For better or worse, there’s been a TON of Bears QBs over the years. Some good, many bad, and everything in between. Looking at recent passers, (and ignoring the fan favorite back-ups, because who has the time), we all know that Mitchell Trubisky has his fans (I hear from them daily on twitter), and of course Jay Cutler had his supporters as well. Kyle Orton was fairly popular during his time here, in a working class kinda way, and Rex Grossman certainly had his evangelists.
Jim Miller (mostly) led one of the most improbable Bears seasons this century, and Erik Kramer set records in ‘95. Jim McMahon (and a slew of back-ups) helmed the great Bears teams of the 80’s, including the franchise’s lone Super Bowl win, and Bill Wade led the team to their last Championship before the NFL-AFL merger. Plus he had a mean guest spot on the Donna Reed show, which looks great on the resume.
The Bears also had a string of talented signal callers in the 50’s, with Johnny Lujack, George Blanda and Ed Brown, but for me, you have to go back even further to find my favorite Bears QB of all-time.
There are many players who were “good for their time”, but there are a few who seem to transcend era. Gale Sayers, Walter Payton, Mike Ditka, Dick Butkus immediately come to mind for the Bears. Sid Luckman should as well. In many ways, 42 was the first modern quarterback. He was certainly the first great T-Formation QB in the NFL, and the T-Formation (along with the relaxing of the forward pass rules and ball shape regulations) truly paved the way for modern offensive football… and no one ran it better than Sid Luckman.
Considered the best deep ball passer of his era, Luckman combined a strong arm, good accuracy, play extending mobility, and a head for the game into a package that netted him 5 First Team All-Pro selections, 3 Pro Bowl nominations, 4 NFL Championships, an NFL record 7 touchdown passes in a single game (tied), and a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction in 1965. All that, and he is still tied for second in Bears history with 28 passing touchdowns in a single season, while having never played more than 12 games. He was not just a Bears great, but an all-time NFL great.
I dare you to watch his film and tell me you don’t see a player who could fit right in with the modern NFL. Big arm? Check. Accuracy? Check. Mobility? Check. Decision making skills? Check. The guy, could play. And if you weren’t already sold, have a look at this nifty bit of Iron-Man football from ol’ Sid:
Give Me 42
This is why Sid Luckman, a man who retired over a decade before my parents were even born, is my All-Time Favorite Bears QB. When I watch him play, I almost feel like I’m watching a man out of time. And if it weren’t for the fact that he looked like a 50 year old man by the time he was 30 (as was tradition at the time), I might seriously consider whether Sid Luckman was a time traveler.
Enough about my pick though, who’s YOUR All-Time Favorite Bears QB? A fan favorite from your youth? A scrappy underdog who you couldn’t help but root for? Sound off in the comments, and remember to show your work!
Bear Down everyone, and here’s to possibly having a new entry on everyone’s favorite Bears QB list in real soon!
Will Robinson II is a freelance graphic artist/content creator, an avid Bears fan and apparently speaks in the third person. You can follow him on Twitter @WhiskeyRanger29, and check him out on Youtube at WhiskeyRanger.