The first person to trudge through the glass doors and walk down the Bears’ glitzy orange carpet Friday night clutched a stogie in his left hand.
He walked with purpose, though maybe a bit slower than before. He wore a gold jacket, one of a staggering six men to tout their Pro Football Hall of Fame status at opening night of the Bears 100 Celebration Weekend.
The franchise embarking on its 100th season never found someone to inherit the all-encompassing aura of George S. Halas. What team could? But the first man down the orange carpet comes pretty close — as a Hall of Fame player and the coach of the Bears’ only Super Bowl team.