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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Minnesota Vikings

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Team Colors

Purple, Gold, White

Official Website

I wonder if Adrian Peterson, running back of the Vikings, has a really slow repair system.  He’s built like a god.  His running and maneuvering is something out of a video game.  When he’s healthy he is a force to be reckoned with.  Hence the nickname Purple Jesus.   It seems that an injury most running backs can heal from in a few weeks or less takes Adrian about 10 weeks.  I know running backs are notoriously expendable and injury prone.  A sprained foot is a common injury for Adrian’s position.   But when AP’s injured we’re talking game or season ending.

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Green Bay Packers

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Team Colors

Dark Green, Gold

Official Website

Green Bay and the state of Wisconsin wouldn’t be on my radar if it weren’t for the Packers.  I grew up watching Bret Favre, then Packers quarterback and potential cyborg, throw these crazy fast and far flung balls.  Aaron Rodgers, current QB and mustache aficionado, always comes off as a great guy to hang out with.  (Discount DAAAHBLE check. :wrestling championship belt motions:)  The Packers are like the Patriots to me, in that chances are very good they’ll make the playoffs no matter the injury list.  Also much respect to the Packers fan base.  I likely have to wait 30 years for a chance to purchase season tickets.  Packers home games always  appear to be a great time, even in near zero night games.  It was one of the first sports related things I have on my bucket list.  I want to attend a Packers home game.  Preferably against their division rivals the Minnesota Vikings, but I’m not picky.

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Detroit Lions

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Team Colors
Honolulu Blue, Silver, Black, White

Official Website

Calvin Johnson, wide receiver of the Lions, has the nickname Megatron.  With the way he tears up the field and annihilates all in his path, the nickname is justified.  This has resulted in one of the coolest shoe collaborations this decade.  Hasbro (owner of Transformers) agreed to license the name Megatron to Nike.  Why?  So Nike can make an exclusive Calvin Johnson shoe.  Behold the Nike CJ81 Trainer Max Megatron.  The exclusive shoe set even has an officially licensed Megatron toy that comes with it.  Megatron toy is color coordinated to match the shoe, of course.  I’m a little bummed the colors aren’t matching the Detroit Lions colors.  That would have taken me over the edge.  Normally I don’t get excited for athletic shoes.

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Chicago Bears

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Team Colors

Dark Navy, Orange, White

Official Website

Defense wins championships.  The Chicago Bears became cultural icons because of their defense.  It frustrates me to no end that somewhere between the Lovie Smith coaching era and the current Marc Trestman coaching era the Bears are trying to become a more offense focused team.  I don’t mind having a balanced team.  It just looks like all of the resources are being thrown into patching up the Bears offense.  Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler is still injured, his backup Josh McCown plays like a fish out of water.  Screw patching up.  I’m all for demolishing and starting over.  A good Bears team should have a solid foundation in their defense.

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