Photo of a group of rowdy Chicago Bears fans.

Image Credit: Discosour/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The term “Bear Down” can be heard all throughout the day at Soldier Field during Chicago Bears home games. If you’re active on social media during football season, you’ll also see the term frequently hash-tagged by Chicago Bears fans. But what does "Bear Down" really mean?

The term “Bear Down” refers to the Chicago Bears fight song which is played after every touchdown the team scores. The fight song was written and composed by Jerry Downs (real name Al Hoffman) in 1941. The inspiration for the song came following the Chicago Bears’ 1940 championship season when they defeated the Washington Redskins by a score of 73-0. The Chicago Bears won four league championships during the 1940’s, many years before the Super Bowl was first introduced in 1967, of course.


The lyrics to ‘Bear Down’ are as follows.


“Bear down, Chicago Bears, make every play clear the way to victory.

Bear down, Chicago Bears, put up a fight with a might so fearlessly.

We’ll never forget the way you thrilled the nation with your T-formation.

Bear down, Chicago Bears, and let them know why you’re wearing the crown.

You’re the pride and joy of Illinois, Chicago Bears, bear down.”


Al Hoffman had no connections to the Chicago Bears or the city and settled in Seattle, Washington upon immigrating to the United States. The version of “Bear Down” you will hear during Chicago Bears home games today was recorded in 1993 by Bill Archer and the Big Bear Band. The term “Bear Down” is also used by the University of Arizona and their athletic teams. “Bear Down, Arizona” is the school’s unofficial fight song.

An interesting side note; the Chicago Bears received their nickname by owner George S. Halas after sharing Wrigley Field with the Chicago Cubs when they were the Chicago Staleys. Since football players are larger than baseball players, George Halas thought the nickname “Bears” was an excellent fit. The team's colors were chosen to match the colors of the University of Illinois. Make no mistake about it; the Chicago Bears and Soldier Field are two of the most historic entities in the National Football League.




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