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 is one of the original Chicago Bears. He goes so far back, he actually played for the Decatur Staleys. Checking in at #78 on our list is center George Trafton. Trafton was the original Bears iron man, playing 13 seasons for the Bears from 1920 – 1932. In those days, players rarely played that long at all and if they did, it was even more rare to stay with the same team. But there was Trafton, year after year, anchoring the Chicago Bears offensive line.
Trafton was known as a tough guy, maybe even, dare we say, a little dirty. He’s a story I found on Trafton on ChicagoBears.com:
One afternoon in 1920 in Rock Island, the Bears and Independents were locked in a particularly violent struggle. Every play ended in a tangle of bodies, with Trafton always in the center. Four Rock Island players were put out of action in a space of 12 plays and the blame for this was directed at Trafton. Rock Island fans loudly voiced threats of bodily harm for Big George after the game.
In advance of the game, Trafton learned that Rock Island had assigned a lesser player to stick with him and remove him from the game by any means necessary. But Trafton disposed of the hatchet man early in the game. When the villain was carried off from the game, legend has it that the imprint of cleats was clearly discernible from his forehead to his chin.
Trafton should be beloved by Bears fans because while he said that he disliked every city in the the NFL except Rock Island and Green Bay. Those cities he hated.
Trafton 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.