Picking the all-time great Bears ‘Dream Team’

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

In lieu of the recent downfall of my beloved Chicago Bears, I sat down and came up with my all-time Bears “Dream Team.”

This team is composed of my personal favorites. They are not necessarily the guys who had the best stats at those positions. These are players I chose based on skill and/or personality.

I tried to use players I actually saw play during my lifetime. The only two exceptions to that rule were Johnny Morris and Sid Luckman. Other than those two, I have fond memories of watching all of these guys wear the orange and navy over the years.

The only other rule I tried to follow was that no jersey number be repeated among my starters.

Starting with the offense, I have No. 42 Luckman as my quarterback. He narrowly edged out No. 9 Jim McMahon. Possibly the two easiest choices were my running backs, both Hall of Famers, No. 34 Walter Payton and No. 40 Gale Sayers.

My two wide receivers are No. 47 Morris and No. 83 Willie Gault. The next guy is not only my tight end but he would also serve as the head coach of this team, No. 89 “Iron” Mike Ditka. The offensive line would be anchored by No. 63 Jay Hilgenberg at center. He’d be flanked by No. 62 Mark Bortz and No. 57 Tom Thayer. My offensive tackles are No. 78 Keith Van Horne and No. 74 Jim Covert.

The Bears have had numerous stellar defensive players during their history. The tough part was trying to decide which 11 should make my team. The one guy I had to have was my childhood favorite, No. 51 Dick Butkus at middle linebacker. Oh, sure, you could make a strong case for Bill George, Mike Singletary or perhaps even Brian Urlacher, but remember, this is my team. You put one of those guys on your team.

Butkus would be joined by his teammate, No. 55 Doug Buffone, on one side and No. 58 Wilbur Marshall on the other side. Honorable mention goes to Otis Wilson and Lance Briggs.

The front four would include No. 99 Dan Hampton and No. 95 Richard Dent on the ends. No. 76 Steve McMichael and No. 72 William Perry would handle the interior. All of those guys had a certain swagger about them and exemplified Bears toughness.

My defensive backs would be some of the best hitters the game has ever known. No. 45 Gary Fencik and his teammate, No. 46 Doug Plank, would “tackle” the safety responsibilities. Those two could knock your helmet off with the way they hit.

The next two guys have a reputation for forcing turnovers. A great defense has to force fumbles and get interceptions. That’s where these guys fit in. My cornerbacks are a pair of ball hogs, No. 33 Charles “Peanut” Tillman and No. 21 Donnell Woolford.

My two special teams representatives are No. 23 Devin Hester and No. 6 Kevin Butler.

There you have it, my all-time Chicago Bears “Dream Team” Whether you agree, disagree or despise the Bears and cheer for another team, I’d encourage you to take a few minutes and comprise you own list. I welcome you to forward them to me at my e-mail address.

I already have one of my buddy’s lists. He did one for the Minnesota Vikings. Perhaps I’ll share it with you in next week’s column.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.

From the Dec. 26, 2012-Jan. 1, 2013, issue

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