September 2, 2013

Remembering a Friend and His Favorite Team

By - Sandra Nevins

Sports have a way of bonding us to people in a special way. Friendships are forged while playing, watching, or even just discussing sports, and memories that can last a lifetime are made.

One of my co-workers unexpectedly passed away this week. Reflecting on our relationship, I realized just how we became friends in the first place.

It was a Sunday, and the Broncos were playing at home, so we were allowed to wear NFL apparel to work. I walked in and immediately noticed Charles sporting his white No. 54 Brian Urlacher jersey in a sea of orange. I told him "nice jersey" and gave him one of my signature high-fives. He reciprocated in admiring my non-Bronco jersey. From then on, we would always discuss the game, playing fantasy football, and sports betting.

So in memory of my buddy, Charles, I want to relive some of the greatest moments in the history of his favorite team, Da Bears.

Photo by: Nam Y. Huh
The "Monsters of the Midway" are one of the oldest and most storied franchises in professional football. The Bears have won eight NFL championships and one Super Bowl. They also have the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Some of the most legendary coaches and players in league history have been associated with Chicago. Guys like George Halas, Red Grange, Gale Sayers, Mike Ditka, Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary and Walter Payton.

- September 17th, 1920: Owner George Halas, representing the Decatur Staleys, and twelve other teams form the American Professional Football Association in Canton, Ohio. Two years later, the franchise is renamed the Chicago Bears.

- December 8th, 1940: The Bears defeat the Washington Redskins by a final score of 73-0.

- 1941: Debut of the fight song, "Bear Down Chicago Bears."

- 1963: Final championship under Halas, a 14-10 win over the New York Giants at Wrigley Field.

- 1965: The team drafts Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers back-to-back with picks 3 and 4.

- December 12th, 1965: Sayers scores 6 TDs vs. the San Francisco 49ers (4 rushing, 1 receiving, 1 punt return).

- May 27th, 1968: After 40 years, Halas retires with 324 wins, which is still second-most all-time.

- September 19th, 1971: Inaugural game at Soldier Field, a 17-15 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

- October 7th, 1984: Walter Payton breaks Jim Brown's record for most career rushing yards.

- January 26th, 1986: The Bears win Super Bowl XX, hammering the New England Patriots, 46-10.

- October 26th, 2003: 650th franchise victory.

And this isn't even the half of it. The team has enjoyed great success and numerous memorable moments well beyond what's mentioned here.

One has to wonder what the 2013 season holds for this historic franchise. I know this; Charles will be watching them from above.

Sundays at work just won't be the same without you, friend. I plan on wearing my new Walter Payton jersey in your honor all season long. I'll miss you, buddy.

Farewell.

6 comments:

  1. Great way to honour the man and great article. I'm sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As a fellow Bears fan, a toast to Charles.
    "May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind always be at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face and rains fall soft upon your fields.
    And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand."

    ReplyDelete
  3. Touching tribute. Sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My condolences Sandra. Prayers to the family and friends.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you, gentlemen. Very kind of you to say.

    ReplyDelete