Throwback – Chicago Bears (né Staleys)

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Team Colors
Note: Names not official
Navy
Orange

George Halas, Papa Bear himself, was involved with the Bears (née Staleys) since the team as created in 1919.  Like many founders at the time George did everything.  Coach, president, offensive player (wide receiver) and defensive player (end).  He played football at a time when it was really just a derivative of rugby and brawling.  He literally witnessed the NFL rise from a bunch of corporate sponsored semi-professional clubs to the huge sports league it became.  Even before he did in 1983 (at 88) he made one last significant impact on his beloved Chicago team: He hired Mike Ditka as head coach.

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Throwback – Detroit Lions

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Blue
Silver
White

The Lions joke “Rebuilding since 1957” is played out but sadly is true.  Ever since the modern NFL established in 1967 the Lions have not seen a Superbowl victory.  The last victory was before the merger in 1957.  But the background, plays, stats, and eventual final score would be considered crazy video game (“Madden”) numbers today.  Detroit’s backup QB (Tobin Rote) had to fill in for the injured starting QB.  Four touchdowns, the opponent Cleveland Browns’ starting and backup QBs get injured, and this was Detroit head coach George Wilson’s rookie year.  The final score was 59-14 against the Browns.

Seriously I did not make that up.

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Throwback – Green Bay Packers

throwback-gbpac2Team Colors
Note: Names not official
Navy Blue
Yellow

The Packers were very close to dissolving in the late 1920s. This was  Prohibition era, at around the time the show Boardwalk Empire is supposed to take place.  Also during this time Earl “Curly” Lambeau was halfback, coach, and owner of the Green Bay Packers.   By 1928 the Packers’ primary financial backer and Lambeau’s former employer–the Acme Packers–deciding to stop funding his team.  Even during these early days it wasn’t easy to finance an NFL franchise.  Thankfully local businessmen with money to spare stepped into save their Packers.  After deus ex machina was performed on the Packers, suddenly they had a streak of NFL (not Superbowl) championships into the 1930s that grew into a legacy of winning records and championships in the modern era.  Truly a happy ending for all.  Except for Vikings fans, Bears fans, and all others on the losing end of those championships.
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Throwback – Minnesota Vikings

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Purple
Yellow
White

The Bears are not the only northern based NFL team known for defense.  Just look across the Great Lakes and there are the Minnesota Vikings.   Their defensive name, the Purple People Eaters, is a reference to the  Sheb Wooley pop song.  It also describes the defense accurately while keeping with the viking theme.  Ravage the offensive line, ‘meet at the quarterback’ and basically bull rush anything in the way.

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Throwback – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Team Colors

Note: Names not official
Red
Orange
White

Bo Jackson, one of the greatest athletes in the 20th Century, was a prime 1986 draft pick and the Buccaneers had the #1 draft position.  Hugh Culverhouse, owner of the Buccaneers at the time, took Bo on a private jet to visit the facilities and show Bo around.  The use of the private jet violated NCAA policies, which made Bo ineligible to play baseball for the rest of his senior year at Auburn.

Bo was devastated.  He loved both football and baseball.  He felt Hugh was forcing him to sign with the Bucs by ending all chances of playing baseball in college.  Bo swore to never sign with the Bucs.  He played professional baseball with the Kansas City Royals instead.

[There will be more on the greatness of Bo Jackson when I cover the Los Angeles Raiders eye shadow play.]

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