Sid Luckman, in his 12 seasons with the Chicago Bears, became the first successful T-formation quarterback. One game in Luckman's second season, the 1940 NFL title game, which saw the Bears defeat the Washington Redskins, 73-0, showcased the explosive possibilities of the T attack. Almost immediately, many other pro teams began to adopt the new formation.
Bears’ owner and coach, George Halas, first presented Sid with a Bears T-formation playbook when he was practicing for the College All-Star game in 1939. Astonished and somewhat alarmed by the complexities of the new system, Sid was not an instant success. He fumbled frequently, had trouble with handoffs, and in general flunked his first T test. Halas shifted Luckman to halfback for a while before making another effort, which, on the second try, paid dividends.
Not all teams had the success with the T-formation that the Bears enjoyed. Chicago won four NFL championships, just missed a fifth, and Luckman was a major reason for the success. The crafty quarterback was named first- or second-team all-league from 1940 through 1948 and won the NFL’s Most Valuable Player honors in 1943.
Although Sid may be best remembered for the 73-0 victory over the Redskins, because the Bears went ahead so early in the game, he actually had to pass only six times, completing four for 102 yards and a touchdown.
Apparently, just the threat of Luckman and the T was enough to keep defenses off balance. Luckman had many more outstanding games but two, both in 1943, stand out above the rest. On November 14, Sid Luckman Day at the Polo Grounds, he passed for a record-tying seven touchdowns in a 56-7 win over the New York Giants. Later that year, in the championship game against the Redskins, he threw for 276 yards and five touchdowns in a 41-21 triumph.
Because he was not selected in the 1965 NFL Draft, Brian Piccolo tried out for the Chicago Bears as a free agent. He made the team for the 1965 season, but only earned a spot on the taxi squad, better known today as the practice squad, meaning he could practice but not suit up for games. In 1966, Piccolo was on the main roster but played primarily on special teams. By 1967, his playing time increased as a back-up to starting tailback Gale Sayers, and in 1969, he was moved up to starting fullback, with Sayers as the tailback.At the time, the players were segregated by race for hotel room assignments. At the suggestion of the team's captain, the policy was changed and each of the players were re-assigned based on position, such that wide receivers would room together, quarterbacks would room together, etc. The running back position was the only one where one player was black (Sayers) and one player was white (Piccolo).
In 1969, the Chicago Bears were in the midst of a 1-13 season, which was the worst record in the history of the Bears. Piccolo had finally earned a place in the starting lineup as an undersized fullback. During the ninth game in Atlanta on November 16, he voluntarily removed himself from the game, something he had never done, which raised great concern among his teammates and coaches. He had extreme difficulty breathing on the field, so when the team returned to Chicago he was promptly sent for a medical examination, and was diagnosed with embryonal cell carcinoma. Soon after Piccolo had surgery at Sloan-Kettering in New York City to remove the tumor, he had another surgery in April 1970 to remove his left lung and pectoral muscle. After being bothered by chest pain, Piccolo was re-admitted to the hospital in early June, and doctors determined the cancer had spread to other organs, most notably his liver. Brian Piccolo died on June 16, 1970, at the age of 26. A month prior to his death, Sayers said: "I love Brian Piccolo, and I'd like all of you to love him. When you hit your knees to pray tonight; please ask God to love him too." Bears running back Gale Sayers uttered these famous words in May 1970, as he accepted the NFL's Most Courageous Player award. Sayers told the crowd they had selected the wrong person for the honor, and would accept it only on Piccolo's behalf.
Gale Sayers burst upon the pro football scene in 1965 with the kind of an impact that the sport had not felt in many years. It is difficult to imagine a more dynamic debut than the one he enjoyed as a rookie. In his first heavy preseason action, he raced 77 yards on a punt return, 93 yards on a kickoff return, and then startled everyone with a 25-yard scoring pass against the Los Angeles Rams.In the regular season, he scored four touchdowns, including a 96-yard game breaking kickoff return, against the Minnesota Vikings. And, in the next-to-last game, playing on a muddy field that would have stalled most runners, Gale scored a record-tying six touchdowns against the San Francisco 49ers. Included in his sensational spree were an 80-yard reception, a 50-yard rush and a 65-yard punt return. For the entire season, Gale scored 22 touchdowns and 132 points, both then-rookie records.Quiet, unassuming, and always ready to compliment a teammate for a key block, Sayers continued to sizzle in 1967 and well into the 1968 season. Then, in the ninth game, Sayers suffered a knee injury that required immediate surgery.After a tortuous rehabilitation program, Gale came back in 1969 in a most spectacular manner, winding up with his second 1,000-yard rushing season and universal Comeback of the Year honors. But injuries continued to take their toll and, just before the 1972 season, Gale finally had to call it quits.In his relatively short career, he compiled a record that can never be forgotten. His totals show 9,435 combined net yards, 4,956 yards rushing, and 336 points scored. At the time of his retirement he was the NFL's all-time leader in kickoff returns. He won All-NFL honors five straight years and was named Offensive Player of the Game in three of the four Pro Bowls in which he played.
Robin Danial Earl (born March 18, 1955 in Boise, Idaho) is a former professional American football running back in the National Football League. He played six seasons for the Chicago Bears (1977–1982).Earl starred as a tailback at Kent-Meridian High School in Kent, WA despite his 6'5" 240 lb frame more typical of a lineman or tight-end. At the University of Washington, his career started as a tight-end, but once again he proved valuable when switched to running back for his final three seasons. He was drafted in the third round by the Chicago Bears, where he played full-back blocking for Walter Payton for three years before being switched once again to tight-end. He continues to live in the Chicago area and is still a participant in the sports scene as a commentator
Apparently I was drunk or something when I started this thread (or completely misread what I originally saw) I am off by 10 days.... so without further adu
Bush was chosen by the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 NFL Draft with the first pick of the fourth round. With his broken leg still hobbling him, he was declared Physically Unable to Perform for the entire 2007 season. After a two year hiatus, Bush finally returned to the football field in 2008. He was the Raiders' third string halfback but saw some action because of injuries to Darren McFadden and Justin Fargas. He also filled in as a blocking fullback.An early high point in his professional career was the last game of 2008 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when Bush rushed for 177 yards on 27 carries and 2 touchdowns to help Oakland deny Tampa Bay a spot in the playoffs. In 2010 he rushed for 655 yards in 14 games, including eight touchdowns. Before the 2011 season, Bush agreed to a contract extension with the Raiders. In week ten of the 2011 season, he started as running back against the San Diego Chargers in place of the injured Darren McFadden. In that 24-17 victory, he gained a total of 242 yards from scrimmage, fourth most in Raiders history and eclipsing Bo Jackson's total for the most since the AFL/NFL merger. Bush also has shown an ability to score on when near the goal line, as he scored 13 touchdowns on 30 attempts. Chicago BearsBush signed a four-year contract worth $14 million (with $7 million guaranteed) with the Chicago Bears on March 22, 2012. Bush replaced Matt Forte as halfback during minicamp while Forte was holding out over a contract dispute. After Forte and the Bears agreed to a multi-year contract, Bush stated his displeasure of possibly being a complementary back.
The running back most Bear fans forget when talking about the great history of Bears running backs
Flashy, improvised, impossible runs marked his NFL career. He lit up dull games, brought the crowd to its feet. People would shake their heads. How the hell did he do that? But it was quality, not quantity, because he was seldom injury-free. Two knee operations, a pulled groin, recurring ankle sprains, all of which he played through marked his career with Chicago. Then at 29 he was dead, killed in a car crash on a country road outside Rensselaer, IND., on his way to the Bears training camp.
Sadly the world lost Willie Galimore in 1964 at the tender age of 29 due to a motor vehicle accident. In his seven-season with the Chicago Bears he racked up 2,985-rushing yards and 26-touchdowns but his very pedestrian statistical achievement don't tell the whole story of the running back who was Gale Sayers before the Kansas Comet became a supernova with the Bears. History has somewhat forgot about Galimore and quite frankly I would have never heard of him if my father wasn't such a die hard Bears' fan. He always championed Galimore. He referred to him with a sense of reverence that was saved for the other two great athletes, Sandy Koufax and Sayers, in his lifetime that had their spectacular careers cut short. His greatness was short, like his life, but the Chicago Bears bestowed upon him their greatest honor and retired his number 28.Willie Galimore, playing in the late 1950 and early '60s for the Bears, had those crazy legs and highlight-reel potential every time he touched the ball. Again, injuries plagued him throughout his career, and we saw only flashes.
Galimore was more than an athlete. He was active in the Civil Rights Movement and put his efforts towards the betterment of his people and his community. Any requiem for this forgotten champion needs to include the simple fact that his actions were pivotal in the movement for equality for his people in Florida. In an era where corporate sponsorships usurp social good it's reassuring to find out that some men put the greater good of the community ahead of media obligations and sponsorship payments.
Willie Galimore's last visit to his hometown of St. Augustine, Florida came just weeks before his death, and he participated in civil rights demonstrations there, becoming the first Black person who was able to register as a guest at the previously all-white Ponce de Leon Motor Lodge (where the arrest of the 72 year old mother of the governor of Massachusetts for trying to be served in a racially integrated group had made national headlines a few months before). Galimore's civil rights activism is honored with a Freedom Trail marker at his home at 57 Chapin Street in St. Augustine. His widow, Mrs. Audrey Galimore, took part in the dedication of the marker on July 2, 2007. A community center in the historic Lincolnville neighborhood of the city also bears Galimore's name, and he is depicted on a historical mural painted by schoolchildren on Washington Street.
Sadly history has swept Galimore and his opus under the proverbial rug with other forgotten heroes. His talents on the field and his work away from the gridiron need to be known to a greater audience and hopefully a few more folks will stumble upon the efforts of number 28.
Michael Calvin "Mike" Richardson (born May 23, 1961) is a former American college and professional football player who was a cornerback in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons during the 1980s. He played college football for Arizona State University, and was recognized as an All-American. He played professionally for the NFL's Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers, and won a Super Bowl as a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears.Richardson finished his 7 season career with 20 interceptions, which he returned for 247 yards and a touchdown. He also recorded 4 fumble recoveries. Known as "L.A. Mike", he was a featured soloist of the "Shuffling Crew" in the Super Bowl Shuffle video in 1985.In 2008 Richardson faced a 13-year sentence for possession of methamphetamine and crack cocaine. It was his twenty first drug conviction since the end of his football career. Former teammate Richard Dent and coach Mike Ditka both supported Richardson being sent to a rehab facility rather than prison. The judge ultimately sentenced Richardson to a year in prison and an extended probation period, violation of which would result in Richardson serving the remainder of a 13-year sentence.
Matthew Jerome Suhey (born July 7, 1958 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania) is a former professional American football player, playing fullback/running back for ten seasons in the National Football League for the Chicago Bears. He won a Super Bowl as a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears while scoring a touchdown in the game and was named to the Pennsylvania Football All-Century Team.Suhey was lead blocker and friend of Walter Payton. He is also a close friend of the Payton family, and the executor of the Payton estate since the death of Walter. Although Suhey was never a leader in any statistical category, he was a fan favorite for his personality and blocking ability. Matt Suhey is one of three sons of College Football Hall of Fame guard Steve Suhey to letter at Penn State University and a grandson of Hall of Fame coach Bob Higgins. His son, Joe Suhey, is currently a fullback at Penn State. The Higgins-Suhey family has been called the "first family of Penn State football" due to their 90 year affiliation with the program.