Red Grange Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener

It’s still way too many days until the Chicago Bears kickoff the 2015 season at home against the Green Bay Packers, but until then Bear Goggles On will be counting down the days by reviewing each player on the roster or a historic Bears figure.  Up next is #77, The Galloping Ghost, Red Grange.

Red Grange is one of the cornerstones of the Chicago Bears and the NFL overall.  After a storied college career at the University of Illinois where he earned the nickname “The Galloping Ghost” after rushing for 31 touchdowns and over 3600 yards, George Halas scrambled to sign Grange.  You see, back then, college football was much bigger than the early days of the NFL, so Halas knew fans would pack stadiums to see Grange.

“I played football the only way I knew. If you have the football and 11 guys are after you, if you`re smart, you`ll run. It was no big deal.”

Grange was signed to a contract that included part of the gate on a 19 game barnstorming tour that had tens of thousands come out to help legitimize the league.  In his first season in the league – 5 games – Grange accounted for 3 TD’s and 401 yards.  After a dispute with the NFL, Grange left to form his own league, but the AFL flopped.  Grange suffered a knee injury against the Bears that robbed him of some of his speed and cutting ability.

Grange returned to the Bears and played six more years with the Bears, emerging as a stud defensive back.  He was an All Pro and two-time NFL champion.  His #77 was retired by the Bears and he was a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, inducted in 1963.  Grange didn’t put up the biggest numbers in Chicago Bears history, but his impact on the Chicago Bears and the NFL is unquestioned.  Red Grange passed away January 28, 1991.