|The Chicago Bears are one of only two charter members of the National Football League still in existence (the other one is the Cardinals). Their history began in 1920 in Decatur, Ill., when the Staley Starch Company decided to sponsor a football team. On September 17th, 1920, the Staleys, with George Halas as their representative, joined the American Professional Football Association, which became the National Football League in 1922. In 1921, the Staley Starch Company gave Halas the team along with permission to move the team to Chicago. All Halas had to do in return was agree to keep the Staley name for a year. In 1921, the Staleys won the league championship. In 1922, the team was renamed the Chicago Bears. They were the first to buy a player from another team ? in 1922, they bought Ed Healey from Rock Island for $100. In 1932, they defeated the Portsmouth Spartans 9-0 to win the championship in the NFL's first indoor game. The next year, they won the first NFL championship by defeating the New York Giants, 23-21. The Bears kicked off the 1940s with four straight NFL championship appearances. They won three, including the famous 73-0 annihilation of the Washington Redskins in 1940. Despite winning nearly 60% of their games in the 1950s, the Bears did not win an NFL title and made only one playoff appearance. In 1963, they broke their 17-year title drought by beating the New York Giants, 14-10.|
Almost all of the Bears' successes on and off the field between 1920 and 1983 are attributable to one man: George (Papa Bear) Halas. For 64 years, he served the Bears as owner, player, coach, general manager, traveling secretary . . . virtually any capacity imaginable. Papa Bear died on October 31, 1983, but the Bears tradition is carried on today by his grandson, Michael McCaskey, who serves as club president and chief executive officer. For their first 51 seasons in Chicago, the Bears played in Wrigley Field, the famous home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Since 1971, they have played in Soldier Field in downtown Chicago.
When this team became a charter member of the American Professional Football Association (APFA) in 1920, the team was located in Decatur, IL, and was named after team sponsor, the Staley Starch Company. The team moved to Chicago in 1921 and became the Chicago Staleys. In 1922, after team founder-manager and star end George Halas purchased the team, he changed the name to the Bears. Halas reasoned that because football players were generally bigger than baseball players, and the city?s baseball team was the Cubs, then logically the football team should be the Bears.
Chicago Bears 1922-