About Chicago Bears History
This site is not affiliated with, nor endorsed or recognized
by the NFL or the Chicago Bears. It has been carefully and thoughtfully created
by a Chicago Bears fan of 26 years and counting out of pure love for the
subject matter. As Daily Herald
reporter Robert Sanchez quoted in his
December 2004 article on me,
it was always a dream of mine to work for
the Chicago Bears. Although I have not hidden behind this website and have made
the organization aware of my efforts, "no one from Halas Hall has called," as
Sanchez said. I have fun with this site, am happy that I assist other fans in
their research on Chicago Bears history, and proud to say there is more
information on this little site about the Chicago Bears than in any official
team or league publication or website.
How it all started
My father took me to my first Bears game at Soldier Field on
September 30th, 1979, and again later that year to see the improbable 42-6 Bear
victory over St. Louis on December 16th. My father then took me to each home
game in 1980, then secured season tickets starting with the 1981 season. I
relished the 1985 season more than legions of new Bear fans that were
incarnated that year, as I had intently watched the team lose more than win
over those past six seasons.
Late in high school through my college years at Illinois
State, I paid more attention to studies and socializing than reading every
written word about the team. I did get home to every game I could and made sure
I had slept most of my Saturday night hangover off in time to see the Noon game
The Bears were burned back into my consciousness in January
1993, when my normally stone-faced father wept as his favorite Bear of all
time, Michael Keller Ditka, was fired. Though he gave plenty of thought to
cancelling his season tickets, thankfully he kept them to turn over to me in
1999. Sadly, he refused to return to Soldier Field until 1998 and remains to
this day a lukewarm Bears fan, after being known as the biggest fan in little
Plainfield, IL for many years.
After college in the early 90's I began to again consume all
the knowledge I could on the Bears, despite their decade-long fall from grace.
This cemented my feeling that good or bad, everything was still interesting
from a historical perspective. I began surfing the Internet in 1997 and
wondered what I could find on some of my favorite players: Walter Payton, Brian
Piccolo, Neal Anderson, Mike Ditka. Answer: not much. I knew nothing about HTML
or web design or really how a PC worked at the time, but downloaded an AOL web
page generator anyway. I dropped a photo of Neal Anderson onto a gray
background, named the page "Roy's Bears Page" and dreamed of what might be.
Looking to bolster my bachelor's degree in Public Relations, I
enrolled in technology courses at
Illinois Institute of Technology
in the late 1990's, eventually
finishing my Master's degree in Information Technology and Management in May
2005. The original Chicago Bears History website was created as a class project
in 2000. The redeveloped site you're now looking at has been carefully
redesigned over a period of eight months utilizing ASP.net, learned in one of
my courses at IIT. All this in addition to maintaining a full-time career and
trying to see a wife and son when possible.
Additionally, I always thought I could write a pretty detailed
book on Bears History, and Arcadia Publishing
gave me the chance to do so in 2004.
Frequently Asked Questions from visitors:
Who are you and what is your story?
Read a little information about
Can you help me contact or pass information to a current or
former player or coach, or send me memorabilia?
No, I am not affiliated with the organization in any way and
have no ability to do that.
I know someone or have a relative that says they played for
the Bears, can you help me verify this?
I have access to the Chicago Bears' and NFL's published
all-time rosters and would be happy to look up that person's name for you.
These all-time rosters probably do not cover every man that ever tried out or
participated in training camp, however, so my information isn't necessarily
written in stone. I do not have a team photo or player photos for every season
or player in history, sorry.
I found a problem on one of the rosters on your season pages.
Why are there so many names on there that I didn't think played that year?
I can only feature rosters on the site from 1979 to the
present, as I wasn't watching the team prior to that time. I'm only writing
about information I can vouch for by having seen it. The rosters aren't an
official start-of or end-of year roster from the Bears, but reflect players
that may have been on the team but on injured reserve or were cut by the end of
the season. For example, wide receivers Brian Baschnagel, Brad Anderson and
James Manness were not on the Bears active roster in January 1986, but were on
the roster at some point that season, so I'm including them at my discretion.
What is the reason for this site? Are you making money on
This is my hobby and a place to hone my technical skills. This
is a not-for-profit site. I will be offering nominally priced advertising for
businesses, but this is only to cover my web hosting costs so I can continue to
serve a growing visitor base. And I think I'm a pretty damn good resource for
Bears historical information and I like being the repository.
Did you take all the photos on this site?
No, and I'm not representing that I have. I've tried to reach
out to great Bears photographers and have permission to use some of their work.
You will find links to their great work on my links page. I am freely using
photos dated prior to 1954, because my research shows that those photos are now
in the public domain. I have been very careful to not use any Chicago Bears or
NFL logos, and am not using any photos scanned from official Chicago Bears
publications. If you are a website that sells Chicago Bears historical photos
online, be assured I am not using any of your work on this site. The reason I
have stamped most photos with my URL is not to represent that the image is
mine, but to try to deter people linking directly to my photos.
Would you like to partner with me and sell my products on
No. But if you'd like to buy an ad you can do that, or
advertise on my site via Google AdSense.
Can you make me copies of Bears games or videos you own?
I apologize but I couldn't possibly make copies for everyone
that asks. I do not sell this copyrighted material. There are others that are
risking their freedom by doing so if you search online.
Anyone you would like to thank or credit?
Nick Howard of
Nick taught my ASP.net class at IIT in addition to
running his consulting firm. He was very enthusiastic about this site, being a
Bears fan himself. I designed and coded the site but Nick shared a very key
.DLL that eased the managability of my code. He also has been willing to assist
me with questions at home even though I'm no longer his student. For that I
have tremendous gratitude for his kindness. All the faculty and staff at IIT
that latched on to my story and helped promote my work. Roger Hacker of the
Chicago Bears Media Relations department, for being a cool guy and respecting
what I do here, from his perspective anyway. To my parents for all the
sacrifices they made raising and educating me, and my wife Michelle for
sacrificing countless hours to this.