The Chicago Bears franchise has been around since the inception of the National Football League. It is one of only two remaining teams from the founding of the league in 1920. The other franchise is the Arizona Cardinals, which also originated in Chicago in 1898 as an amateur football team before joining the NFL.
Not only do the Bears hold the record for most players inducted into the Hall of Fame, but they’ve also retired the most jersey numbers. The team has won nine NFL Championships and one Super Bowl. Additionally, the historic franchise has recorded more victories than any other team in the NFL.
Now that we’ve informed you of some menial tidbits about the Chicago Bears, let’s go a little deeper with the following 5 intriguing facts you never knew about your favorite NFL club.
As many fans of the Chicago Bears know, the team’s iconic letter C logo was not originally theirs. It belonged to the Chicago Cardinals, a team that existed from 1920 to 1947. The Bears adopted the logo in 1962 before upgrading it with the team’s colors in 1974.
The motivation behind the 1962 logo, however, is the intriguing part of the franchise’s history. They chose the logo to avenge a loss from 42 years ago. It was the Chicago Cardinals that handed the Bears their very first defeat in franchise history.
On November 16, 1965, Bears rookie running back Gale Sayers tied the NFL single-game touchdown record by carrying the ball into the end zone six times. Of course, this isn’t much of a secret, since records can be found all over the internet.
What isn’t as well-known is that earlier in the day, Green Bay Packers running back Paul Hornung had scored five touchdowns. In order to “one-up” their division rival, head coach George Halas kept Sayers in the game to score a sixth touchdown so the Packers running back wouldn’t overshadow Sayers’ accomplishments.
Every NFL fan knows about the 1940 NFL Championship game where the Bears defeated the Redskins – who recently decided they will change their team name and logo so as to be less offensive to Native Americans – 73-0. It’s one of those games that Chicago fans won’t stop talking about, and Washington fans try so hard to erase from their memory.
What many football fans may not know is that the game was paused in the fourth quarter for an on-field conference between the Bears and the officials. The referees asked the team if they could run the ball into the end zone for their extra point rather than kick it. The reason — they were down to their last football!
The Chicago Bears played in two games that ended in a score of 2-0. The first was a loss to the Green Bay Packers in 1932. The second was a win against the same Packers team six years later in 1938. No big deal, right? Just two boring games.
Well, the reason this “feat” is so intriguing is that this low-score situation has only happened five times in the entire history of the NFL. In fact, the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears were involved in nearly 40% of those five times.
Over the course of NFL history, there have been over 24,000 field goal attempts. Of those attempts, roughly 2,600 have been kicked from longer than 50 yards. Even more intriguing is that only five of these long field goals have been returned for a touchdown — or kick six.
The Chicago Bears have two of the five kick sixes in the NFL. Nathan Vasher took a miss 109 yards for a Bears touchdown in 2005, and Devin Hester returned one 108 yards in 2006. Two kick sixes in back-to-back years is nothing short of a statistical miracle.