Chicago Bears – The Team

Founded in Decatur in 1919, the team now known as the Chicago Bears moved from Decatur to Chicago in 1921. The team has eight championships to their credit, one of which is a Super Bowl; the rest were won before the merger. Although they may not have the most championships in the league, they do hold a record for the most Pro Football Hall of Famers, with 27.

Rivalries with the Chicago Bears include their run-ins with the Chicago Cardinals, which date back to before the two teams even resided in the same town. It is the oldest in the league, and played a large part in several of the Bear’s championships that were won against the Cardinals.

Probably the most famous and storied rivalry in football is that between the Bears and the Green Bay Packers. It began in 1921, when the owner of the Bears got the Packers expelled from the league in order to prevent them from signing a player who later signed with the Bears as a result. The Packers were readmitted to the league after the signing.

After the Bears had been located in Wrigley Field for fifty years, they finally decided they had outgrown the facility, moving instead into their own home, Soldier Field. The name Soldier Field is a memorial to American soldiers who have lost their lives in war. The stadium had been built in the 1920s, but did not become home to the team until 1971. It has been rebuilt twice in its lifetime, most recently in 2003. There were many mixed feelings about the remodel and it caused the stadium to lose its designation as a National Historic Landmark, but the facilities had been in dire need of modernization.

On game day, the Chicago Bears not only entertain the fans with their fantastic performance on the field, but also with tons of fan giveaway, contests, trivia, and a drum line. The drum line can be found before and after the game in the parking lot as well as during the game inside the stadium. They also make appearances at events throughout the community.

In their community, the Chicago Bears have been active in helping their neighbors in need. Focusing mainly on disadvantaged children and their families, the team has created the Bears Care Foundation, which has granted millions to charities promoting education, health, and medical research into diseases such as cancer.

The Chicago Bears are a fascinating and exciting team. They not only have a rich history full of interesting moments and facts, but also play a great game of football. The extra entertainment at games and at community service programs in their area serve to encourage the fans and give back a little of what the team receives from their fans every football season.

Green Bay Packers Announce Expansion Plan for Lambeau Field

The Packers, the only publically owned N.F.L. team, also had fans buzzing by suggesting they might pay for the project through a stock sale that would give even more people a chance to be a part-owner of one of the N.F.L.’s most storied franchises.

“We’re excited to begin work on the expansion of Lambeau Field,” the Packers’ president, Mark Murphy, said, noting the community will benefit though construction jobs.

The Packers quoted a study that said the expansion is expected to employ about 1,600 workers over the next two years.

The seats will be in four levels in the south end zone. The prices are expected to range between the current cost for bowl seats, where the top price is $87, and club seats, where the top price is $313. The project includes a new rooftop viewing terrace that club-seat holders can use on game days, along with new gates, elevators and access points for people with disabilities.

Lambeau Field is the oldest continually operating N.F.L. stadium, and the third-oldest continually operating site in major sports behind Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Boston’s Fenway Park.

The new seats will be distributed through a seniority system. Current season-ticket holders will get first access with a chance to trade their existing seats. After that, fans on the waiting list will finally get a chance they’ve spent decades waiting for.

Nathan Bitzer, 35, has been on the list since 1996, when he was somewhere around No. 33,000. In 15 years, he has moved up to about 26,000, he said.

“I’m hopeful,” said Bitzer, who lives in St. Paul. “But I’ll probably be dead for 200 or 300 years before my name comes up.”

VICK LEADS EAGLES Michael Vick led three scoring drives, the first-team defense pitched a shutout and the Eagles beat the Cleveland Browns in a preseason game, in Philadelphia.

Vick took a lot of hits and had to escape trouble quite a bit. Still, he managed to complete 10 of 18 passes for 98 yards. He ran for 24 yards and a touchdown.

Colt McCoy and the rest of Cleveland’s starting offense hardly looked like the crew that scored five touchdowns on nine possessions in the first two preseason games. The Browns punted four times and missed a field goal, and McCoy threw an interception on six first-half drives.

DALTON OUTSHINES NEWTON Carolina’s rookie quarterback Cam Newton took a step back while Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, another rookie, took a leap forward.

Dalton, Cincinnati’s second-round draft pick from Texas Christian, led four first-half scoring drives and the Bengals held on for a in Cincinnati.

Dalton was an efficient 11 of 17 for 130 yards and a touchdown for Cincinnati (1-2), putting together a 107.5 quarterback rating, a vast improvement over the 30.9 figure he took into the game.

Newton, the overall No. 1 pick, entered the game with a 65.2 quarterback rating after two games. He rushed for 41 yards in the first half, including a 16-yard scramble for a touchdown. He finished 6 for 19 for 75 yards and a 44.8 rating.

REDSKINS’ DUEL CONTINUES Rex Grossman and John Beck each threw a touchdown pass in a duel to become the starting quarterback for the Redskins, who lost to the Ravens, 34-31, in Baltimore.

Tyrod Taylor threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Jones with 22 seconds left for the Ravens.

Grossman went 8 for 15 for 112 yards, directed an 80-yard scoring drive and finished with a quarterback rating of 99.9.

Beck completed 6 of 10 passes for 108 yards with an interception for a 90.8 rating. He guided Washington on a 97-yard march against Baltimore’s second-string defense for a 28-21 lead in the third quarter.

INJURIES PLAGUE BILLS It may be just a couple weeks into the preseason schedule, but the Buffalo Bills are already dealing with several injuries that are testing their roster depth.

Linebacker Reggie Torbor, who started seven games last year and made 41 tackles, was placed on injured reserve because of a shoulder injury, while receivers Roscoe Parrish (left calf), Donald Jones (head) and Naaman Roosevelt (right ankle), and linebackers Arthur Moats (leg) and Chris Kelsay (eye surgery) are all sidelined.

PRYOR TO SIGN 4-YEAR DEAL Quarterback Terrelle Pryor agreed to a four-year contract with the Oakland Raiders, three days after being picked in the third round of the supplemental draft. The Raiders senior executive John Herrera said Pryor arrived in the Bay Area and was expected to sign a deal Thursday night. Pryor can start practicing with Oakland on Friday.

There has been some speculation that Pryor could eventually play receiver or tight end in the N.F.L., but Raiders coach Hue Jackson said Monday that Pryor would start off as a quarterback.

Lucky for Cutler, Chicago Can Be Forgiving

Chicagoans are a remarkably tolerant species of sports fan — they have to be, or they wouldn’t turn out three million strong at Wrigley Field every year to watch a fifth-place ball club.

That’s a good thing for the unsettlingly blasé Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who became the football equivalent of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow when a knee injury forced him out of a hyped effort to disrupt the ’ run. Cutler offered some barely coherent mumbles about his disappointment, then split for Los Angeles with his celebrity girlfriend, further offending Bears fans by walking around on a leg that should have required amputation if it had been damaged badly enough to force his removal from a Packers game.

But that’s Cutler — on his best days, he has the social presence of a gawky teenager. Disappearing might not have been good for his image, but it played better than ’s cloying attempts to make himself likable during the week leading up to Super Bowl XLV.

Roethlisberger, the hulking quarterback, sought to distance himself from a night of carousing last April that earned him a four-game suspension. His plastic smile and faux sincerity couldn’t dispel the notion that Big Ben is as creepy as he is talented.

The Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, meanwhile, came across as a neighborly good guy, gaining a “Brett who?” approval rating well before his artful passing delivered the Lombardi Trophy to Green Bay.

Between those two extremes is a middle ground for Cutler, and it should be reachable in a city that’s historically forgiving toward its athletes.

In the late 1990s, , and Bob Probert called Chicago home simultaneously. Three of the most notorious reprobates in sports, and all three were accepted here, if not beloved, for one reason: they delivered on the field/floor/ice.

The went the renegade route again with in 2001, and it didn’t work out as well, primarily because of his 5-7 record. Wells won 20 games with the in 2000 and 19 for the in 2002. Had he been close to that good in Chicago, he would not have seemed so obnoxious.

Fast forward to 2009. Most observers thought General Manager Jim Hendry was as crazy as Milton Bradley for signing the, uh, volatile outfielder, and Bradley didn’t disappoint — he was booted off the team in mid-September. But the bizarre behavior that got him sent home would probably have been characterized as colorful if Bradley had hit .338 instead of .257.

Now come the Bulls with plans to erect a statue honoring Hall of Famer outside the United Center. No chance the bronze figure will be sitting, as Pippen was for the final 1.8 seconds of a playoff game in 1994, pouting because the game-deciding play wasn’t called for him.

Pippen would win three more titles as ’s sidekick, effectively obscuring the memory of perhaps the most egregious me-first snit in sports. He’s a Bulls ambassador now. Jay Cutler is a Bears pariah — and for what?

“It’s a cautionary tale for athletes everywhere,” said Kevin Sullivan, a Florida-based media consultant with an extensive sports background who provides media training to several teams and athletes.

“Jay Cutler suffered a fairly serious injury, and he got ripped for it,” Sullivan said. “It shows what can happen if you make no effort to engage people. They’re not inclined to pull for you.”

Not inclined to pull for you? From the meathead reaction in Chicago and elsewhere, you might have taken Cutler for the impresario of a dog-fighting ring who handled the disposal of the less-successful combatants.

In fact, a contemporary of Cutler with that very blemish on his record is enjoying a glorious rebirth. is wildly popular in Philadelphia, a tough, fickle sports town where hero worship is practically illegal.

“Sports fans are the most forgiving, second-chance-loving people in the world,” Sullivan said, “and Michael Vick is a classic example. If he can come back, Jay Cutler certainly can. He didn’t do anything bad.”

Try telling that to the armchair zealots who insist Cutler is through in this town. Sullivan grew up in Chicago. He knows some of them.

“If I were advising Cutler,” Sullivan said, “I’d tell him to find a forum to talk about how he feels about all of this. Just say what happened, how disappointed he was, how eager he is to get back on the field.

“He has to convey the message that he really did care. He can’t be defensive or angry, even though he has a right to be — he’s been treated unfairly. He should try to get with somebody he has some chemistry or some history with, if that person exists in Chicago. Football season is over; people are moving on. This shouldn’t be a story a month after it happened. It’s time to let the air out of the balloon.”

It’s the Bears. It’s not that easy.

dmcgrath@chicagonewscoop.org