Da Bears! This Chicago Bears Fan Guide is your blueprint to following one of the most storied franchises in the league.
If you’re new to pro football or new to Chicago, this short read will get you up to speed quickly. And, if you’re a long-time fan, it will serve as a handy reference resource and remind you of some great memories associated with the team.
Chicago Bears Fan Guide
As one of only two remaining franchises from the NFL’s founding in 1920, along with the Arizona Cardinals, the Chicago Bears franchise is steeped in tradition. In addition to having more regular season wins that any other NFL franchise, the Bears have claimed nine NFL championships, and hold the NFL record for the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Names such as Halas, Sales, Butkus, Payton, and Ditka still carry clout few other league members have ever attained.
Tailgating Bear’s Style
Rain or shine, temperatures in the positive or negative, the Soldier Field parking lot tailgates march on. Enticing smells of Chicago styled hot dogs, bratwursts and polishes add to the ambiance as many fans play games such as Cornhole and toss the pigskin around.
Monsters of the Midway
Starting in 1940 with Sid Luckman quarterbacking the Bears to 4 championships in 7 years the team decided to acquire the University of Chicago’s discarded nickname “Monsters of the Midway” and their now famous helmet wishbone “C”.
Although the term is generally associated to the team as a whole, the phrase has become even more ingrained from the image of historically tough and intimidating defensive play.
The Super Bowl Shuffle
Arguably the most famous sports themed song ever, the shuffle was created by players on the dominant Super Bowl winning team of 1985. While primarily serving to boast, the song is able to remain respectful and highlighted the confidence with which that team played with.
Adding to the lore was that the song was created two days after the Bears only defeat of the season in week 13 against the Miami Dolphins but proved accurate with the Bears completing the championship over the Patriots in a lopsided 46-10 affair (finished 18-1).
Super Bowl Shuffle Video
The One Bears Cheer You need to Know
- “Bear Down Chicago Bears.” Introduced in 1941, fans of all generations join in singing this fight song after every time the Bears score.
What to order at the Game
- Buona Italian Beef. Order it dry with no gravy or baptized if you want the whole sandwich dunked.
- Chicago hot dog. Only ask for ketchup to be added if you’re looking for a degrading look from the food vendor. Chicago style is said to be “dragged through the garden” due to the many toppings.
- Polish Sausage. Polish Americans make up about 6.7% of Chicago’s population.
Five things to do in Chicago on Saturdays
- Ride the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier.
- Take the Soldier Field tour which features terrific Bears items from inception to present day including locker room visits.
- Rent a boat or take a walk on the Lakeshore to take in beautiful Lake Michigan.
- Eat at Ditka’s Restaurant while taking in the vast amounts of sports nostalgia items. Oh, you might run into Da Coach himself.
- Plethora of world class museums including the History, Field, Art and Adler Planetarium.
How to talk Chicago?
- It’s called a Sammich. When made with beef, it’s a sassage sammich.
- THE is shortened to Da. Made famous by the Chris Farley SNL skit – “Da Bears.”
- “Gimme a Braht” – when asking for a bratwust.
- It will always be known as Sears Tower. What you talking about Willis?
- “Over by dere” when referring to a location.
- “Let’s take LSD” isn’t a proposed, shared drug experience, but rather an invitation to take Lake Shore Drive.
Best Bears Twitter Accounts to Follow
- Mitchell Trubisky – Bears QB.
- Brad Biggs – Chicago Tribune reporter.
- Official Bears.
- Spice Adams – Retired player.
Best Movie with the Bears
“Brian’s Song,” starred James Caan as Brian Piccolo, a Bear’s player stricken with terminal cancer. Bring the Kleenex.
Cool Bears Licensed Merchandise
- Coach Ditka’s iconic Bears sweater vest can still be seen around Soldier Field on game days and found on Etsy for about $20.
Packers vs Da Bears.
Arguably the best rivalry in the NFL, the overall records against between these two teams remain remarkably close despite beginning in 1921. The Packers surpassed the Bears in the overall series in 2017 for the first time since 1932 and now lead, 96–94–6.
The two teams combine for 5 super bowls (Packers 4 Bears 1) and have 65 combined Hall of Fame players. No matter the current standings for that season, these games are always tightly contested with bragging rights on the line between fan bases that share a state border.
Vikings vs Bears.
The team colors for these teams are good indicators of the type of play they experience when facing off – purple and blue. Both team have historical dependence on strong running games and physical play which usually leads to these games resembling a boxing slugfest.
Fan bases also try to lay claim of having the greatest running back on their side in Adrian Peterson and Walter Payton. Bears fans were especially joyous to see the Vikings, with former Packer Brett Favre, suffer defeat one step before the Super bowl in 2009.
Redskins vs Bears – Maybe one you didn’t know about.
This rivalry stems from the frequent playoff meetings between these two teams during their peak years in the 1980’s. The up and coming Bears team was able to beat the Redskins, who were coming off a Super Bowl defeat the year prior, in the Divisional round in 1984 which ultimately gave them the confidence needed to win the super bowl the following year.
As fans to this day still claim, the talent level on the Bears teams the following two years was also good enough to win the Super Bowl but were knocked out in 86’ and 87’ to Joe Gibbs Redskins who went on to win the championship in 87’.
Best jerseys all-time
- Walter Payton #34 RB. Nicknamed “Sweetness” he embodied the cities ideals of toughness and determination.
- Dick Butkus #51 MLB. The University of Illinois star was the first true Monster of the Midway and a classic ideal of football toughness.
- Mike Singletary #50 MLB. Defensive Player of the Year for Super Bowl team.
- Brian Urlacher #54 MLB. Notice a trend here? Chicagoans expect excellence at the linebacker position and Urlacher did not disappoint. 2005 Defensive Player of the Year.
- Devin Hester #23 Returner. Electric return man providing highlight after highlight.
Da Bears Talking Points
Is Mitchell Trubisky the answer at QB?
The Bears have seemingly been searching for a stalwart at the quarterback position for eons. Sid Luckman was considered the best player of his time but dates back too many decades to count. Jim McMahon had enough skills to achieve a Super Bowl but the #1 All Time defense of his time with the Bears takes the majority of claim to their title.
Although Jay Cutler broke nearly every Bears passing record he failed to achieve consistent winning or fan support with his suspect attitude. Current GM Ryan Pace traded up in the draft to grab Trubisky and fans are hoping they finally have a pro bowl quarterback to call their own to match the NFC Norths elite QB talent in Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, and Matthew Stafford.
How will new head coach Matt Nagy impact the team?
Known as an offensive innovator during his time as the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator and play caller, Nagy’s hiring is expected to lift the teams high draft pick Mitchell Trubisky in his development into elite quarterback.
Along with the big money free agent signing of wide receiver Allen Robinson joining talented running back Jordan Howard, expectations for the Bears offense are high. Can Nagy reverse the trend of last place finishes since 2014?
About that Bears Logo
In 1922, owner George Halas changed the team name from the Staleys to the Bears and moved the team 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 who’s young are called “cubs”. Halas liked the bright orange-and-blue colors of his alma mater, the University of Illinois, and adopted those colors as his own.
Initial decal was introduced in the early 1940s with a bear running with a football. The next logo featured a navy blue bear on top of a football. The team kept this until 1962, when the Bears trademark ‘C’ logo was first introduced by the team.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) June 19, 2018
Chicago Legends: Names from the Past You Should Know
- Gale Sayers #40 RB. The “Kansas Comet” still holds the record for most touchdowns scored in a game with 6. Holds career touchdowns as a rusher, passer, receiver, punt & kick returner. Knee injuries limited his claim to best ever RB tier.
- Dan Hampton #99 DL. Hall of fame defensive lineman that was equally good against the run and pass. Key cog to super bowl team and still a Chicago fixture.
- Richard Dent #95 DL. Played alongside Hampton on the defensive line and joined him in Canton, OH as a hall of famer. Adept at sacking the quarterback, he led the league in sacks in the 1985 super bowl season and was also awarded the Super Bowl MVP award.
- Bronko Nagurski. A symbol of power football and a two way star on both offense and defense during the 1930’s. Running style was straight north and south and preferred to run through tacklers instead of around them. Is credited with inventing the jump pass that Tim Tebow has deployed.
- George “Papa Bear” Halas. Cofounded the NFL and served as a player, coach, and owner. In terms of league impact he is considered the greatest. His six NFL Championships as a head coach is tied for the most all time with Green Bay’s Curly Lambeau and in 40 years as a coach he endured only six losing seasons. One of Halas’s final significant ownership acts was to hire Mike Ditka as head coach in 1982 (Ditka had been a Halas player in the 1960s).
Bear Players to Watch Now
- Allen Robinson WR. Signed as free agent for 3 years and $42 million. The bears as a franchise have lacked elite playmakers at the wide receiver position historically and are hoping their new addition can break the mold. A lot will be riding on this season as Robinson tries to come back from an ACL tear. His production and health will go a long way in any progress the offense can take from last season.
- Jordan Howard RB. Still only 23 years old, the former 5th round draft pick has established himself as one of the league’s best running backs. Since entering the league two seasons ago Howard has the third most rushing yards in the league trailing only Ezekiel Elliot and Le’Veon Bell in that span. He has had troubles in the receiving game and will need to become more reliable catching the ball out of the backfield in new head coach Matt Nagy’s system which places a major emphasis on that.
- Roquan Smith MLB. The Bears selected the Butkus Award winner out of the University of Georgia this past draft 8th overall and have high expectations. All eyes will be on Smith as he’ll be playing in the shadow of several past legendary middle linebackers who now reside in the Hall of Fame. The Bears defense is young and looking for leadership under the first round pick.
Current Bear Coach: Matt Nagy
- The Bears hired Matt Nagy this past offseason to serve as head coach. His two prior coaching stints were both served under Andy Reid in Kansas City and Philadelphia as offensive coordinator and play caller. With the Bears struggling the past few seasons and accumulating a lot of young talent, Nagy’s main priority will be developing the youngsters while still improving the team’s win/loss record which has seen them finish in last place of the NFC North the last 3 seasons.
Who owns the Chicago Bears?
Virginia Halas McCaskey is the principal owner of the Chicago Bears. She is the eldest child of former Bears coach and owner George Halas, who left the team to his daughter upon his death in 1983. George was able to accumulate his wealth through cofounding the league and corresponding franchise fees through expansion and television licensing. McCaskey and her family still own an estimated 80% of the Bears, a team worth $1.7 billion.
Fantasy Football Team Names
- Bear Jordan.
- Kevin White Walkers.
- Bear Force One.
- Da Bear Necessities.
- Moby Ditka.
- Forgetting Brandon Marshall.
- Grin and Bear it.
- Lil’ Trubisky Urban Achievers.
- “Nobody who ever gave their best regretted it.”
- “Before you can win, you have to believe you are worthy.”
- “Even when I was little, I was big.”
William “refrigerator” Perry
Best Bears Joke
Q: What’s the difference between Marty Mcfly and the Chicago bears fans?
A: At least Marty stops going back to 1985.
See more funny football jokes.
Where do the Bears Play?
The Chicago Bears have played at Soldier Field since 1972. The stadium has undergone several renovations will the most recent in 2003 drawing some ire for its futuristic external design but was still able to maintain the historic colonnades. Crowd capacity is 61,500 making it the 3rd smallest NFL venue. Concerts and other sporting events take place at the venue. It was the host location for the inaugural Special Olympics in 1968.
How to Get Tickets
Purchase tickets through official Bears/ NFL sites or on the secondary market through season ticket holders like Stubhub.
2018-2019 Chicago Bears Schedule
8/2 Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens
8/9 Chicago Bears at Cincinnati Bengals
8/18 Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos
8/25 Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears
8/30 Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears
Regular Season Games
9/9 Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
9/17 Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears
9/23 Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals
9/30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears
10/7 Bye Week
10/14 Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins
10/21 New England Patriots at Chicago Bears
10/28 New York Jets at Chicago Bears
11/4 Chicago Bears at Buffalo Bills
11/11 Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
11/18 Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
11/22 Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
12/2 Chicago Bears at New York Giants
12/9 Los Angeles Rams at Chicago Bears
12/16 Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
12/23 Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49er’s
12/30 Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
–Written by Nik Ebert
Nik is a lifelong Chicago resident and loves all things sports. He can often be found rambling on about random stats and stories to any ears that will listen.
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