Fullback (gridiron football)
A fullback is a position in the offensive backfield in American and Canadian football, is one of the two running back positions along with the halfback. Fullbacks are larger than halfbacks and in most offensive schemes their duties are split between power running, pass catching, blocking for both the quarterback and the other running back. Many great runners in the history of American football have been fullbacks, including Jim Brown, Marion Motley, Jim Taylor, Franco Harris, Larry Csonka, John Riggins, Christian Okoye, Levi Jackson. However, many of these runners would retroactively be labeled as halfbacks, due to their position as the primary ball carrier. Examples of players who have excelled at the hybrid running-blocking-pass catching role include Mike Alstott, Daryl Johnston, Lorenzo Neal. In the days before two platoons, the fullback was the team's punter and drop kicker; when at the beginning of the 20th century, a penalty was introduced for hitting the opposing kicker after a kick, the foul was at first called "running into the fullback", inasmuch as the deepest back did the kicking.
Before the emergence of the T-formation in the 1940s, most teams used four offensive backs, lined up behind the offensive line, on every play: a quarterback, two halfbacks, a fullback. The quarterback began each play a quarter of the way "back" behind the offensive line, the halfbacks began each play side by side and halfway "back" behind the offensive line, the fullback began each play the farthest "back" behind the offensive line; each offensive back was known by a position name that described his relative distance behind the offensive line. As the quarterback was the offensive back who first touched the ball after the snap, quarterbacks were the offensive back most to pass the ball, although any eligible player may do so; as the game evolved and alternate formations came in and out of fashion, halfbacks emerged as the offensive back most to run the ball, again, any eligible player may do so. "Halfback" came to be synonymous with "running back". Fullbacks were used as blocking backs with only occasional ball carrying duties.
As formations began to favor placing the blocking back ahead of/ closer to the line of scrimmage than the running back, these blocking backs retained the name "fullback" though they were closer to the offensive line than the halfback. "Fullback" became a misnomer, the term "halfback" declined in usage, replaced variously with the more descriptive term "tailback" or the generic term "running back". In the modern game, when the quarterback is under center, the fullback most lines up directly behind the quarterback and in front of the halfback or tailback; the fullback position has seen a decline in recent time, with only 17 full time fullbacks playing in 2016. The trend can be traced back to teams choosing to pass more, the use of the 11 personnel, the use of h-backs. Fullbacks are known less for speed and agility and more for muscularity and the ability to shed tackles. In the modern NFL, while deployed as ball carriers, are primarily a lead blocker to allow running backs to get to the secondary of the opposing team's defense.
In the early 2000s, many NFL teams used blocking fullbacks, such as Tony Richardson and Lorenzo Neal, with great success. These backs cleared the way for some of the decade's great running backs; some teams have phased the fullback position out of their offense altogether, with those teams either all but eschewing the I-formation, or instead utilizing either a tight end, h-back, or backup running back in the role. There are still fullbacks who remaining prominent in the NFL, among them Aaron Ripkowski, Andy Janovich, Jamize Olawale, James Develin, John Kuhn, Tommy Bohanon, Patrick DiMarco, Mike Tolbert, Kyle Juszczyk, Marcel Reece. However, in spite of their infrequent carries in modern NFL offenses, some fullbacks have led their team in rushing – notably, Le'Ron McClain was the rushing leader for the Baltimore Ravens in 2008 and Tony Richardson led the Kansas City Chiefs in rushing in 2000. Former Browns running back Peyton Hillis started his NFL career as a fullback before being converted into a halfback.
Although technically a running back fullbacks are valued for their blocking in most modern-day offenses. The most common and simple runs, the Dive and the Blast, both employ the fullback as the primary blocker to "make way" for the halfback. In the flexbone formation, the fullback can be used as the primary rushing threat. In many other offensive schemes, the fullback is used as a receiver when the defense blitzes. In selected plays, some teams will have a defensive lineman report as an eligible receiver to line up as a fullback or tight end in a "Miami" package in goalline formation. Examples of such players who have been used as situational fullbacks include Haloti Ngata, Dontari Poe, Jared Allen while with the Kansas City Chiefs, Richard Seymour while with the New England Patriots, Isaac Sopoaga while with the San Francisco 49ers, while Dan Klecko and Nikita Whitlock have played both as a defensive tackle and fullback. Defensive Tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XX from the fullback position.
Most teams in the NFL do not have a substitute fullback. The role can be filled by backup or number three or four tight ends or bigger and less-frequently-used running backs. Defensive
National Football League
The National Football League is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided between the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference. The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America, the highest professional level of American football in the world; the NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, six teams from each conference advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, held in the first Sunday in February, is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC; the NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL agreed to merge with the American Football League in 1966, the first Super Bowl was held at the end of that season. Today, the NFL has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States.
The Super Bowl is among the biggest club sporting events in the world and individual Super Bowl games account for many of the most watched television programs in American history, all occupying the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most watched U. S. television broadcasts by 2015. The NFL's executive officer is the commissioner; the players in the league belong to the National Football League Players Association. The team with the most NFL championships is the Green Bay Packers with thirteen; the current NFL champions are the New England Patriots, who defeated the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII for their sixth Super Bowl championship. On August 20, 1920, a meeting was held by representatives of the Akron Pros, Canton Bulldogs, Cleveland Indians, Dayton Triangles at the Jordan and Hupmobile auto showroom in Canton, Ohio; this meeting resulted in the formation of the American Professional Football Conference, a group who, according to the Canton Evening Repository, intended to "raise the standard of professional football in every way possible, to eliminate bidding for players between rival clubs and to secure cooperation in the formation of schedules".
Another meeting was held on September 17, 1920 with representatives from teams from four states-Akron, Canton and Dayton from Ohio. The league was renamed to the American Professional Football Association; the league elected Jim Thorpe as its first president, consisted of 14 teams. The Massillon Tigers from Massillon, Ohio was at the September 17 meeting, but did not field a team in 1920. Only two of these teams, the Decatur Staleys and the Chicago Cardinals, remain. Although the league did not maintain official standings for its 1920 inaugural season and teams played schedules that included non-league opponents, the APFA awarded the Akron Pros the championship by virtue of their 8–0–3 record; the first event occurred on September 26, 1920 when the Rock Island Independents defeated the non-league St. Paul Ideals 48–0 at Douglas Park. On October 3, 1920, the first full week of league play occurred; the following season resulted in the Chicago Staleys controversially winning the title over the Buffalo All-Americans.
On June 24, 1922, the APFA changed its name to the National Football League. In 1932, the season ended with the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans tied for first in the league standings. At the time, teams were ranked on a single table and the team with the highest winning percentage at the end of the season was declared the champion; this method had been used since the league's creation in 1920, but no situation had been encountered where two teams were tied for first. The league determined that a playoff game between Chicago and Portsmouth was needed to decide the league's champion; the teams were scheduled to play the playoff game a regular season game that would count towards the regular season standings, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, but a combination of heavy snow and extreme cold forced the game to be moved indoors to Chicago Stadium, which did not have a regulation-size football field. Playing with altered rules to accommodate the smaller playing field, the Bears won the game 9–0 and thus won the championship.
Fan interest in the de facto championship game led the NFL, beginning in 1933, to split into two divisions with a championship game to be played between the division champions. The 1934 season marked the first of 12 seasons in which African Americans were absent from the league; the de facto ban was rescinded in 1946, following public pressure and coinciding with the removal of a similar ban in Major League Baseball. The NFL was always the foremost pro
Lee Corso is an American sports broadcaster and football analyst for ESPN and a former coach. He has been a featured analyst on ESPN's College GameDay program since its inception in 1987. Corso served as the head football coach at the University of Louisville from 1969 to 1972, at Indiana University Bloomington from 1973 to 1982, at Northern Illinois University in 1984, compiling a career college football coaching record of 73–85–6, he was the head coach for the Orlando Renegades of the United States Football League in 1985, tallying a mark of 5–13. Corso's parents and Irma, were Italian immigrants, his father fled Italy during World War I at age 15. Alessandro, who had a second-grade education, was a lifelong laborer who laid terrazzo flooring, Irma, who had a fifth-grade education, worked in school cafeterias and boarding schools. Corso was born on August 7, 1935, he attended Miami Jackson Senior High in Miami, where he played quarterback. A baseball prospect, he was offered a $5,000 bonus to sign with the Brooklyn Dodgers as a shortstop.
However, he chose college, playing football and baseball at Florida State University, where he was a roommate of football player and actor Burt Reynolds and future University of Miami baseball coach Ron Fraser. While at FSU, Corso earned the nickname "Sunshine Scooter" for his speed on the football field; as a defensive player, he set the school record for most career interceptions, a record that stood for more than two decades until it was broken by Monk Bonasorte. Corso was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, he was the starting quarterback for the South in the 1956 Blue-Gray Game, though his squad lost to the Len Dawson-led North team, 14–0. Corso graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1957 and a master's degree in administration and supervision in 1958. After college, Corso became the quarterbacks coach at Maryland under his former FSU coach Tommy Nugent. In 1962, Corso followed Nugent's guidance to recruit an academically and athletically qualified black player and convinced Darryl Hill to transfer from the Naval Academy, making him the first African-American football player in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
In 1966, Corso became the defensive backs coach at Navy. In 1969, he was named head coach at Louisville. After taking Louisville to only its second-ever bowl game in 1970, he was hired by Indiana in 1972. Corso coached at Indiana from 1973 to 1982, leading the Hoosiers to two winning seasons in 1979 and 1980; the 1979 regular season earned a trip to the 1979 Holiday Bowl. There the Hoosiers would beat the unbeaten Brigham Young Cougars. Indiana's victory over the Cougars propelled the team to 16th in the UPI poll, the Hoosiers' first top-20 ranking since 1967. During one game in the 1976 season, Corso called a time out after his team scored a touchdown early in the second quarter; the entire team huddled together for a photograph with the scoreboard filling the background. It read: Indiana 7, Ohio State 6, it was the first time in 25 years. Corso's record was 41–68–2 over his ten years at Indiana. Corso was the 16th head football coach at Northern Illinois University. In his lone season as Northern Illinois's head coach, Corso's record was 4–6–1.
After the stint at Northern Illinois, Corso made his professional football coaching debut for Orlando Renegades of the United States Football League in 1985. Corso was slated to return to the Renegades when it was slated to return in fall 1986, but the league suspended operations before the season began, never to return again. In 1987, Corso was hired by ESPN as an analyst for its Saturday College GameDay program that originates from the site of one of the day's big games, he plays the role of comic foil to co-hosts Desmond Howard, Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit as they cover the major college football games from August until January. Corso's catchphrase, "Not so fast, my friend!", with pencil always in hand, is directed at Kirk Herbstreit, in disagreement with Herbstreit's predictions. Corso calls nearly everyone "sweetheart." Corso is known for ending every weekly show with his mascot headgear prediction, when he chooses who he thinks will win the game at GameDay's site by donning the headpiece of the school's mascot.
It started on October 5, 1996, prior to the Ohio State-Penn State game at Columbus, when he got the idea to don the OSU "Brutus Buckeye" mascot head to show his pick to win the game. Corso made his 250th headgear pick, TCU's Super Frog, before the TCU-WVU game in Morgantown, West Virginia, on November 1, 2014. Corso makes a brief cameo in a 2006 Nike commercial featuring the fictional Briscoe High School football team, portrayed by football icons such as Michael Vick, LaDainian Tomlinson, Brian Urlacher, Troy Polamalu, fellow FSU great Deion Sanders, by coaches Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson, Urban Meyer. Corso takes his hawk mascot head off. Corso appeared annually in EA Sports' NCAA Football titles along with Herbstreit and play-by-play man Brad Nessler until NCAA Football 11, in which he does not do play-by-play; the 2006 edition of the game begins with Corso making his mascot headgear prediction. If the team Corso chooses does not have a mascot, he wears the helmet instead like on College GameDay.
During play selection, players can opt for "Ask Corso", replicating the "Ask Madden" feature in the Madden NFL series. In the off-season, Corso serves as Director of Business Development for Dixon Ticonderoga, a Florida-based manufacturer of writing and arts products, including No. 2 pencils
Brian's Song is a 1971 ABC Movie of the Week that recounts the details of the life of Brian Piccolo, a Chicago Bears football player stricken with terminal cancer after turning pro in 1965, told through his friendship with Bears teammate Gale Sayers. Piccolo's and Sayers's differing temperaments and racial backgrounds made them unlikely to become as close friends as they did, including becoming the first interracial roommates in the history of the National Football League, the film chronicles the evolution of their friendship, ending with Piccolo's death in 1970; the production was such a success on ABC that it was shown in theaters by Columbia Pictures with a major premiere in Chicago. Critics have called the movie one of the finest telefilms made. A 2005 readers poll taken by Entertainment Weekly ranked'Brian's Song' seventh in its list of the top "guy-cry" films made; the movie is based on Sayers' account of his friendship with Piccolo and coping with Piccolo's illness in Sayers' autobiography, I Am Third.
The film was written by veteran screenwriter William Blinn, whose script, one Dallas television critic called, "highly restrained, steering clear of any overt sentimentality the genuine affection the two men felt so for each other."Although based on a true story, the film did include some fictional scenes. One example was when George Halas told Gale Sayers that he wanted to bench Brian Piccolo when he suspected that there may be a problem affecting his performance, he learned of Brian's cancer. In reality, Jim Dooley was the head coach at that time, as Halas had retired from the position following the 1967 season; the movie begins as Chicago Bears rookie running back Gale Sayers arrives at team practice as an errant punt is sent to Sayers. Fellow rookie running Brian Piccolo goes to retrieve the ball, Sayers flips it to him. Before Sayers meets with coach George Halas in his office, Piccolo tells him – as a prank – that Halas has a hearing problem, Sayers acts strangely at the meeting. Sayers pranks him back by placing mashed potatoes on his seat while Piccolo is singing his alma mater's fight song.
During practice, Piccolo struggles. Sayers and Piccolo are placed as a rarity during the racial strife at the time, their friendship flourishes, in football and in life extending to their wives, Joy Piccolo and Linda Sayers. Sayers becomes a standout player, but he injures his knee in a game against the San Francisco 49ers. To aid in Sayers' recovery, Piccolo brings a weight machine to his house. In Sayers' place, Piccolo rushes for 160 yards in a 17–16 win over the Los Angeles Rams and is given the game ball. Piccolo challenges Sayers to a race across the park, where Sayers wins. Piccolo wins the starting fullback position, meaning both he and Sayers will now be on the field together, both excel in their roles. Piccolo starts to lose weight and his performance declines, so he is sent to a hospital for a diagnosis. Soon after, Halas tells Sayers that Piccolo will have part of a lung removed. In an emotional speech to his teammates, Sayers states that they will win the game for Piccolo and give him the game ball.
When the players visit the hospital, Piccolo teases them about losing the game, laughing that the line in the old movie wasn’t "let’s lose one for the Gipper." After a game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sayers visits Joy, who reveals that Piccolo has to have another surgery for his tumor. After he is awarded the "George S. Halas Most Courageous Player Award", Sayers dedicates his award to Piccolo, telling the crowd that they had selected the wrong person for the prize and saying, "I love Brian Piccolo, I'd like all of you to love him, too, and tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him." In a call, Sayers mentions. Piccolo dies with his wife by his side; the movie ends with a flashback of Piccolo and Sayers running through the park, while the narrator says that Piccolo died at age 26 and is remembered not for how he died but for how he lived. James Caan as Brian Piccolo Billy Dee Williams as Gale Sayers Jack Warden as Coach George Halas Shelley Fabares as Joy Piccolo Judy Pace as Linda Sayers Bernie Casey as J.
C. Caroline David Huddleston as Ed McCaskey Ron Feinberg as Doug Atkins Jack Concannon as Himself Abe Gibron as Himself Ed O'Bradovich as Himself Dick Butkus as Himself Chicago Bears as Themselves The musical theme to Brian's Song, "The Hands of Time", was a popular tune during the early 1970s and has become a standard; the music for the film was with lyrics to the song by Marilyn and Alan Bergman. Legrand's instrumental version of the theme song charted for eight weeks in 1972, peaking at No. 56 on the Billboard Hot 100. Nashville pianist Floyd Cramer performed a popular version of "The Hands of Time"; the film received acclaim and is cited as one of the greatest television films made, as well as one of the greatest sports films. It holds a 92% "Fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes based on 12 critics, with a consensus stating "Buoyed by standout performances from James Caan and Billy Dee Williams, Brian's Song is a touching tale of friendship whose central relationship transcendeds its standard sports movie moments."
Television critic Matt Zoller Seitz in his 2016 book co-written with Alan Sepinwall titled TV named Brian's Song as the fifth greatest American TV-movie of all time, stating that the film was "The dramatic and emotional template for a good number of sports films and male weepies", as
Brian's Song (2001 film)
Brian's Song is the 2001 remake of the 1971 television film Brian's Song, telling the story of Brian Piccolo, a white running back who meets, clashes with and befriends fellow Chicago Bears running back Gale Sayers. The movie was adapted from Sayers' own words in his autobiography, I am Third; the television movie, produced by Columbia TriStar Television, was first broadcast in the US on The Wonderful World of Disney on ABC. In the movie, Piccolo is a brash rookie with the Bears. Thinking Sayers is arrogant – when he is only quiet and a slight bit anti-social – they rub each other the wrong way from the moment they meet; the movie, taking place from 1965 to 1970, as the Civil Rights Movement grows, places great emphasis on integration, bringing up the conflict of when Brian and Gale room together for their first football season. Brian and Gale aren't friends in the beginning. Brian, during their first season together with pro football's Chicago Bears, is always one-upped by Gale, never being in the spotlight.
After the season, Brian pledges to take his position on the team. During their second season, Gale is still the Bears' starting running back. After he is injured during a game and loses hope of playing again, Brian takes charge of his rehabilitation, on the basis that if Gale gives up, Brian rises to the top, he would have made it only on a chance and not by his own prowess; the two bond during this time, soon becoming good roommates. Brian is diagnosed with cancer; the treatments and radiation therapy only do so much, every time it seems as if everything is getting better, the cancer shows up again, someplace else. Brian dies from the disease at age 26. During this time, Gale stays by his side. Sean Maher as Brian Piccolo Mekhi Phifer as Gale Sayers Ben Gazzara as George Halas Paula Cale as Joy Piccolo Elise Neal as Linda Sayers Brian's Song on IMDb
Wrigley Field is a baseball park located on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois. It is the home of one of the city's two Major League Baseball franchises, it first opened in 1914 as Weeghman Park for Charles Weeghman's Chicago Whales of the Federal League, which folded after the 1915 baseball season. The Cubs played their first home game at the park on April 20, 1916, defeating the Cincinnati Reds with a score of 7–6 in 11 innings. Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. of the Wrigley Company acquired complete control of the Cubs in 1921. It was named Cubs Park from 1920 to 1926, before being renamed Wrigley Field in 1927. In the North Side community area of Lakeview in the Wrigleyville neighborhood, Wrigley Field is on an irregular block bounded by Clark and Addison streets and Waveland and Sheffield avenues. Wrigley Field is nicknamed "The Friendly Confines", a phrase popularized by "Mr. Cub", Hall of Fame shortstop and first baseman Ernie Banks; the oldest park in the National League, the current seating capacity is 42,495.
Wrigley Field is known for its ivy-covered brick outfield wall, the unusual wind patterns off Lake Michigan, the iconic red marquee over the main entrance, the hand-turned scoreboard, its location in a residential neighborhood with no parking lots and views from the rooftops behind the outfield, for being the last Major League park to have lights installed for play after dark, in 1988. Between 1921 and 1970, it was the home of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League, was the home of the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League between 1931-1938; the elevation of its playing field is 600 feet above sea level. Baseball executive Charles Weeghman hired his architect Zachary Taylor Davis to design the park, ready for baseball by the date of the home opener on April 23, 1914; the original tenants, the Chicago Whales came in second in the Federal League rankings in 1914 and won the league championship in 1915. In late 1915, Weeghman's Federal League folded; the resourceful Weeghman formed a syndicate including the chewing gum manufacturer William Wrigley Jr. to buy the Chicago Cubs from Charles P. Taft for about $500,000.
Weeghman moved the Cubs from the dilapidated West Side Grounds to his two-year-old park. In 1918, Wrigley acquired the controlling interest in the club. In November 1926, he renamed the park "Wrigley Field". In 1927, an upper deck was added, in 1937, Bill Veeck, the son of the club president, planted ivy vines against the outfield walls; the Ricketts family aggressively pursued a Wrigley Field renovation since buying the team and the stadium in 2009. During the annual Cubs Convention in January 2013 the family revealed the 1060 Project which called for a $575-million funded rehabilitation of the stadium, to be completed over the course of five years; the proposal was vast, included planned improvements to, among other things, the stadium's facade, restrooms, suites, press box, moving the bullpens and clubhouses, as well as the addition of restaurants, patio areas, batting tunnels, a 5,700-square-foot jumbotron, an adjacent hotel and office-retail complex. After months of negotiations between the team, local Alderman Tom Tunney, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the plan obtained the endorsements of both the city's Landmarks Commission and Plan Commission before receiving final approval by the Chicago City Council in July 2013.
To help fund the project, the team planned to more than double the amount of advertising signage in and around the stadium to about 51,000 square feet, including additional signage to be placed beyond the outfield walls – a move, opposed by many owners of the rooftop clubs that surround the stadium who worried that such signage would obstruct their sightlines. Before work on the project began, the team wanted the rooftop owners to agree not to pursue legal action challenging the construction and continued to negotiate with them – offering to reduce the size and number of signs to be built – in order to gain their assent; the team could not come to terms with the rooftop owners who had a lease agreement with the team until 2023 in exchange for paying 17% of the gross revenues. In May 2014 the Cubs announced. Over the course of the next three years, the Ricketts family began to purchase many of the rooftop locations; the "1060 Project – Phase One" started Monday, September 29, 2014. During the off-season, the bleachers in both outfields were expanded and the stadium's footprint was extended further onto both Waveland and Sheffield Avenues.
A 3,990 sq ft Jumbotron scoreboard was added to the left field bleachers. It is topped with a sign advertising Wintrust Financial, a Rosemont-based bank and a Cubs Legacy Partner. A 2,400 sq ft video scoreboard was added in the right field bleachers, the parking lots along Clark Street were excavated for future underground players' locker rooms and lounges. After the close of the extended 2015 season, work began on "Phase Two" of the project; the area just west of the stadium was converted into an underground 30,000-square-foot players locker room and strength/conditioning/training and hydrotherapy sections, players lounges, a media center, team offices. The previous clubhouse space was utilized to enlarge the dugout and add two underground batting cages, an auditorium, more team office space. A new "Third Base Club" next to the batting tunnels and a "Home Plate Club" was introduc
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears compete in the National Football League as a member club of the league's National Football Conference North division; the Bears have won nine NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl, hold the NFL record for the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the most retired jersey numbers. The Bears have recorded more victories than any other NFL franchise; the franchise was founded in Decatur, Illinois, on September 17, 1920, moved to Chicago in 1921. It is one of only two remaining franchises from the NFL's founding in 1920, along with the Arizona Cardinals, also in Chicago; the team played home games at Wrigley Field on Chicago's North Side through the 1970 season. The Bears have a long-standing rivalry with the Green Bay Packers; the team headquarters, Halas Hall, is in the Chicago suburb of Illinois. The Bears practice at adjoining facilities there during the season. Since 2002, the Bears have held their annual training camp, from late July to mid-August, at Ward Field on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois.
In March of 1920 a man telephoned me... George Chamberlain and he was general superintendent of the A. E. Staley Company... In 1919, had formed a football team, it had done well against other local teams but Mr. Staley wanted to build it into a team that could compete with the best semi-professional and industrial teams in the country... Mr. Chamberlain asked if I would like to come to work for the Staley Company. Named the Decatur Staleys, the club was established by the A. E. Staley food starch company of Decatur, Illinois in 1919 as a company team; this was the typical start for several early professional football franchises. The company hired Edward "Dutch" Sternaman in 1920 to run the team; the 1920 Decatur Staleys season was their inaugural regular season completed in the newly formed American Professional Football Association. Full control of the team was turned over to Halas and Sternaman in 1921. Official team and league records cite Halas as the founder as he took over the team in 1920 when it became a charter member of the NFL.
The team relocated to Chicago in 1921. Under an agreement reached by Halas and Sternaman with Staley, Halas purchased the rights to the club from Staley for US$100. In 1922, Halas changed the team name from the Staleys to the Bears; the team moved into Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise. As with several early NFL franchises, the Bears derived their nickname from their city's baseball team. Halas liked the bright orange-and-blue colors of his alma mater, the University of Illinois, the Bears adopted those colors as their own, albeit in a darker shade of each; the Staleys/Bears dominated the league in the early years. Their rivalry with the Chicago Cardinals, the oldest in the NFL, was key in four out of the first six league titles. During the league's first six years, the Bears lost twice to the Canton Bulldogs, split with their crosstown rival Cardinals, but no other team in the league defeated the Bears more than a single time. During that span, the Bears posted 34 shutouts.
The Bears' rivalry with the Green Bay Packers is one of the oldest and most storied in American professional sports, dating back to 1921. In one infamous incident that year, Halas got the Packers expelled from the league in order to prevent their signing a particular player, graciously got them re-admitted after the Bears had closed the deal with that player; the franchise was an early success under Halas, capturing the NFL Championship in 1921 and remaining competitive throughout the decade. In 1924 the Bears claimed the Championship after defeating the Cleveland Bulldogs on December 7 putting the title "World's Champions" on their 1924 team photo, but the NFL had ruled that games after November 30 did not count towards league standings, the Bears had to settle for second place behind Cleveland. Their only losing season came in 1929. During the 1920s the club was responsible for triggering the NFL's long-standing rule that a player could not be signed until his college's senior class had graduated.
The NFL took that action as a consequence of the Bears' aggressive signing of famous University of Illinois player Red Grange within a day of his final game as a collegian. Despite much of the on-field success, the Bears were a team in trouble, they faced the problem of flatlined attendance. The Bears would only draw 5,000–6,000 fans a game, while a University of Chicago game would draw 40,000–50,000 fans a game. By adding top college football draw Red Grange to the roster, the Bears knew that they found something to draw more fans to their games. C. C. Pyle was able to secure a $2,000 per game contract for Grange, in one of the first games, the Bears defeated the Green Bay Packers, 21–0. However, Grange remained on the sidelines while learning the team's plays from Bears quarterback Joey Sternaman. In 1925, The Bears would go on a barnstorming tour, showing off the best football player of the day. 75,000 people paid to see Grange