Before they were the Monsters of the Midway, Chicago’s pro team were known as the Decatur Staleys.
That’s right. In 1919, the Bears professional football team was founded and their name was the Decatur Staleys after A.E Staley, the owner of a manufacturing company.
After successful, winning seasons, the Staleys and the sport of football became immensely popular. But, Staley had another business to attend to in corn processing. Plus, the town of Decatur couldn’t possibly hold the potential this team had in terms of profitability.
Staley went to George Halas with a proposition to take over the team and they struck a deal in October 1921 for the Staleys to move to Chicago and play at Wrigley Field.
After the team’s first season at Wrigley, the team knew they needed to change their name. They decided to call themselves the Bears because they made the analogy that football players were larger than baseball players; hence, Bears are larger than Cubs.