The Chicago Bears have played an important role in Eli’s history. My dad, Eli Schulman, was 10 years old when George Halas founded the Decatur Staley’s and then brought them to Chicago as the Bears. Over the 86 years since then, we have watched the Bears bring so much excitement to Chicago.
George Halas was a regular customer of Eli’s and a dear friend to Eli’s. Ed McCaskey, the Chairman of the Bears and the husband of Virginia McCaskey, was a regular lunch guest at Eli’s and would regale Eli, Howard Bedno, Steve Neal and other guests with his stories of service in World War II and his singing career during the big band era. When George Halas Jr. tragically died in 1979, Eli closed Eli’s the Place for Steak for the night to host a private dinner for all of the owners in the NFL.
Through Ed McCaskey, Eli befriended a young Bears Running Back by the name of Brian Piccolo. These were very exciting time for the Bears as the combination of Gale Sayers and Piccolo were on and off the football field. It was Eli and Ed McCaskey that made a special trip to New York to Sloan- Kettering to bring cheer to Brian Piccolo during his valliant fight against lung cancer.
Over all these years, Eli was busy every Sunday delivering corn beef sandwiches to the famed radio broadcasting team of Jack Brickhouse and Irv Kupcinet. From 1953 until 1976, Brick and Kup were the voice of the Bears and Eli hand cut and hand delivered the sandwiches to the game.
With all these ties, it is no coincidence that one of the most famous events for Eli’s Cheesecake came in January of 1986 when the Bears went to New Orleans to play the New England Patriots. Then Mayor Harold Washington went on national television to announce the Chicago delicacies that he brought to New Orleans, first and foremost, Eli’s Cheesecake.
We congratulate the Bears Team of 2006-2007 for their 13-3 regular season and win on Sunday over the Seattle Seahawks with a score of 27 to 24. This was the Bears first playoff victory since 1994 and sets up a great game this Sunday against the New Orleans Saints for the NFC Championship.
It was only a few months ago that we celebrated the first snow ball throw of the season with Rex Grossman and Starbucks. Well, Rex proved his football throwing ability on Sunday with 282 yard in the air including the clutch 30 yard pass to Rashied Davis in overtime that set up Robbie Gould’s 49 yard field goal for the win.
Chicago and Eli’s will be Bear Crazy this week!
A great day of celebration for the Bears and Chicago!