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The Origin of Kyler-Man: With great power comes great responsibility

Gordon

With under a minute left in the third quarter last Sunday, the Bears held a 14-point lead against Arizona. The Cardinals were seeking a momentum shift, but Bears nickel back Kyler Gordon immediately wrecked their possession. Gordon blitzed up the middle, spun around Arizona offensive linemen Elijah Wilkinson and D.J. Humphries and brought down Kyler Murray for an eight-yard sack.

Gordon celebrated his first career sack with a somersault and one of his signature Spider-Man moves — mimicking webs shooting from his hands.

All season long, Gordon has been showing off his Spidey senses whether it's through his quick, agile movements that make him a defensive playmaker or his exciting, athletic celebrations that nod to his favorite superhero.

How did Gordon become "Kyler-Man"? Let's start from the top.

How did Gordon join the Spider-Verse?

When coach Matt Eberflus watched Gordon scoop up his first career fumble recovery as a rookie against the Eagles Dec. 18, 2022, a nickname instantly popped in his mind: Spider-Man.

As Gordon sprinted to the ball in open field, squatted down to grab it then spun around and took off for a 12-yard gain, Eberflus compared the then-rookie's agile movements to the Marvel superhero.

"I think it was the fumble recovery at Philly," Eberflus told reporters this summer. "When you looked at him on that play, he just reminded me of moving like Spider-Man, so that's when he got it."

Embracing his heroic nickname, Gordon showed up to training camp this summer donning a Spider-Man mask and was on the practice field featuring a helmet with a web stretched across his visor.

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When tagged with the nickname last season, Gordon absolutely loved it. Growing up a fan of Spider-Man, specifically Tobey Maguire's character, Gordon couldn't pass up the chance to personify a superhero he loved. It brought him back to his childhood.

He also knows "with great power comes great responsibility." Gordon lived up to the nickname and walked into his press conference on Aug. 3 rocking the mask and practiced some of his poses in front of the media.

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While Spider-Man is a fun, nostalgic nickname for Gordon, he is still fully embracing the comparison.

"I feel like it's similar to how I play – aggressive," Gordon said. "I just like using my abilities and instincts and stuff like that, especially in the nickel position where I'm at as far as reading run-pass, just trying to find a way to the ball and just being around the ball."

Before Gordon displayed his celebration on a national stage, he previewed it in training camp. While he had spent some time thinking of different celebrations for a sack or turnover, his Spider-Man leap as he mimicked webs shooting from his hands came on the fly. That celebration has quickly become a staple for Gordon in his second NFL season.

While Gordon broke his hand in the season opener, causing him to miss the next four games, he returned to action on Oct. 16 for the Bears' Week 6 matchup versus Minnesota. By the following week, Gordon returned to his superhuman form.

Running out of the tunnel before the Bears' Week 7 win against the Raiders, Gordon reminded everyone of his Spidey-like moves by executing an acrobatic flip and landing in the iconic Spider-Man pose.

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Ahead of Halloween, Gordon sat down with team reporter Lauren Screeden on "Sippin' with Screeden" to discuss Spider-Man. The nickel back discussed how he's embodied the nickname and his plans to sport an entire costume for the holiday.

For the Bears' Sunday night matchup against the Chargers on Oct. 29, Gordon followed through on that plan, donning a Spider-Man costume to celebrate Halloween.

He also wore the mask and custom Spider-Man cleats during pregame warmups in Los Angeles.

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Following the Chargers game, cornerbacks coach Jon Hoke reiterated the value and rarity of Gordon's athleticism, telling reporters on Nov. 2, "he's so athletic in there. Even at times I'm like, 'Wow.' You know what a good athlete he is. When you get to see that it's pretty impressive."

Ahead of the Bears' Thursday Night game against Carolina on Nov. 9, Gordon checked into Soldier Field as Spider-Man. He proceeded to fly around the field, collecting eight tackles, two tackles-for-loss and a pass defensed, helping the Bears to a 16-13 primetime victory.

Gordon then sat down with Bears Jeff Joniak for Player Profile on Nov. 27 and discussed the flip he performed back in Week 7. Gordon told Joniak that he has "done that flip before, but never really landed in the Spider-Man pose."

Spidey has also spread his positive energy to the Chicagoland community this season. On Dec. 5, Gordon visited a local children's hospital as part of the Bears Hugs program.

In celebration of the NFL's annual My Cause My Cleats initiative, Gordon sported custom Spidey-inspired cleats to represent the Les Turner ALS Foundation. Along with wearing the cleats during warmups on Dec. 10, Gordon also wore Spider-Man gloves.

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Gordon continues to be a staple in an ascending Bears defense during his sophomore season with the club and is enjoying the embodiment of his Kyler-Man nickname, making sure to showcase those signature moves each week.

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