Chicago Bears: 30 greatest players in franchise history
By Conor Dorney
One of the greatest players of his era and one who helped to put the NFL on a national spotlight, running back Red “The Galloping Ghost” Grange comes in at No. 10 on our list of the 30 greatest players in Bears franchise history.
Originally born in Pennsylvania, Grange had roots in Illinois long before he ever became a member of the Bears. Grange attended Wheaton High School before going on to play his college ball at the University of Illinois, where he became one of the greatest players in college football at the time.
Grange was a highly sought after free agent (for lack of a better term) coming out of college, and George Halas was able to convince him to sign with the Bears for what was a lucrative contract at the time. Fascinatingly enough, Grange’s contract with Chicago essentially included a share of ticket sales, something that would be incredible to think about if applied to today’s ultra-popular NFL.
While Grange was certainly a great player on the field and helped Chicago achieve a great deal of success, it’s how his popularity impacted the NFL on a national stage that makes him such an important part of the Bears’ franchise history.
Grange was truly the first “must-see” player who caught the attention of a wide audience in a time where the league had yet to gain its footing as a popular sport in the United States.
When you really think about, today’s awe-inspiring, massive spectacle that is the NFL can all be traced back to the popularity of The Galloping Ghost himself.