We decided to do a countdown to the Chicago Bears season opener on September 8th versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Thanks to one of our Twitter followers,se decided to combine the countdown with a roster preview of sorts.
We’re Bill Hewitt days from the start of the Chicago Bears season! That’s 56 days for those in the post-leather helmet era or pre-helmet era. You see, one of the things that makes Hewitt unique is that he was stubbornly the last player to wear a helmet and that was because NFL rules forced him.
Hewitt played five of his nine NFL seasons for the Chicago Bears from 1932-1936 as a two-way player. Here’s an excerpt from his Pro Football Hall of Fame biography:
Hewitt had a zest for competition and a record for making the biggest plays in the toughest situations. He was always conjuring up new gimmicks to foil the opposition.
One of his special plays called for a jump pass from fullback Bronko Nagurski. Hewitt would in turn lateral to another end, Bill Karr, racing toward the goal line. It was this play that gave the Bears a victory in the NFL’s first championship game in 1933, a 23-21 win over the New York Giants.
In 1936, his last season with the Bears, Hewitt hauled in 15 catches for 358 yards, a ridiculous 23.9 yards per catch in an era when there was hardly any passing.
Hewitt earned the nickname “The Offside Kid” because people couldn’t believe his speed getting off at the snap without going offsides.
Hewitt was a two-time NFL champion in 1932 and agin in 1933 when he was a key in a lateral play that won the Bears the title over the New York Giants. He was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 1971.
To be honest, I am not sure why his #56 was retired by the Bears. If it were me, I’d get that Chicago Bears Ring of Honor set up and make Hewitt a charter member and put that number back into circulation.
We’re 56 days from kickoff. Are you ready???