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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: Details on first Bears game ever

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

When and against which team was the Bears' very first game played?
Adam F.
Upper Michigan

The first game in franchise history was played Oct. 3, 1920 when the Bears were known as the Decatur Staleys. It was a 20-0 win over the Moline Tractors in front of an estimated crowd of 1,500 at Staley Field in Decatur. The Staleys compiled a 10-1-2 record in their inaugural season before relocating to Chicago in 1921. They were known as the Chicago Staleys for one year before being renamed the Chicago Bears in 1922.

You reminded us how Jim McMahon also played for the Packers and Vikings. Have there been any Bears players who have played for every team in the NFC North?
Russ K.

Since the NFC Central was formed in conjunction with the NFL/AFL merger in 1970, no Bears player has also suited up for the Lions, Packers and Vikings. McMahon is one of six former Bears who also played for two of those three division opponents. The others are quarterback Jack Concannon (Lions and Packers), cornerback Walt Williams (Lions and Vikings), linebacker Dave Simmons (Lions and Packers), long-snapper Mark Rodenhauser (Lions and Vikings) and defensive end C.J. Wilson (Lions and Packers). The NFC Central, which also included the Buccaneers from 1977-2001, became the NFC North in 2002 when the NFL realigned into eight four-team divisions.

Where would the Bears have picked in the draft if they had lost one more game last season, going 7-9? I was wondering if they would have still had to move up to pick Justin Fields.
Dana G.

There's a lot of hypotheticals here, but if the Bears had finished 7-9 instead of 8-8 last season, that would have tied them with the Chargers, Vikings and Patriots, who had picks 13-15 in the first round. With their opponents having a .488 winning percentage, the Bears would have slid between the Chargers and Vikings at No 14. In reality, the Bears moved up from No. 20 to 11 to draft Justin Fields, so they probably would have had to trade up from 14 to land the Ohio State quarterback.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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