Antique Bears: Bobby Douglass

Just a quick thought while it's on my mind...

A number of years ago, I came across an NFL Films video that I found at a record store. I've always been drawn to old sports photos, footage and stories, and, as you know, NFL Films has no shortage of that. They're also equipped with great narration - which can have a cheesy charm to it at times.

This particular video had a section on the Bears and former Chicago quarterback Bobby Douglass.

I had never heard of him before, but playing in the wild '70s, being a lefty and somewhat of a character, had instantly made him cool to me. Then there was his story...

Here was a big guy (6'4", 225 lbs) who was nasty on the run and had a cannon for an arm. But like a figure out of Greek mythology or something, he was flawed. In fact, he seemed to posses not one, but two major flaws for the position he played:

1. He wasn't very accurate

2. He had zero ability to learn the playbook.

Since Douglass played many moons before my time and I wanted to know more about him, I consulted my resident Bears expert - my dad.

He told me he had many frustrating Sundays watching Bobby D over-throw guys and botch plays. "People didn't understand why the Bears just didn't make him a running back or tight end. He was an incredible runner," he said.

He certainly seemed like it from what I saw on the video.

So Where's All This Going?

With the season right around the corner, this is the time I start firing up Bears videos (past and present) and checking out the latest news in order to start getting pumped.

I came across a video of Bobby Douglas that someone uploaded to YouTube. I don't remember if this was the same one I watched all those years ago, but it rules all the same. Especially the Uncle Rico style talk from Douglass about his arm. No, he doesn't say he could throw it "over them mountains," but he does suggest he could toss it 90-100 yards if he got the right throw off. To be honest, when you see some of the throws he makes in the video, I bet he could have.

Actually, watching it now makes me wonder if Douglass may have been born in the wrong era. Back when he played, it seemed like quarterbacks played a more simplified game - drop back, stay in the pocket and make the pass. The modern game has caused the position to change quite a bit from those days. Almost every successful QB is mobile now with a "run first" mentality - in fact, a guy that relies on using his arm the majority of the time seems like an oddball, whereas it was the reverse when Douglass played.

According to, Douglass rushed for 2,654 yards over his 10-year career (91 games), where he averaged 6.5 yards a carry.

Not bad at all.

While i need to look up where he slots in for all-time rushing QBs, I'd love to see how he'd fair if he was playing in today's game...

Image result for bobby douglass chicago bears

[Photo courtesy of]

Go Bears!

This Fanpost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member, and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.