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Chalk Talk


Have Bears, Cubs won in same year?


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

How often have the Bears and the Cubs won a division championship the same year?

John N.
Elmhurst, Illinois

The only time it's ever happened was in 1984 when the Bears won the NFC Central with a 10-6 record and the Cubs captured the National League East with a 96-65 mark. Both reached the final four and were eliminated in California, the Bears in San Francisco and the Cubs in San Diego. The teams combined to win seven division championships from 2001-10—four by the Bears and three by the Cubs—but never in the same year. In 1932, the Bears won the NFL championship and the Cubs claimed the N.L. pennant, the only year that has ever occurred.

Is it true that Walter Payton once led the NFL in kickoff returns?

Edward P.
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Yes, Bears Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton led the NFL with a 31.7-yard kickoff return average on 14 returns during his rookie season in 1975. No Bears player has topped that average since then, with Danieal Manning coming the closest at 29.7 yards in 2008. The team record belongs to Gale Sayers, who averaged 37.7 yards on 16 returns in 1967.

Have the Bears always held training camp away from their regular practice facility?

Oregon, Illinois

George Halas pioneered the idea of moving training camp out of town when the Bears traveled to the University of Notre Dame for camp in 1933. After spending the next summer back in Chicago, the Bears held camp at St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, Wis., from 1935-43, and St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind., from 1944-74. They remained home in Lake Forest for camp from 1975-83 before hitting the road again, conducting camp at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville from 1984-2001 before moving to their current location at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais in 2002.

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