George Halas founded the Decatur Staleys in 1920 and moved the team to Chicago a year later, renaming the team the Chicago Bears. The name change was to coincide with the Chicago Cubs, the baseball team that allowed them to play at Wrigley Field. The Bears have been a staple in the NFL with their navy blue and orange uniforms. It wasn’t always that way.
Who was George Halas?
George Halas was a football player, coach, and owner. He founded the Chicago Bears and was also a Major League Baseball player for the New York Yankees. Halas, however, was widely known for his ties with the Bears, earning the nickname Papa Bear.
Halas had four different stints as coach of the Chicago Bears. He was not only the coach of the team in the early going, but he was also a wide receiver and a defensive end. Halas is an eight-time NFL champion. He was named AP NFL Coach of the Year in 1963 and 1965.
After Halas retired from coaching, he remained as principal owner of the Bears. He was the first coach to get to 200 and 300 victories. In 40 years of coaching, Halas had just six losing seasons. He finished his coaching career with a record of 324-151-31. The George Halas Trophy is awarded to the champion of the NFC.
The Chicago Bears have been around for 100 years
The Chicago Bears were founded in September of 1920. They have become one of the most prominent franchises in the NFL. Chicago has won a total of nine NFL Championships, including a Super Bowl during the 1985 season when the Bears defeated the New England Patriots 46-10.
The Bears were a dominant football team under head coach George Halas in the early years of their existence. The Bears won eight NFL Championships under Halas, but have been up-and-down since. After Halas, the Bears have gone 467-460-11. Their overall record, postseason included, since their inception is 791-611-42.
The Bears hold the record for most players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Bears also have the most retired jersey numbers and also have the most wins in NFL history. Their last divisional championship came in 2018.
Why do the Chicago Bears wear navy blue and orange?
When the Chicago Bears played the Minnesota Vikings in 2019, they wore some funky throwback uniforms from 1936 to honor their 100 years of being in the league. Had they worn the uniforms they had in 1920 – exactly 100 years ago -there would have been zero resemblance to Chicago Bears football.
According to The Chicago Tribune, back in that 1920 season, the uniforms were red with gold highlights. They remained red and gold until 1923. The switch to blue and orange was made by then-owner and head coach George Halas. Halas’ inspiration for making the color switch came from his ties to the University of Illinois, which had those same colors.
Halas attended the University of Illinois and played football, baseball, and basketball. He played a big role in guiding the school to the Big Ten football title in 1918.