We’re finally in the Top 10 in our countdown of the Top 100 Chicago Bears! These are the most dominant and elite figures in the storied Chicago Bears history. As we get closer to the season opener, we get closer to naming the #1 Chicago Bear of all time.
Coming in at #8 in our countdown is Bronko Naguarski. Nagurski was best known as a Hall of Fame running back and defensive lineman from the Chicago Bears of the 1930’s. He was a Canadian-born son of Ukranian/Polish immigrants who moved to Minnesota at age 5. He was recruited to join the University of Minnesota’s football program after the coach saw him working in the fields of his parents’ farm.
The 6’2″, 235 pounder joined the Bears in 1930 and immediately made an impact as a running back. He set the mold as a big, bruising back who was impossible to bring down. Here’s a story that is often told about Nagurski, from his Wikipedia page:
A time-honored and perhaps apocryphal story about Nagurski is a scoring gallop that he made against the Washington Redskins, knocking two linebackers in opposite directions, stomping a defensive back and crushing a safety, then bouncing off the goalposts and cracking Wrigley Field‘s brick wall. On returning to the huddle for the extra point try, he reportedly said: “That last guy hit me awfully hard.”
On the defensive side of the ball, he played on the line and was also a ranging “monster” tackler, which sort of sounds like a linebacker spot. Nagurski said if he were to play in today’s NFL, he would be a linebacker, not wanting to carry the ball 20-25 times a game.
Nagurski amassed nearly 3000 yards and 25 rushing TD’s in his 9-year career with the Chicago Bears. He was a four time All Pro (1932-1934, 1936) and was a three time Champion (1932, 1933 and 1943). He was named to the 50th and 75th anniversary teams and was named to the All-Decade team for the 1930’s. His #3 was retired by the Bears and he was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
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.