Chicago Bears Top 100: #96 Link Lyman

We’re heading into the dog days of the offseason, counting the days until the Chicago Bears 2014 season kicks off.  Thanks to contributor and the fine editor of Blackhawk Up Keith Schultz’s suggestion, we’re going to do a Top 1oo list of the all time Chicago Bears.  It’s a fun way to pass the time and take a stroll down memory lane.  

Out Top 100 takes us to the way back machine and the early days of the NFL.  Number 96 in our countdown is tackle William Roy “Link” Lyman.  Lyman was recruited out of Nebraska to play for the Canton Bulldogs in 1922.  After a couple of undefeated seasons in 1922 and 1923, Lyman helped the Cleveland Bulldogs to a title in 1924 (was that the last championship in Cleveland???).  After bouncing between a couple of teams in 1925, he finally ended up with the Bears in 1926.

Lyman settled in with the Bears and spent eight seasons with the Papa Bear and the Beloved.  He was part of the “barnstorming” tour that featured Red Grange.  Lyman helped lead the Bears to the NFL Championship in 1933, the fourth and final title of his career.

Lyman pioneered the shift that is commonly used by defensive lineman to this very day.  He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964.

What do you think of the ranking?  Too high?  Too low?  I guess you’ll have to check back to see who finished ahead of him to judge for yourself.  We’ll be counting down a different person each day as we inch our way to the September 7th season opener.


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