Bears history: Favorite lesser-known players

Ask rabid Bears fans who their top-10 or 20 players in history are, and you'll likely get the same names over and over.  After all, guys like Walter Payton, Jim McMahon, Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Brian Urlacher, Bronko Nagurski, and Mike Singletary have all played roles in defining not only their positions, but the game as a whole.

For this exercise, let's discuss some of the players who may not be well-known outside of Chicago, but you rooted for them like they were among the greatest-ever anyhow.

Perhaps it was someone who really captured the imagination of the fanbase, someone who was great at that moment, who conjured up cheers and magic when he stepped on the field, but quickly faded out of the spotlight.  Someone who might not have been one of the all-time greats, or hell, even a good player, but you really latched on to him when he was in Chicago?

For me, it was Safety Shaun Gayle.  Gayle was a tackling machine during his tenure with the Bears... he was stocky, aggressive, and didn't mind lowering the boom play after play.  Gayle's finest moments came between 1989-1993, where he recorded four 100+ tackle seasons, with the injury-shortened 1991 season being the only sub-100 tackle season during that stretch.  Every time he was on the field, I looked for Gayle to make the play.  He was one of my favorite sports players when I was a kid.

Honorable mentions: FB Craig Heyward (in his one season as a Bear) and LB Bryan Cox (even though he openly did not hold the city of Chicago in high regard).

Those are my guys... Who were yours?

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