Bears100 Celebration to feature d-linemen

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The last six decades of Bears football will be represented during a special defensive line panel at the Bears100 Celebration June 7-9 in Rosemont.

Ed O’Bradovich, Dan Hampton, Chris Zorich, Tommie Harris and Akiem Hicks are slated to participate in the discussion next month when the Bears commemorate their centennial season at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.

Known by younger generations as a fiery Bears post-game radio host, O'Bradovich displayed that same temperament on the field for 10 seasons with the team from 1962-71. He made a key play in the 1963 NFL title game against the Giants, intercepting a Y.A. Tittle pass and returning it 10 yards to the New York 14 to set up the winning touchdown. A Chicago native, O’Bradovich attended Proviso East High School and the University of Illinois.

Hampton played all 12 of his NFL seasons with the Bears after the team selected him with the fourth pick in the 1979 draft out of Arkansas. He was named first-team All Pro four times, voted to four Pro Bowls, named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1980s and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Hampton was an integral part of a 1985 Super Bowl championship defense that many consider as the best in NFL history.

The bond between O’Bradovich and Hampton was evident in 2002 when Hampton chose O’Bradovich to serve as his official presenter at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Zorich played his first six NFL seasons with the Bears after arriving as a second-round pick from Notre Dame in 1991. The Chicago native appeared in 79 games with 49 starts with his hometown team and recorded 316 tackles, 15.5 sacks, six fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. Zorich’s only career touchdown came on Dec. 27, 1992 when he returned a fumble 42 yards against the Cowboys in Mike Ditka’s final game as coach.

Harris was chosen by the Bears with the 14th pick in the 2004 draft out of Oklahoma. He appeared in 104 games with 90 starts over seven seasons, registering 213 tackles, 28.5 sacks, 51 tackles-for-loss, one interception, seven fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles. Harris was voted to three straight Pro Bowls from 2005-07 and helped the Bears win three division championships and one conference title.

Hicks is entering his fourth season with the Bears. Last year he led the defense with 12 tackles-for-loss while ranking second with 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and 16 quarterback hits. Hicks has performed exceptionally well since signing with the Bears as a free agent in 2016. While he made the Pro Bowl for the first time in seven NFL seasons in 2018, his numbers were even better in 2017 when he registered 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles-for-loss.

Other panels at the Bears100 Celebration will include Hall of Fame middle linebackers Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher; quarterbacks Jim McMahon and Mitchell Trubisky; and safeties Gary Fencik, Doug Plank, Mike Brown and Eddie Jackson.

The Bears100 Celebration will feature the ultimate gathering of fans and players. The entire 2019 team and coaching staff, along with Bears Hall of Famers and alumni, are scheduled to attend. The weekend will include autograph sessions, photo opportunities, panels, memorabilia and merchandise sales, interactive games, kids activities and a walk-though Bears history zone.

Click here to purchase tickets to the Bears100 Celebration.

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