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.
As we close in on the season opener, our Chicago Bears Top 100 list reaches #58, former offensive lineman and linebacker Dan Fortmann. The Bears selected Fortmann with the 78th overall pick in the first ever NFL draft in 1936 out of Colgate University.
Fortmann was unsure about whether to pursue professional football or his medical degree, so Papa Bear Halas convinced Fortmann to do both. Fortmann enrolled at the University of Chicago and earned his medical degree in 1940. After his playing career ended, Fortmann became a practicing physician and became the team doctor for the LA Rams from 1947-1963.
On the field, Fortmann became the youngest starter in the league at just 20 years old. On offense, he was called the line signals and was considered the top players at his position, while on defense, he was expert at diagnosing opponents’ plays at linebacker. He was a six time All Pro and a three time Pro Bowler as a guard. During his eight year career, he won three championships in 1940, 1941 and 1943 as the “Monsters of the Midway” were born. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965.
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.