Decatur Staleys

Decatur Staleys

Bears Timeline

1919

Decatur Staleys Team Formation

Originally named the Decatur Staleys, the club was established by the A. E. Staley food starch company of Decatur, Illinois in 1919 as a company team. This was the typical start for several early professional football franchises. The company hired George Halas and Edward "Dutch" Sternaman in 1920 to run the team, and turned over full control of the team to them in 1921. However, official team and league records cite Halas as the founder as he took over the team in 1920 when it became a charter member of the NFL.
1921

Relocated to Chicago

The team relocated to Chicago in 1921, where the club was renamed the Chicago Staleys. Under an agreement reached by Halas and Sternaman with Staley, Halas purchased the rights to the club from Staley for $100.
1922

Bears Nickname

In 1922, Halas changed the team name from the Staleys to the Bears. The team moved into Wrigley Field, which was home to the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise. As with several early NFL franchises, the Bears derived their nickname from their city's baseball team some directly, some indirectly like the Bears, whose young are called "cubs". Halas liked the bright orange-and-blue colors of his alma mater, the University of Illinois, and the Bears adopted those colors as their own, albeit in a darker shade of each the blue is a navy blue, and the orange is Pantone 1665, similar to burnt orange.
1983

New Owner Virginia McCaskey

On November 1, 1983, a day after the death of George Halas, his oldest daughter, Virginia McCaskey, took over as the majority owner of the team. Her husband, Ed McCaskey, succeeded her father as the Chairman of the Board. Their son Michael became the third president in team history. Mrs. McCaskey holds the honorary title of "secretary of the board of directors", but the 90 year old matriarch has been called the glue that holds the franchise together. Mrs. McCaskey's reign as the owner of the Bears was not planned, as her father originally earmarked her brother, George "Mugs" Halas, Jr. as the heir apparent to the franchise. However, he died of a massive heart attack in 1979. Her impact on the team is well-noted as her own family has dubbed her "The First Lady of Sports", and the Chicago Sun-Times has listed her as one of Chicago's most powerful women.
1985

Super Bowl Winner

Super Bowl XX - 1985
Mike Ditka, a tight end for the Bears from 1961 to 1966, was hired to coach the team by George Halas in 1982. His gritty personality earned him the nickname "Iron Mike." In the 1985 season the fire in the Bears–Packers rivalry was relit when Ditka used 315 pound defensive tackle "Refrigerator" Perry as a running back in a touchdown play at Lambeau Field, against the Packers. The Bears won their ninth NFL Championship, first since the AFL-NFL merger, in Super Bowl XX after the 1985 season in which they dominated the NFL with their then-revolutionary 46 defense and a cast of characters that recorded the novelty rap song "The Super Bowl Shuffle". The season was notable in that the Bears had only one loss, the "unlucky 13th" game of the season, a Monday night affair in which they were defeated by the Miami Dolphins. At the time, much was made of the fact that the 1972 Dolphins were the only franchise in history to have had an undefeated season and post-season. The Dolphins came close to setting up a rematch in the Super Bowl, but lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC title game. "The Super Bowl Shuffle" was videotaped the day after that Monday night loss in Miami.
2003

Soldier Field Renovation

In 2001, the Chicago Park District, which owns the structure, faced substantial criticism when it announced plans to alter the stadium with a design by architect Benjamin T. Wood of the Boston-based architecture firm Wood and Zapata. Stadium grounds were reconfigured by Chicago-based architecture firm of Lohan Associate, led by architect Dirk Lohan, the grandson of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The stadium's interior would be demolished and reconstructed while the exterior would be preserved.

Proponents argued the renovation was direly needed citing aging and cramped facilities. The New York Times ranked the renovated Soldier Field as one of the five best new buildings of 2003. Soldier Field was given an award in design excellence by the American Institute of Architects in 2004.

Staleys Primary Logo History No Alternate Logo History No Wordmark Logo History

 

Team Information Team History

City:
Decatur - Chicago

Nickname:
Staleys - The club was established by the A. E. Staley food starch company of Decatur, Illinois in 1919 as a company team. Continued with the name Staley for the first year in Chicago.

Stadium:
Soldier Field II
2003 - present

*Champaign*
Memorial Stadium
2002

*Chicago*
Soldier Field I
1971 - 2001
Wrigley Field
1921 - 1970

*Decantur*
Staley Field
1919 - 1920

Owner:
Virginia Halas McCaskey
1983 - present
George Halas
1933 - 1983
George Halas and Dutch Sternaman
1921 - 1933
A. E. Staley
1919 - 1921

Established: 1920

League History:
National Football League
1920 - present

Team History:
Chicago Bears
1922 - present
Chicago Staleys
1921
Decatur Staleys
1920

Super Bowl: 1
1985
NFL Championships: 6
1963, 1946, 1943, 1941, 1940, 1933
NFL Standings Champion: 1
1921

Retired Numbers:
3 Bronko Nagurski
5 George McAfee
7 George Halas
28 Willie Galimore
34 Walter Payton
40 Gale Sayers
41 Brian Piccolo
42 Sid Luckman
51 Dick Butkus
56 Bill Hewitt
61 Bill George
66 Clyde "Bulldog" Turner
77 Harold "Red" Grange
89 Mike Ditka

  *Red is this team's history

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