With the NFL set to celebrate its 100th birthday on Sept. 17, 2020, here’s a look at what transpired this week in Bears history:
In 1935, former running back Willie Galimore was born. A 1956 fifth-round draft out of Florida A&M, Galimore played seven seasons with the Bears from 1957-63, rushing for 2,985 yards and 26 touchdowns on 670 carries and catching 87 passes for 1,201 yards and 10 TDs in 82 games. After helping the Bears win the 1963 NFL championship, Galimore and teammate Bo Farrington were killed in an automobile accident the following summer during training camp in Rensselaer, Ind. Galimore’s No. 28 jersey was retired by the Bears.
In 1956, George Halas helped keep the Packers in Green Bay by appearing at a rally in Green Bay to urge residents to vote to publicly fund a new stadium. The Packers’ stadium at the time, with a capacity of 24,000, was deemed too small by the NFL. On April 3, 1956, voters approved the bond issue to finance a new stadium, which was renamed Lambeau Field in 1965.
In 2015, the Bears signed outside linebacker Sam Acho. The 6-3, 259-pounder spent four seasons with the Bears, appearing in 51 games with 25 starts and recording 112 tackles, 4.0 sacks, six tackles-for-loss, three pass breakups, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
In 1917, former running back/return specialist Hugh Gallarneau was born. A 1941 third-round draft pick from Stanford, he spent five seasons with the Bears (1941-42, 1945-47) in a career that was interrupted by his service in the Marine Corps during World War II. Gallarneau appeared in 52 games with 33 starts, rushing for 1,421 yards and 26 touchdowns on 343 carries and catching 51 passes for 784 yards and seven TDs. He helped the Bears win NFL titles in 1941 and 1946. In 1941, he led the NFL with eight rushing touchdowns. Gallarneau was a Chicago native who attended Morgan Park High School. He passed away on July 14, 1999 at the age of 82.
Also on April 2, in 2009, the Bears acquired quarterback Jay Cutler in a blockbuster trade with the Broncos. In eight seasons with the Bears, Cutler became the franchise’s all-time leading passer in attempts (3,271), completions (2,020), yards (23,443), touchdowns (154), completion percentage (61.8), passer rating (85.2) and 300-yard games (16).
In 1959, former cornerback Leslie Frazier was born. Frazier joined the Bears in 1981 as an undrafted free agent from Alcorn State and spent his entire five-year NFL career with the team. Appearing in 65 games with 49 starts, he registered 20 interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. Frazier started all 16 games for the famed 1985 champion Bears. But he sustained a knee injury while returning a punt on a reverse in Super Bowl XX that ended his career at the age of 26. Frazier has coached in the NFL since 1999 and is currently the defensive coordinator of the Bills.
In 1967, Hall of Fame end and halfback Guy Chamberlin passed away at the age of 73. Chamberlin played for the Bears in the franchise’s first two years of existence when they were known as the Decatur Staleys in 1920 and the Chicago Staleys in 1921. Chamberlin helped the Staleys win the NFL title in 1921, scoring the game-winning touchdown with a 90-yard interception return in a victory over the Buffalo All-Americans. He was named first-team All-Pro in 1920, named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1920s and enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1965.
In 2011, defensive tackle Anthony Adams received the Ed Block Courage Award. The prestigious awards are presented to one player on all 32 NFL teams who best exemplifies a commitment to sportsmanship and courage and serves as an inspiration in the locker room. The award recipients, who are voted for by their teammates, symbolize professionalism, great strength and dedication, and they are considered community role models. Adams played five seasons with the Bears from 2007-11 and currently co-hosts the “Inside the Bears” television show.