As he was being shown the door in Chicago, former Bears wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad told Sports Illustrated this is the city "where receivers go to die."
This was meant as reference to the lack of great quarterbacks, receivers and passing attacks in Bears history, as well as Muhammad's frustration with his contract situation.
Take it for what it's worth, considering Muhammad also told Carolina reporters after making some catches in a 50-9 season-ending loss to the Raiders: "Amid all the ashes and rubble, a flower bloomed today."
There have been great receivers in Chicago and a few of them make this top 100. Dick Gordon, Willie Gault and Marty Booker belong on any list, considering their output and impact.
Gordon and Booker, especially, bloomed when there was rubble everywhere.
No. 80 Wide receiver Willie Gault
The home run threat for the 1985 champions, he was a member of the 1980 Olympic track team that didn't get to compete due to the boycott against the Soviet bloc. Gault made 27 Bears touchdown receptions and 184 overall catches for 3,650 yards. He also returned kicks and made a key TD return to ignite a rally against the Redskins during the Bears' run to their Super Bowl title. Gault was such a good athlete he set world age group records for the 100 (10.88 seconds) and 200 (22.44) dashes in his 50s and has dabbled as a television actor.
No. 79 Tackle Keith Van Horne
Right tackle Keith Van Horne spanned the eras of three Bears coaches and was a mainstay for the Super Bowl champs. "Horn" was one of the larger linemen in the league at that time at 6-foot-6, 281 and was at his best as a run blocker for Walter Payton. He started from 1981-92 and a few games in 1993.
No. 78 Wide receiver Marty Booker
Really the first modern Bears workhorse receiver. He had 100 catches in 2001, which is tied for second most in team history. He had 97 in 2002 when he made the Pro Bowl. Booker's 329 lifetime receptions is tied for second among Bears wide receivers with Curtis Conway and trails only Johnny Morris. He owns the Bears record for receptions in consecutive games at 60.
No. 77 Center George Trafton
Was the first center for the Decatur Staleys and remained a Bear from that first season of 1920 right up through 1932. He blocked for Red Grange and was best known for becoming the first center to use one hand when he snapped. He's a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
No. 76 Wide receiver Dick Gordon
One of the reasons the 1965 draft is considered possibly the best ever for the Bears, Gordon came in with Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers. He led the NFL in receptions in 1970 with 71, a great accomplishment considering he was working with Jack Concannon, Bobby Douglass and Kent Nix for quarterbacks. Gordon made two Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro once. He's third in career touchdown receptions for Bears receivers with 35, and shares the single-season record of 13.M
Tomorrow: Nos. 75-71