Today's TLBHB is about a former '85 Bear, and is a little shorter this week. (I may have spaced a little...) Since my last post was about a former Fightin' Irish player, I figured I may as well keep up the trend this week.
Thomas "Tom" Allen Thayer was a center/guard for the Chicago Bears from 1985-1992. However, he did not start out with our mighty team...
Thayer grew up the youngest of 5 siblings. When a plane crash took the lives of neighboring parents, his family welcomed three more children into their home. Thayer describes his family as the most important thing to him.
"My parents have been married 54 years and the reason we all respect each other so much and care about each other so much is the commitment that my parents had to all of us," says Thayer.
In May of 1975, Thayer graduated from the Cathedral of Saint Raymond grade school. He then went to Joliet Catholic High in 1975, where he was an all-state lineman. Afterwards, in 1977 and 1978, he helped the Catholic High "Hilltoppers" to win consecutive 4A Illinois State football championships.
At Notre Dame, Thayer was an honorable mention All-American offensive lineman in the early 1980s.
In 1983, Thayer started his professional career playing for the Chicago Blitz in the United States Football League. He was a fourth-round draft pick. The next year, he played for Arizona Wranglers.
He then joined the Chicago Bears in 1985. Thayer was one of the strongest players, and eventually earned his starting role as right guard for four games into the '85 season. During the late 1980s, he complied consecutive start and consecutive game streaks that led the Bears.
In 1992, Thayer left the Bears after 8 years as an offensive guard. He went to play for the Miami Dophins, but retired after one season.
Thayer worked for 2 years as a Bears analyst on WFLD-TV's pro-football programming. Currently, he is a co-host of Bears Gameday Live and Bears Gamenight Live. He is also the play-by-play commentator for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM 780 and contributes to the Chicago podcast by Steve Dahl. To give an example of his passion for the job, take this quote, from the man himself:
"It's too easy to say something's bad or something's good - it's usually not that simple," Thayer explains. "You want to have respect for the players and be specific when you're describing a player's performance. The players know that when I say something, it comes from having watched hours and hours of tape."
Tom's brother-in-law, John Scully, is an ex-Atlanta Falcon.
Currently, Tom lives in Chicago, where he is an avid surfer in the offseason in Maui, Hawaii, where he has a second home. Football isn't his only passion, as can be seen in this remark:
"Surfing is a very individualistic sport; if you're serious about it, you can't wait around until a bunch of your friends get interested in it," Thayer explains. "But when you pull up to the ocean and see the surf and that there are big waves that are going to challenge you, it's the same feeling in the pit of your stomach as when you're driving to the stadium to play a football game on a Sunday morning. "It keeps my blood flowing."
Any other players you'd like to see on Taking A Look in the Bears History Book? Send me an email and let me know!