I peruse through twitter a lot, probably more than healthy, so I see a lot of cool things. One thing that has spread across the site, mostly pertaining to basketball, is a game where you pick players who have different values, and try to fit it under a budget.
A couple days ago, I found one of these games for the Chicago Bears. It was originally posted by Windy City Gridiron last week, and their twitter manager claims is created back in 2014, leaving most present day Bears out of it. Despite this, however, I’m going to give you my answers, and my team, under a budget of $20.
If you disagree with my selections, make sure you leave me your team below in the comments sections.
Quarterback: Sid Luckman ($5)
I know what you are thinking. How can I take Sid Luckman for a quarter of my full budget, when guys like McMahon are cheaper? Well, this was a really easy choice for me.
Back in Luckman’s era, passing the football was an afterthought. Almost the entirety of football was a ground-and-pound style of play. During Luckman’s career, the highest average number of passing plays per team per game was 27, whereas the lowest number of rushing plays was 36.
Despite this, Luckman put up nearly all Bears passing records up until recently, when Jay Cutler broke most of them in a league average 37 passing plays per team per game.
Luckman was an absolutely amazing quarterback, probably the most underrated in league history. He led the Bears to four NFL Championships, as well as being the league’s undisputed passing leader three times during his career, which spanned almost two decades in the Windy City. He was also the league’s most valuable player in 1943.
So why is he not thought of among the all-time greats? Frankly, he played at the wrong time. His numbers are suppressed because, during the 1940s, there wasn’t a heavy prevalence on the passing game. When there was passing, there wasn’t the deep ball schemes there are today that allow some of the worst quarterbacks in the league to put up numbers that look good.
Luckman also did not practice with the Bears during World War Two, as he served as a United States Merchant Marine. He put up his best years of his career during this time, so just imagine how good he could have been if he practiced with the team.
Again, this was an easy call. Not only is Sid Luckman one of the all-time greats, he is head and shoulders above any other quarterback in Bears history.
Running Back: Neal Anderson ($1)
While I would obviously love to go with Walter Payton, Neal Anderson for just $1 was way too good of a bargain to pass up.
Anderson would probably be higher on this list, but he only played eight season in the NFL, as his career was shortened due to injury. Even while playing only eight seasons though, Anderson is third on the Bears’ all time rushing list, trailing only Payton and Matt Forte.
During his 8 seasons in the NFL, Anderson amassed 4 pro bowls and a second team all-pro nomination in 1990.
Being a successor to a legend is always tough, and many fail in that quest. However, Anderson is one of the few that undeniably succeeded, successfully replacing Walter Payton after his retirement. Thus, for $1, he is a steal, and one that I will gladly cash in on.
Tight End: Greg Olsen ($2)
Jerry Angelo, what did you do?
Personally, Greg Olsen was one of my favorite Bears until he got traded to Carolina in 2012. Not only is he a great person, he is also a heck of a football player, which is why I chose him for my team.
Olsen played 4 years in Chicago, catching 20 touchdowns and gaining almost 2,000 yards for the Bears. He has only gotten better since being traded to the Panthers, however, gaining over 1,000 yards each of the last three seasons.
We can only go off his time in Chicago, though. However, that is good enough to be selected. Once Jay Cutler came to Chicago in 2009, Olsen played incredibly, good enough to be named Comcast SportsNet’s Chicago Bears Player of the Year in 2009.
He isn’t the greatest tight end in Bears history, but I needed to save at least some money for other positions. Therefore, the all-pro Panthers tight end gets into this team.
Special Teams: Devin Hester ($4)
I was amazed when I first saw this game that Devin Hester was not worth the maximum amount.
Hester is the greatest special teamer of all time. Yes, I said it. Better than Joshua Cribbs and Deion Sanders. He’s also a first ballot hall of famer.
Devin Hester was absolutely electric. The kinds of things he could do as a returner, a lot of the time, I didn’t think were humanly possible.
Hester holds the record for most return touchdowns with 20, a large majority coming in a Bears uniform. He is, at least in my mind, the undisputed best special teamer of all time. And therefore, he gets into my Bears budget team.
Defense: 1985 Bears ($5)
The 1985 Bears defense were like something we have never seen before. Their front seven was able to annihilate any offensive line imaginable.
Their defense that season combined for 62 sacks. Sixty Two.
The crazy thing is, that this was their down season. Their 1984 squad holds the record with 72 sacks in a season, and their 1987 team had 70.
They also had 34 interceptions, a number which would have led the league by 16 last season.
There’s not much about this team that hasn’t been said time and time again among Bears fans, as this team defined the league’s thought of the Chicago Bears up until rather recently. A hard-hitting, amazing defense.
Wide Receivers: Tom Waddle ($1) and Marty Booker ($2)
Wide Receiver has been a position where the Bears have struggled in their history, highlighted by the fact they have two rather recent players with the $5 designation.
My ideal situation would have been to have both Marty Booker and Willie Gault, but since they were both labeled under Wide Receiver 2, I couldn’t do that.
So, I went with Tom Waddle. While Waddle never put up the single season numbers that amaze you, he had 2 standout games which land him here.
The first was a Monday Night game against the Jets where he put up 108 yards and a touchdown, and in a divisional round loss to the Cowboys where he stood out, with 104 yards and a touchdown.
While he isn’t the ideal choice, Waddle had breakout ability. He was able to play well some games, and as a wide receiver, it is a lot easier to deal with that inconsistency.
Marty Booker was never truly appreciated around the league, only making one pro bowl. His 2002 season was the best of his career, but he was an electric wide receiver for a block of about 3 to 5 years in Chicago.
Like Neal Anderson, it’s highly possible Booker is worth more on this list if doesn’t get hurt near the end of his career.
He averaged over 12 yards a completion 3 times, including that 2003 season that was cut short due to injury. It’s likely that the 2003 season is the best of his career if that injury doesn’t occur.
While he wasn’t one of the Bears’ greatest, he put up great numbers, especially considering the offenses he played with back then. He had a pro bowl season in a year where the Bears had 3 starting quarterbacks, none of whom ever came close to making a pro bowl.
Just imagine what Booker would do with Sid Luckman.