Bulldog Turner Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener


Your Bear Goggles On Countdown to Kickoff series soldiers on today with a look at a Chicago Bear legend, #66 Clyde “Bulldog” Turner.  He of course gets the spotlight today because the calendar says we’re 66 days away from the season opener, just 66 Cutler-loving days.  Fun is being had and time is flying, so those 2 months + change will pass by before we know it.  Training camp report day is only three weeks away, after all.  Stay strong.

ALSO FEATURED ON BGO: Top 10 Quarterbacks in Chicago Bears History

The joy I feel when experiencing any manner of victory over Detroit is a feeling that runs deep for me, so the story of Bulldog Turner‘s entrance into the NFL is one that warms my heart.  College scouting back in the 1940s wasn’t anything like it is today and Turner, coming out of unknown Hardin-Simmons University, might as well have been playing on the moon as far as almost every team was concerned.

More from Chicago Bears News

There were only two courting him, Detroit and Chicago, and the Lions were so certain that Turner wouldn’t sign with any other team that they instead selected Doyle Nave (who?) at #6 overall in the 1940 NFL Draft.  With pick #7, George Halas selected Turner and a Hall of Fame career was underway.

Turner didn’t take long to make an impact, starting as a rookie on both sides of the ball — center on offense and linebacker on defense.  Turner was solid as a defender but he and Sid Luckman, regarded as the best QB in Bears history by many, were a particularly effective duo on offense.  With Turner rarely ever coming off the field, the Bears went 8-3 in 1940 and faced off with the Washington Redskins in the Championship game, a staggering 73-0 victory for Chicago.  Behind Luckman and Turner the Bears would win it all again in ’41.

View image | gettyimages.com

As a linebacker Turner intercepted a league-leading eight passes in 1942 and, appropriately enough, took one of them back 42 yards for a score.  The defense with Turner was dominant in ’42 and helped the team to an 11-0 record while giving up less than eight points a game, but they fell in the championship to the ‘Skins.

Turner would help the team to two more titles during his career, in 1943 and 1946, continuing to serve as a two-way force.  His crowning jewel as a linebacker came in 1947 when he returned an interception 96 yards for a TD against rival Washington QB, Slingin’ Sammy Baugh.

Turner played 13 years of Ironman football, all for the Bears, from 1940-1952 and was a seven-time All-Pro selection.  In five title games Turner tallied four interceptions, returning one for a score in the 73-0 romp of the Redskins his rookie year.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966 along with teammate George McAfee, both of whom have their numbers retired with Chicago. Turner, who passed away at age 79 in 1998, is one of the best two-way players of all time and is a stone-cold Bears legend.

Next: Sam Acho Primed to Succeed in 2015

More from Bear Goggles On