Because the Bears won eight of their nine NFL titles during their 50 seasons in Wrigley Field, where 22 of the 26 Bears in the Pro Football Hall of Fame played, villains from those days abound.
Don Hutson. The Green Bay receiver was the first of many Packers villains to haunt Wrigley. As a rookie in 1935, Hutson's first reception in the season opener in Green Bay went for an 83-yard touchdown against the Bears in a 7-0 win that ended a Bears' streak of 17 straight regular-season victories. In their first meeting at Wrigley Field a month later, the Packers overcame a 14-3 deficit in the final two and a half minutes when Arnie Herber threw two touchdown passes to Hutson in an improbable 17-14 win. In 1937 at Wrigley, a 78-yard Herber-to-Hutson TD sparked the Packers' 24-14 win. In 1938, Hutson scored again at Wrigley in a 24-17 win by the Packers. In 1942 at Wrigley, Hutson caught 10 passes, his most against the Bears, but the Packers lost 38-7.
Sammy Baugh. The only quarterback to beat the Bears at Wrigley in a championship game. On an icy field in 15-degree weather in front of 15,870 fans on Dec. 12, 1937, Baugh brought his Washington Redskins from behind with two touchdowns in the last nine minutes. He hit Wayne Millner for a 78-yard touchdown and then led an 80-yard drive and found Ed Justice for the game-winning 35-yard score for a 28-21 victory. Baugh faced Sid Luckman and the Bears in three more title games, with the Bears winning two (1943 at Wrigley) and the Redskins one.
Jimmy Conzelman. The coach brought the Chicago Cardinals into Wrigley for regular-season finales in 1947 and 1948. Both times the games were for the Western Division title and the right to play for the NFL championship. The crosstown Cardinals were regular final opponents and usually lost to the Bears, but not these years. The Cardinals won 30-21 and 24-21, making them heroes rather than villains to half the city. The Cards went on to win it all in 1947. In his autobiography, Halas' main tribute to his conquerors was to point out Conzelman played for the Bears in 1920.
Bobby Layne. Believe it or not, at one time the Bears thought they had too many quarterbacks, so Halas chose to keep aging Sid Luckman and young Johnny Lujack over Layne, who became a villain when he threw four touchdown passes in a 41-28 win at Wrigley in 1951. In 1953, Layne led a 20-16 victory at Wrigley as the Lions were on their way to a second consecutive NFL title. On Dec. 16, 1956, the Lions were big favorites against the Bears in the season finale at Wrigley. The Lions were 9-2 and the Bears 8-2-1. The Bears were ahead 3-0 in the second quarter. Layne pitched out and was watching the play when Bears defensive end Ed Meadows blindsided him and knocked him out of the game with a concussion. Meadows claimed he thought Layne still had the ball. The Lions claimed Meadows must have been the only person at Wrigley Field who thought so and deemed him an all-time villain. The Bears won 38-21 to take the Western Conference title. The Lions said the Bears got what they deserved when they were pummeled 47-7 by the New York Giants in the ensuing championship game.
Johnny Unitas. The quarterback was sitting on the Baltimore Colts' bench at Wrigley Field on Oct. 21, 1956, during a 58-27 blowout win by the Bears. Nobody knew much about the rookie until he made his NFL debut by replacing George Shaw and completing 9 of 19 passes for 131 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The rest is history, a lot of it at Wrigley, where Unitas directed comeback wins in 1960 and 1969. The Colts' record against the Bears at Wrigley was 9-7, by far the most successful opponent.
Bart Starr. Started eight games as quarterback for the Packers at Wrigley from 1960-70, winning six times while throwing six touchdown passes against only two interceptions. The Packers won five NFL titles over the span. The string was briefly interrupted by the Bears during the 1963 season, when they beat the Packers 26-7 at Wrigley on their way to the title game. Oh, yes, Starr was injured and did not play that game.
Jim Taylor. The fullback was one of Starr's main accomplices over the period, averaging 80 yards rushing and scoring seven touchdowns in seven games at Wrigley. On Nov. 4, 1962, Taylor ran for 124 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-7 win at Wrigley. It's still the record number of touchdowns for an opposing rusher.
Y.A. Tittle. When the 1963 Bears intercepted five passes by the New York Giants quarterback in the title game, it wasn't Tittle's first appearance as a Wrigley villain. He had led the Giants to a 26-24 regular-season win at Wrigley during the 1962 season. He also was quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers from 1951-60. The 49ers beat the Bears at Wrigley in 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955 and 1957.
Kermit Alexander. He didn't mean to do it. The tackle by the San Francisco 49ers cornerback on Gale Sayers on Nov. 11, 1968, was clean and never precipitated the kind of animosity Detroit Lions fans heaped on Ed Meadows. Nevertheless, Sayers suffered ruptured cartilage and two torn ligaments and never was the same. After surgery, he played only 18 more games over three seasons and never had a run more than 28 yards.
Don Horn. Became the most unlikely Wrigley villain on Dec. 15, 1968, when the Packers' third-string quarterback replaced backup Zeke Bratkowski in the first quarter. Bart Starr was out with a rib injury. It was the season finale and the Bears needed a win to clinch the Central Division title. Horn completed 10 of 16 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown and Ray Nitschke intercepted Jack Concannon at the 35-yard line with 1:07 left to ruin coach Jim Dooley's hard-luck initial season in a 28-27 defeat, Horn's only appearance of the season.