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PapaBear.OR
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Ginny
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I've been a long time supporter of Bears ownership, and defended Virginia and her family on multiple message boards over the years debating against the perception that the "McCaskey's are cheap", McCaskey's don't care", "McCaskey's only care about money", "McCaskey's don't care about winning"........... This year Virginia turned 96 years old and below is a very rare opportunity for fans to look past all that and just listen and reflect, and maybe, just maybe, appreciate the first lady of football.

Bears owner Virginia McCaskey to be part of NFL documentary

The NFL is celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2019. The league is also celebrating four women who have played a strong role in the league. The league premiered a documentary called A Lifetime of Sundays at the Annual Meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday. The documentary features Virginia McCaskey of the Chicago Bears, Martha Firestone Ford of the Detroit Lions, Norma Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs and Patricia Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The film is narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Regina King. The league released an official trailer for the film on Monday:

 

 

For McCaskey, the chance to see another championship in Chicago remains high on her list. Virginia's father, George Halas, is one of the founding fathers of the NFL and helped establish the Bears organization. As Halas was getting older he was expecting his son, George "Mugs" Halas Jr., to take over the organization until he died of a heart attack in December 1979. His passing then meant that Halas' daughter, Virginia, would assume ownership once her father passed away.

Virginia, along with her sons, took over ownership of the Bears when George Halas passed away in 1983. Since Halas' passing, there have been many who have criticized the McCaskey family for not fully understanding the inner workings of the NFL and that's why the team has just one Super Bowl victory in its history. Despite a lack of consistent success in recent years, Virginia is credited for being one of the most influential women in the NFL. When Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson passed away in March 2014, Virginia became the oldest owner in the league.

McCaskey turned 96 years old earlier this year. Her son, George McCaskey, tends to take over much of the media side of ownership for the organization. Despite getting closer and closer to 100 years old, Virginia McCaskey can be spotted at most Bears home games cheering on the team. She was able to see her team get back to the playoffs in 2018 for the first time since 2010. The Bears went 12-4 in Matt Nagy's first year as head coach this past season.

https://247sports.com/nfl/chicago-bears/Article/Virginia-McCaskey-NFL-documentary-130531743/

I really want this team to bring home the Halas one more time while Virginia is still around to enjoy it.  A Lombardi would be nice too.  Things are finally turning around for this team and it's been one hell of a rough run.  It's time we Bears fans at least look back and realize there is much to be proud of and regardless of results on the field, Virgina has always done her best to represent her fathers legacy with class and respect. 

PapaBear.OR
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Virginia McCaskey rarely does interviews, but she sat down to talk about the Bears' 100th season. Listen to the podcast here.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-spt-bears-virginia-mccaskey-100-years-podcast-20190325-story.html

“It’s not so much a matter of pride as it is gratitude,” McCaskey said. “For all of the good things that have happened for the National Football League and for the Chicago Bears in all this time.”

McCaskey, the daughter of George Halas and the principal owner of the Bears, has been alive for 95 of the team’s 99 seasons. She has seen the Bears win nine championships, including Super Bowl XX. She has been around as 28 members of the franchise have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. She has witnessed the league’s evolution and explosion.

On a special edition of the Tribune’s Bear Download podcast, McCaskey shared her perspective on the team’s rich history as the Bears and the NFL begin their 100th anniversary celebration.

She shared what inspires her to celebrate this year (4:23). She describes her father as a coach, leader and innovator from the early days of the NFL through the championship team of 1963 (6:06), including tie-ins to memorable moments and players from those first decades.

McCaskey remembers the 1985 Super Bowl team (15:56); reflects on an exciting present following the team's resurgence last season (20:28), including the arrival of Khalil Mack; and expresses hope for another prosperous 100 years for the league and for her family's stewardship of the Bears (24:10).

Butkus never wore an earring

PapaBear.OR
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Excerpts from an article written for Drexel University....

By Joseph Master

................... long after Virginia and her husband, Edward McCaskey, have raised 11 children; after her father has been recognized as Chicago’s “Papa Bear”; she will be called on to do more than her share in the service of her father’s legacy. She will become the owner of Chicago’s most celebrated sports franchise. To other team owners, she will be known as the First Lady of the NFL. She will call all of it her “sacred duty.”

George Halas died Oct. 31, 1983. His eldest son, George Jr., had long been deemed heir apparent, but had died of a sudden heart attack four years earlier. The future of the franchise hung in the balance.......The very next day, Virginia Halas McCaskey officially assumed ownership of the Chicago Bears.

Mrs. McCaskey relied on her faith and her education to guide her through the loss of her father and the transition of ownership. She was thrust into the role of steward, or as she said in a 2007 interview, the “custodian” of a “tremendous legacy.” She has called it a “wonderful kind of burden.” She sure didn’t court it. But she didn’t push it away either.

“I realized that I was in that position because my dad had enough faith in me to make it possible,” she says. “I think we both knew how much the Bears meant to me.

The press has suggested that Mrs. McCaskey’s handling of the team has been hands-off — that her husband and sons Michael (who served as president from 1983 until 1999 and as Chairman of the Board until 2011) and George (who is the team’s current board chairman) have steered the ship while she remained happy in 
the hull.

“I don’t look to be in the spotlight,” she said in a 1998 Chicago Tribune interview. “I think it’s a man’s world as far as the Chicago Bears are concerned.”

That she has avoided the press has only added grist to the mill. But Mrs. McCaskey has never felt the need to show her hand. Or to insert herself into the conversation. But make no mistake: When Virginia Halas McCaskey speaks, everyone listens.

“Happy in the hull? Are you kidding?” says her son, George. “She’s in the prow. She’s got the night watch. She’s looking for icebergs. With her at the helm, the seas are calmer, the storms less severe. She’s the guiding force behind the Bears, and everybody at Halas Hall — including the players — knows that and appreciates that. That’s why the goal of everybody here is to see her holding the Super Bowl trophy.”

Mrs. McCaskey’s two-fold philosophy is austere yet profound

“I listen to as many people as possible,” she says. “And I pray 
a lot.”

“When I do think about my father’s legacy, it is with gratitude and a great sense of responsibility,” she says. “It was all due to the effort and dedication of my parents that kept them involved in the Chicago Bears when other people were giving up. They persevered and we’re all enjoying the benefits of what they did."

“I still think it’s a man’s world,” she says. “But I like my little part of it.”

https://www.lebow.drexel.edu/news/faith-family-football

It's true what they say for many at least.  You don't know what you got till it's gone.  Bears fans should be damn proud of the job our first lady has done, because she has always done her best, with dignity, unrelenting ethics and respect.

Butkus never wore an earring

Calbrooks
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PapaBear.OR wrote:

Virginia McCaskey rarely does interviews, but she sat down to talk about the Bears' 100th season. Listen to the podcast here.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-spt-bears-virginia-mccaskey-100-years-podcast-20190325-story.html

“It’s not so much a matter of pride as it is gratitude,” McCaskey said. “For all of the good things that have happened for the National Football League and for the Chicago Bears in all this time.”

McCaskey, the daughter of George Halas and the principal owner of the Bears, has been alive for 95 of the team’s 99 seasons. She has seen the Bears win nine championships, including Super Bowl XX. She has been around as 28 members of the franchise have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. She has witnessed the league’s evolution and explosion.

On a special edition of the Tribune’s Bear Download podcast, McCaskey shared her perspective on the team’s rich history as the Bears and the NFL begin their 100th anniversary celebration.

She shared what inspires her to celebrate this year (4:23). She describes her father as a coach, leader and innovator from the early days of the NFL through the championship team of 1963 (6:06), including tie-ins to memorable moments and players from those first decades.

McCaskey remembers the 1985 Super Bowl team (15:56); reflects on an exciting present following the team's resurgence last season (20:28), including the arrival of Khalil Mack; and expresses hope for another prosperous 100 years for the league and for her family's stewardship of the Bears (24:10).

If you haven't had a chance to listen to the interview, you should. There was nothing groundbreaking said, but I enjoyed hearing her thoughts and perspective.

Train like you are 2nd, but play like you are 1st.

PapaBear.OR
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One thing I have always been proud of is the level of class and respect Virginia has represented consistently throughout the years.  While her peers may have racked up some trophy's they many times come with some baggage.  There are few Franchises that have owners who truely lead by example for their fans, staff, and players.

Just to draw a comparison and put it into perspective, here is a "very short" sampling of the types of unethical and/or illegal not to mention embarressing behavior Virginia's peers have engaged in over just the last few years:

• In 2013, a judge in New Jersey ruled Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and family members had committed civil fraud against their business partners and violated civil racketeering laws, resulting in a judgment against them of $103 million. That amount was reduced on appeal last year to $32 million. The Wilfs’ attorney, Peter Harvey, told USA TODAY Sports that the appellate court vacated punitive damages and sent the case back to trial court and a new judge.

• In 2014, the NFL issued a six-game suspension to Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay after he pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated.

• Last year, the NFL fined Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson $2.75 million after an investigation substantiated claims that he sexually harassed employees. He ended up selling the team.

• The Internal Revenue Service also found Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and then-New York Jets owner Woody Johnson had taken part in separate tax avoidance schemes. A U.S. tax judge in 2017 ruled against Ross and his partners, disallowing a $33 million write-off that the judge determined was worth only $3.4 million. In 2006, Johnson told a Senate subcommittee that his advisers told him that his transaction was legal. He said he settled with the IRS after the IRS made an offer to taxpayers in potentially abusive tax shelters that their penalties would be waived if they disclosed their involvement and paid up. Johnson said he didn’t have “any personal knowledge about the particular steps or details of the transaction.”

• Kraft, 77, has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts after authorities in Florida said they caught him on video soliciting sexual services at a spa that was being investigated for suspected human trafficking.

........... Then there are the truely meddling and embarrassiing Jerry Jone's or Georgia Frontiere's, the soap opra Eddie DeBartolo's, the list just goes on and on. 

Say what you want about Virginia, you cannot question the standard she has set for class and dignity.

Butkus never wore an earring

Calbrooks
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*****

It was the Monday before the first game of the 2018 season, and the Bears’ matriarch — she’s technically the secretary of the board of directors, a title that belies her impact on both the franchise and the NFL — had been asked by coach Matt Nagy to address the team.

She was nervous.

McCaskey couldn’t remember the last time she spoke to the entire roster. Former coach Lovie Smith used to have her address the team’s rookie class. She’d give a short speech and then take questions from the players, educating them about the history of the team and the responsibility they held as its newest members.

She spoke a few times when her father, Bears founder George S. Halas, put out an autobiography. But that was a decade before most of the current Bears were born.

It was nothing like this.

Wearing a navy Bears polo shirt, she sat at a table at the front of the room. For a half-hour, she told the story of the franchise that was inextricable from that of her own life.

“I didn’t want to blow the opportunity,” the intensively private McCaskey told the Sun-Times last week in a rare sitdown interview commemorating the team’s upcoming 100th season. “I didn’t want them to think of me as some little old lady that’s just hanging around. And, ‘What’s she really doing here?’

“I wanted to let them know how much I cared about the team, and all of them.”

A little old lady?

“Well,” she said, smiling, “I am.”

******

McCaskey was attending Drexel Institute in Philadelphia when she met Ed McCaskey. The two began dating and together attended the Bears’ 1942 NFL title game against the Redskins in Washington. Ed planned to ask Halas for his daughter’s hand in marriage — until the Bears lost 14-6.

“Early on in my childhood, I realized that if I really wanted something, the best time to ask was after the Bears won a game,” she said. “When we didn’t win? ‘Let’s wait awhile.’ ”

They eloped on Halas’ birthday.

“Well,” she said, “it all worked out.”

She and Ed were married for 60 years and two months when the Bears’ chairman emeritus died in 2003. The McCaskey family kept growing — today, she has 21 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and two great, great-grandchildren.

She has seen all 28 of the Bears’ Pro Football Hall of Famers in person — and has been alive for all but 36 of the Bears’ 1,386 games.

*****

As a girl, McCaskey wasn’t showered with attention simply because of her last name. Short of the occasional perk — she once brought a Grange autographed photo to school to prove the doubting boys in her class that she knew the great running back — McCaskey was raised in a family struggling to get its business up and running.

“When I was growing up, being associated with the Bears didn’t mean anything,” she said. “And I told this to Matt Nagy’s four sons — when my dad was head coach of the Chicago Bears, nobody cared. Now his stories are in the papers almost every day, even in the offseason.

“When our children were growing up, it was with the expectation my brother would be in charge. For most of my life, I enjoyed just going to the games and not having any of the responsibilities.”

When she inherited the Bears, she took on the challenge out of obligation.

*****

Asked whether she gives advice to other powerful women in professional sports, McCaskey tried to downplay her place in league history.

“I try to avoid that because I feel that I’m in this position because I inherited it,” she said. “I didn’t do anything to earn it. I didn’t work for it in any way. It was something that happened to me.”

*****

An hour before kickoff of their rivalry game in December, McCaskey and son Pat made their weekly visit to say hello to opposing brass in their luxury box. With a win against the Packers, the Bears would be guaranteed their first playoff berth in eight years — a period that spanned three general managers and four coaches.

“The Packers people were very gracious,” she said. “They said if they’re not in it, they’ll be rooting for us.

“I’m standing there thinking, ‘They’re nicer than I am.’ ”

Old rivalries don’t die. Neither do the emotions.

McCaskey might not cry after losses as often as she used to, but they still hurt.

“I care very deeply,” she said.

*****

https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports-saturday/2019/5/25/18637676/bears-100-celebration-virginia-mccaskey-history-george-halas

A lot more in the link. All I can think is how amazing it would be to get the chance to spend a day just talking to her. I can't even imagine the amount of history she has first hand knowledge of. The players she has met. She has not been perfect, but she has been faithful to what her dad started. You have to admire that.

Train like you are 2nd, but play like you are 1st.

The Shadow
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Virginia has sure lived a remarkable life. One can only imagine being a part of all that for over 90 years.

Having a lot of tools does not make you a Carpenter.  -Vic Fangio

 

PapaBear.OR
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“The Packers people were very gracious,” she said. “They said if they’re not in it, they’ll be rooting for us.

“I’m standing there thinking, ‘They’re nicer than I am.’ ”

https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports-saturday/2019/5/25/18637676/bears-100-celebration-virginia-mccaskey-history-george-halas

cheeky 

Butkus never wore an earring

The Shadow
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PapaBear.OR wrote:

“The Packers people were very gracious,” she said. “They said if they’re not in it, they’ll be rooting for us.

“I’m standing there thinking, ‘They’re nicer than I am.’ ”

https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports-saturday/2019/5/25/18637676/bears-100-celebration-virginia-mccaskey-history-george-halas

cheeky 

Ginny got Swag!

Having a lot of tools does not make you a Carpenter.  -Vic Fangio

 

PapaBear.OR
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Virginia got emotional when asked what it would mean if the Bears were to win another Super Bowl.  The 96-year old said,

“It would mean that my dad’s faith in me has been justified and it would mean that our fans faith in the Chicago Bears has been justified and that’s…that’s enough for me.”

Butkus never wore an earring

PapaBear.OR
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.......... a great memory of legendary Bears Hall of Famer Bronco Nagurski.

“After retiring, Bronco Nagurski bought his gas station knowing it was a solid investment because when you filled up there and Bronco put your gas cap back on, it wasn’t coming off again until Bronco took it off.”

-Virginia McCaskey

https://www.thereporteronline.com/sports/national/among-all-bears-greats-at-centennial-celebration-virginia-mccaskey-steals/article_71764bdb-d327-5c00-8dc0-604c73951e77.html

I can't get enough of this kind of stuff........

Butkus never wore an earring

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