It seems rather fitting to celebrate a top 100 Chicago Bears of all-time list. The franchise turns a century old this year, having gotten their start way back in 1919 as the Decatur Staleys. Since then the organization has employed a plethora of great players. Many of whom left an unforgettable mark both on the team and the game itself.
No doubt making the top 100 list may sound easy, but it’s actually not. Some good players were bound to be left off, but such is the harsh reality of competitive sports Not everybody gets recognized. Hall of Fame writers Dan Pompei and Don Pierson took on the colossal task of forging an official ranking for the organization they’ve both covered for decades.
The first set from 100 to 76 was released. While there were some obvious names included right off the bat, there were also a few that might shock people. Ones some may think are on the list too early or are ranked way too high or low. Either way, there’s some controversy.
Here are a few interesting notes.
Top 100 Chicago Bears list has a few notable surprises
First off, having Patrick Mannelly lead off at #100 is perfect. He may have been just a long snapper, but he was the best snapper of his generation and in Bears history. His consistency was unmatched and remains missed to this day. Next is the inclusion of Eddie Jackson at #96.
Look there is no debating that Jackson was phenomenal in 2018 and seems have superstar written all over him, the fact is he’s only played two seasons. To rank him ahead of Trace Armstrong, who played six years with the team and racked up 46 sacks seems a bit unfair. That could be called a minor nitpick though. The bigger surprises lay further down the list.
A big one was Jay Cutler coming in at #85. While it’s true Cutler started more games a Bears quarterback than any in history, the fact is his career was marred by inconsistency. He only made the playoffs once and went 51-51 in his career. To rank him ahead of Bill Osmanski (#92), a three-time Pro Bowler who won four championships with the team? Puzzling.
The only other notable surprise was former wide receiver Dennis McKinnon ranking at #79. Directly in front of Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall. While the tenures of Marshall and Jeffery didn’t end on good terms with the Bears, the fact is both had more yards and touchdowns as Bears than McKinnon did.
Aside from that, the list is off to a pretty good start. It will be fascinating to see which big names come up next.