 1920, starting life as the Decatur Staleys, and one of only two remaining franchises from the NFL’s founding, along with the Arizona Cardinals, which was originally also in Chicago.


Over 100+ years, the Bears have captured:

  • Nine NFL championships 
  • Eight NFL championships
  • One Super Bowl
  • According to Wikipedia sources, this record stands as as second only to the Green Bay Packers, their erstwhile rival. 


  • 739 franchise victories, more than any other NFL team 
  • Retired the most uniform numbers, with 14 
  • 29 members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, more than any other franchise 

Halas… George Halas

The Decatur Staleys were originally founded as a works team of the A. E. Staley food starch company of Decatur, Illinois. In 1920, the company hired former University of Illinois teammates George Halas and Edward “Dutch” Sternaman to run the team. According to Pro Football Hall of Famehistory, Staley gave Halas $5,000 and permission to move the team to Chicago if he would agree to keep the Staleys name for a year. In Decatur, they won the 1921 league championship. 

Bear Down, Chicago Bears! 

A year later, the team was renamed the Chicago Bears. How’d he pick that? In his biography, according to Wikipedia, ‘Papa Bear’ Halas recalled that he wanted a tie-in to the popular Cubs. “If baseball players are Cubs, then football players must be Bears!” Halasselected his alma mater’s colors—orange and navy blue (University of Illinois)—for the team’s uniforms. And they started playing at Cubs Park, soon to be known as Wrigley Field. 

A Powerhouse Builds

The Bears earned their reputation as innovators in the newly-formed NFL. AS says, they were the first to buy a player from another team — $100 for Ed Healey from Rock Island in 1922. The Bears then signed the fabled collegiate All-American, Red Grange, in 1925 and then showcased him before the first NFL championship appearances. In 1933, they inaugurated the NFL championship series by defeating the New York Giants, 23-21. With the powerful arm of future hall of fame quarterback Sid Luckman, the Bears won three of four NFL championships in the 1940’s, including the famous 73-0 annihilation of the Washington Redskins in 1940, using the innovative ‘T-formation’ utilizing two running backs and setting men in motion before the play, became the dominant offense. 

In a reversal of fortune in the 1950’s, despite winning nearly 60 percent of their games, the Bears made only one playoff appearance. They finally broke a 17-year championship drought with a 14-10 win over the New York Giants in the pre-Super Bowl NFL Championship in 1963, with players like tight end  Mike Ditka

In 1971, another pivotal moment came as the Bears moved from their longtime home in Lakeview’s Wrigley Field to the South Loop’s Soldier Field. In future years, the Bears will likely head to their next home, on the grounds of the former Arlington International Racetrack in Arlington Heights. 

Da Bears… 

As points out, despite drafting two future Hall of Famers in 1965–linebacker Dick Butkus and running back Gale Sayers, the Bears did not advance to the playoffs during either of their careers. The same fate might have awaited future Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, drafted in 1977, had it not been for the 1983 hiring of Mike ‘Da Coach’ Ditka, who led a strong defense and scrappy offense to the 1985 NFL Divisional Championship, the culmination of the Bears comeback in their 46-10 win over the New England Patriots. They returned in 2006, losing to Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. 

But overall, the Bears can claim that in its first 74 years, the team compiled a 586-384-42 overall record, qualifying for the playoffs 21 times, won 19 division titles, eight NFL championships and Super Bowl XX.

Drafting The Future, 2023

As Chris Emma of 670 The Scorepoints out, after going an NFL-worst 3-14 in 2022, the Bears will prioritize selecting the best player available with the No. 9 pick rather than finding a prospect who fits a particular positional need, assistant general manager Ian Cunningham said Tuesday. 

Who could that be? Stay tuned, and Bear Down!! 

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago