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The Chicago Bears will have a Super Bowl presence

Did you know the Chicago Bears have had a member of the organization at the Super Bowl every year since 1999?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In my daily scouring of the Twitterverse I came across a link to a Washington Post article about the chain of custody for footballs in the NFL. In case you're unaware there was a bit of an issue with deflated balls during the AFC Championship game, which allowed awesome headlines like these.

Tom Brady likes his balls prepared 'a certain way'

Bill Belichick describes Patriots balls as 'wet, sticky, cold, slippery'

Andrew Luck feels 'deflated' after losing to the Patriots

Brad Johnson paid to alter balls in Super Bowl

Joe Biden on DeflateGate: 'I like a softer ball'

OK, I know, it's an excuse for writers to try out some sophomoric humor, but all the headlines are used in a legitimate way. For more on the entire controversy you can check out the entire story stream at SB Nation.

But back to the chain of custody thing. Here's the snippet from the Washington Post that caught my eye.

Chicago Bears equipment manager Tony Medlin is to take possession of the Super Bowl footballs on the Friday before the game, following each team's practice that day. Each team still is supply the footballs that it will use on offense during the game. But for the Super Bowl, the officials and the league, through the third-party equipment manager, maintain strict control over the footballs.

Tony Medlin is the long time equipment manager for the Bears and I assumed his Super Bowl selection was a new thing, so I checked out his bio on

After the 2000 season, Medlin received the Whitey Zimmerman Award as the NFL's top equipment manager. Since Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999, Medlin has served as the game-day football coordinator for the NFL at each Super Bowl.

I had no idea that Super Bowl XLVIII will be Medlin's 17th as the NFL's 3rd party equipment manager.

As the chairman of the Chicago Bears' annual coat drive, Tony Medlin is mentioned every holiday season when they collect thousands of coats for the less fortunate. He's also involved in the "Say No To Drugs" campaign.

So not only do the Bears have the best contract negotiator in the business in Cliff Stein, but they also have the #1 equipment manager in the NFL in Tony Medlin.

Now if only the rest of the organization can live up to the fine example these gentlemen have set.