ROSEMONT, Ill. – At the start of their panel discussion Saturday at the Bears100 Celebration, Jim McMahon presented Mitchell Trubisky with a headband and a pair of sunglasses.
It was a symbolic passing of the torch from one Bears Pro Bowl quarterback to another that delighted the fans in attendance at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.
“I had no idea he was going to do that,” said Trubisky, who wore the punky QB’s signature headband and sunglasses for the rest of the hourlong session. “That was awesome. I’ve learned a lot over the last couple days just talking to him, learning about him and his teammates. It’s been really cool. He was the last Bears quarterback to win a Super Bowl and obviously that’s what I aspire to do.”
During his panel with McMahon, Trubisky told a story about a pre-draft dinner he had with general manager Ryan Pace in North Carolina in 2017. The Bears wanted to keep their interest in Trubisky a secret, so the quarterback made the restaurant reservation under the name “James McMahon” to honor the Super Bowl XX champion.
“He really did in a way help bring me to Chicago,” Trubisky said of McMahon. “I think Ryan Pace and the staff really liked that. It was like it was meant to be. I’m right where I’m supposed to be. It really feels like that.”
The Bears are commemorating their 100th season by celebrating their illustrious history as well as their promising future this weekend in Rosemont. The entire 2019 team is on hand for the festivities along with about 130 alumni.
Before Friday night’s electric opening ceremonies, players from the last six decades of Bears football mingled in a private ballroom.
“It’s very unique,” Trubisky said. “Just being on the present Bears, it’s a special privilege to be able to interact with some of the guys and having everyone come back and just feeling that tradition. It really is a Bears family.”
Trubisky has enjoyed getting to know McMahon, who compiled a 46-15 record as a starter during seven seasons with the Bears from 1982-88.
“There are certain traits you’ve got to have to be able to play quarterback in the city of Chicago and have success doing it,” Trubisky said. “He knew how to win games. They had great teams. He’s a hilarious dude. Everyone knows his personality. He’s awesome.”
One highlight for Trubisky this weekend has been hearing former players discuss “how much love they have for the city of Chicago and even more so for each other and how those relationships go beyond the game of football and last a lifetime.”
Several alumni have told Trubisky how thrilled they were to see the Bears go from worst-to-first and win the NFC North with a 12-4 record last season.
“I think the coolest thing is they’re watching us,” Trubisky said. “Guys who we looked up to and who we idolized and wanted to be just like, they’re excited for us and they’re proud of what we accomplished last year.
"That just motivates us even more to want to go out there and win games. You want to play for more than yourself—this great organization and the players that came before you. So we’ve got to just continue to work hard, play tough football and leave it all on the line. “
Check out exclusive photos from the opening night of the Bears100 Celebration Weekend including Orange Carpet and backstage photos with former and current Bears players.