Great Games in Bears History

The Chicago Bears might be more appropriately called the Champaign-Urbana Bears last season. But that wasn't the first time the Bears have called a Big Ten college town their home.

Back in 1970, for one Sunday at least, the Bears could have been known as the Evanston Bears, when they played their second game of the season at Northwestern University's Dyche Stadium against the Philadelphia Eagles on a cloudless autumn day.

For years, the Bears had to play their first three games of the NFL season on the road, as Wrigley Field's primary tenants, the Chicago Cubs, completed their baseball season. In an effort to squeeze in an early season "home" game, the Bears rented Dyche Stadium for an afternoon, and their gamble paid off with a 20-16 victory in front of 53,463 fans.

The game was hanging in the balance late in the fourth quarter, as Eagles' veteran QB Norm Snead marched his team to the Bears' 18-yard line. That's when a middle linebacker named Dick Butkus went to work. On second down he blitzed and corralled Snead for a nine-yard sack, spinning him in the air as he tackled him.

Then, on the next play, Butkus once again shot the gap and threw Snead to the ground for a 10-yard sack on third down, squelching the Eagles' drive. A frustrated Snead sat on his knees and slammed the pigskin into the turf, as No. 51 snarled in his direction and limped back to the huddle.

Along with Butkus, hungry defenders Ed O'Bradovich, George Seals, Willie Holman, Doug Buffone, Bennie McRae, Bill Staley and Joe Taylor did what was necessary all afternoon to ensure the victory.

The game started off on the right feet for the hometown Bears, as Cecil Turner took the opening kickoff 96 yards to pay dirt, his second kickoff return for a touchdown in two games. He was escorted the last 30 yards into the end zone by Ron "The Gingerbread Man" Smith, the team's other kick returner.

Along with special teams (kicker Mac Percival booted two field goals), it was defense that won this game. With Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers resting a sore knee, the Bears could only muster 37 rushing yards. Their longest run from scrimmage was a seven-yard run by Craig Baynham. Running back Ronnie Bull was an offensive highlight, completing two options passes for 46 yards, including a 12-yard scoring toss to Dick Gordon.


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