A Chicago Bears Hall of Fame game is about to happen for the first time in 13 years. Of course, most fans won’t be interested in it. That’s understandable. It’s a glorified preseason game even though it’s the first official football action of a new year. The odds of any notable players on the roster participating in it are beyond remote.
That being said it still represents a big opportunity for head coach Matt Nagy. Now he and his staff will have an extra week of practices to help implement their new systems. In such a tightly controlled era, every single practice matters. It’ll make Mitch Trubisky that much more prepared to hopefully take his big step forward in his second season at QB.
Welcome as this news is, there is also a fascinating background. This one regarding the Bears and the game itself. This will be the fifth time that Chicago has participated in the festivities since it began back in 1962. The previous four? Each was followed by playoff implications.
Canton, here we come. 🐻⬇️ pic.twitter.com/OXjHcQicKQ
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 13, 2018
Chicago Bears Hall of Fame game history tied directly to playoffs
The Bears were involved in Hall of Fame games in 1968, 1977, 1990 and 2005 to this point. They are a perfect 4-0 in these contests, for whatever that’s worth. The far more interesting facts come with what happens following those games. To date, the Bears have never had a record worse than .500 during each of the subsequent seasons following a Canton trip. They made the playoffs three of those four years.
In ’77 they won the division for the first time in 14 years. They returned to the postseason after a brief absence in ’90, winning a playoff game over New Orleans. Then in ’05, they overcame a 1-3 start to finish 11-5 and earn a first round bye. It was only in ’68 where they failed to reach the playoffs and it was so close.
Going into the final game of that season the Bears would win the division if they won the game. Their closest competition, Minnesota, had already been swept by them during the year. Sadly they suffered a heartbreaking 28-27 loss to the Packers to finish 7-7. It was the closest Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers ever got to postseason play.
Either way, this is clear evidence that 2018, if nothing else, should see an improvement in the win column for the Bears from last season.