Ninety four years ago, on June 24th, 1922, the Chicago Staleys changed their name to the Chicago Bears.
The franchise was founded in 1919 and dubbed the Decatur Staleys, but they only competed against local teams. It wasn’t until the following year, 1920, that the A. E. Staley food starch company hired George Halas to run the football team. The team stayed the Decatur Staleys, but they began competing in the brand new American Professional Football Association (APFA). They went 10-1-2, finishing in 2nd place in the 14 team league to the 8-0-3 Akron Pros.
The next season, 1921, “Papa Bear” Halas moved the team to Chicago to play in Wrigley Field and they became the Chicago Staleys. They “won” the now 21 team APFA that season with a 9-1-1 record. 1921 is also the year that Halas bought the rights to the team from Staley for a whopping $100. These days the team is worth nearly $2.5 billion. Not a bad return on investment...
That first season as the Chicago Bears was also the first season of the National Football League. Only three franchises remain from that inaugural NFL season, the Bears, the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals, who were then known as the Chicago Cardinals.
The Bears’ franchise (1920-2015) has 9 total NFL championships, a league best .572 winning percentage and a league best 744 total wins.