We’re heading into the dog days of the offseason, counting the days until the Chicago Bears 2014 season kicks off. Thanks to Bear Goggles On contributor and the fine editor of Blackhawk Up Keith Schultz’s suggestion, we’re going to do a Top 100 list of the all time Chicago Bears. It’s a fun way to pass the time and take a stroll down memory lane.
Next up in our countdown of the Top 100 Chicago Bears is #82 and that honor goes to defensive end Mike Hartenstine. Hartenstine was selected with the 31st overall selection of the 1975 NFL Draft out of Penn State. He stepped in as an immediate starter, starting all 14 games. Back then, they didn’t collect stats on tackles and sacks, but Hartenstine was a force to be reckoned with.
He played in 179 games with the Chicago Bears, then a team record, over his 12 year career. By the time the Bears boasted an all-world defense in the mid-80’s, Hartenstine was an aging veteran who gave way to younger talents like Dan Hampton, Richard Dent and Steve McMichael.
The NFL didn’t begin keeping the sack as an official statistic until 1982, more than halfway through Hartenstine’s career. Despite that, he still ranks 16th on the Bears all time with 24 career sacks. He led the Bears in sacks with 12 in 1983. Hartenstine was released in September of 1987 after a 12 year career with the Bears. Here’s a shot of him along with some other Bears greats in a vintage local car dealer commercial:
Today, Hartenstine lives in Lake Bluff where he works security for an adult daycare facility.
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.