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2016 Chicago Bears Yearbook

HISTORY 2 0 1 6 Y E A R B O O K 163 first non-Bear to hold the job. 7/12/75–Bears open training camp at Lake Forest College after 31 seasons in Rensselaer, Indiana. 11/20/77–En route to leading the NFL in rushing with a Bears record 1,852 yards on the season, Walter Payton dashes through the Vikings for a then-NFL record 275 yards. Bears win 10-7 at Soldier Field. 12/18/77–A 28-yard FG by Bob Thomas with :09 left in overtime gives Bears a 12-9 win over the Giants, a 9-5 record, a six-game win streak, and their first playoff spot in 14 years. 12/26/77–Bears finish season with 37-7 playoff loss at Dallas, but set 28 team records and play before a home record 401,513 fans in seven Soldier Field dates. 1/19/78–With a three-year record of 20-22, Jack Pardee resigns to seek Redskins coaching job. 2/16/78–Neill Armstrong, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator, becomes head coach. 9/3/79–Bears occupy $1.6 million new headquarters named Halas Hall on Lake Forest College campus. 12/16/79–Massive heart attack claims George (Mugs) Halas at 54. Bears rout St. Louis 42-6 and Dallas tips Washington 35-34. The combination sends 10-6 Bears to the playoffs. 12/23/79–After leading 17-10, Bears drop the Wild Card game at Philadelphia, 27-17. 1980s 10/6/80–Payton gains 133 rushing and 14 receiving to raise lifetime combined yardage to 9,492–breaking Sayers’ club record. Bears beat Tampa 23-0 at Soldier Field. 11/27/80–David Williams returns overtime kickoff on Thanksgiving Day at Detroit 95 yards for TD in then-fastest OT in NFL history (21 seconds). 12/7/80–Bears whip Packers 61-7 at Soldier Field, equaling club record for points and setting records for first downs (33) and completion percentage (83.3%, 20 of 24). Vince Evans throws for 316 yards–most by a Bear in 10 years. 1/4/82–After four seasons and a 30-35 record, Neill Armstrong departs as head coach. 1/20/82–Mike Ditka, assistant offensive coach of the Dallas Cowboys, becomes head coach. 8/24/83–Jim Finks resigns as General Manager after nine seasons. George Halas names Jerry Vainisi as the club’s General Manager. 10/31/83–Bears’ founder and owner, George Halas, dies at the age of 88. 11/11/83–Michael B. McCaskey becomes the third president in franchise history. 2/19/84–Rudy Custer, business manager for 38 years, announces his retirement. 10/7/84–Walter Payton breaks Jim Brown’s career rushing record with a third quarter six-yard run against New Orleans at Soldier Field. He finishes the day with 32 carries for 154 yards. 11/25/84–Bears defeat Vikings 34-3 in Minneapolis to clinch first Central Division crown. 12/30/84–Visiting Bears beat Redskins 23-19 for first playoff win since 1963, advancing to team’s first NFC Championship before losing 23-0 to eventual champion 49ers. 1985–Bears win first 12 games of season en route to posting 15-1 regular season mark, equaling the most regular season wins by a team in NFL history. Chicago claims second straight NFC Central title as club-record nine players are selected to Pro Bowl. 1/5/86–Bears host first playoff game since 1963 and shut out New York Giants, 21-0. 1/12/86–Bears blank Los Angeles Rams, 24-0, in NFC Championship game at Soldier Field and advance to Super Bowl XX. 1/26/86–Chicago sets seven Super Bowl records in first appearance including most points (46) and largest margin of victory (36) in 46-10 rout of the New England Patriots. The game was witnessed by record-setting number of viewers via television worldwide. The next day, the team was greeted by an estimated 500,000 people in a ticker-tape parade in downtown Chicago. 1986–Bears capture third straight NFC Central title with 14-2 mark; defense allows NFL record-low 187 points. Bears lose divisional playoff game to Redskins, 27-13. 12/20/87–Walter Payton plays final regular season game at Soldier Field (rushes for 79 yards and 2 TDs). ”Walter Payton Day” is celebrated prior to game as club president Michael McCaskey retires jersey number 34. 1987–Bears win fourth consecutive division title with 11-4 mark in strike-interrupted season. Team posts four-straight winning seasons, a feat last accomplished by Bears from 1946-51. Redskins come back from 14-0 deficit to beat Bears 21-17 in playoffs. 1988–Bears post 12-4 record (tied for best in NFL) and advance to NFC Championship game before losing to eventual Super Bowl Champion San Francisco. Bears finish five-year period (1984-88) with 62 wins–most by any NFL team ever in such a span at that time. 12/31/88–Playoff Game vs. the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field, Chicago, IL. On this 29-degree day in December the Bears rolled to a 20-12 playoff victory over the Eagles in what came to be known as the “Fog Bowl.” 12/3/89–Kevin Butler connects on his 24th straight field goal to set an NFL record for consecutive field goals made. 12/24/89–Richard Dent sacks Joe Montana and becomes the Bears’ all-time sack leader with 82, surpassing Jim Osborne. 1990s 6/6/90–Andy McKenna and Patrick G. Ryan, two Chicago businessmen, purchase approximately 20% (total) of the Bears from the McCaskeys. 1990–Bears regain NFC Central title with 11-5 mark, and beat the Saints 16-6 in First Round playoff game before falling to eventual Super Bowl Champion NY Giants, 31-3, in Dan Hampton’s final game. 12/8/91–Mike Ditka wins his 100th regular season game as the Bears’ head coach with a 27-13 victory over the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. 1991–Chicago finishes 11-5 and earns a Wild Card berth in the playoffs. The Bears are upset in the First Round by the Dallas Cowboys, 17-13, at Soldier Field. 10/4/92–Kevin Butler becomes the Bears all-time leading scorer with a 50-yard FG. He surpasses Walter Payton’s 750 points. 12/13/92–In Mike Singletary’s final home game, the Bears upset AFC Central champion Pittsburgh Steelers, 30-6. 1/19/93–Dave Wannstedt is hired as the 11th head coach in club history. 10/3/93–The Bears play their 1,000th game in franchise history, shutting out the Atlanta Falcons in Soldier Field, 6-0. 10/31/94–Dick Butkus’ and Gale Sayers’ jersey numbers (51 and 40) retired at halftime before a Monday night national audience. 12/24/94–Kevin Butler becomes the first Bear to surpass the 1,000 point mark with his first quarter FG vs. New England. 1/1/95–9-7 Bears earn a Wild Card berth and upset the Vikings with a 35-18 playoff win at Minnesota. 5/12/95–Michael McCaskey announces plans for a new $20 million state-of-the-art headquarters at the ground-breaking ceremony in Lake Forest. 1995–Bears win final two games to finish 9-7, but are eliminated on final day as Falcons upset 49ers to earn last postseason spot. 3/3/97–Bears move into Halas Hall at Conway Park, the team’s 38-acre headquarters. All team operations are under one roof in Lake Forest, four miles west of the original Halas Hall. 11/23/97–The Bears defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-7 for the 600th win in team history. Chicago becomes the first NFL franchise to reach the 600-win plateau. 12/28/98–Dave Wannstedt’s coaching tenure ends after six seasons and a 41-57 record. 1/24/99–Dick Jauron is hired as the 12th head coach in club history. 2/4/99–Ted Phillips is named the fourth President and CEO in team history while Michael B. McCaskey becomes the third chairman of the board. 11/1/99–Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton dies at the age of 45. The Bears name the Halas Hall indoor facility in his honor the following off-season. 11/7/99–“Walter Payton Game” - Bears block the Packers’ game-winning field goal attempt in the first game following the death of Walter Payton. 2000s 6/12/01–Jerry Angelo named first Bears general manager since the 1986 season. 2001–Bears win NFC Central title in the final year of the division’s existence. The Bears, Packers, Lions and Vikings move into the NFC North at the start of the 2002 season with the addition of the League’s 32nd team, the Houston Texans. 11/4/01–Mike Brown scores his second game-winning touchdown in as many games as Chicago wins back-to-back overtime games in miraculous fashion. 1/19/02–The Bears finish the 2001 season with a 13-3 mark and reach the playoffs for the first time since 1994, falling to Philadelphia 31-19 in the final game at ‘old’ Soldier Field.


2016 Chicago Bears Yearbook
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