Bears owner Virginia McCaskey celebrating her 100th birthday

Bears owner and matriarch Virginia Halas McCaskey is celebrating her 100th birthday. Born on Jan. 5, 1923, McCaskey is just three years younger than the NFL.

For McCaskey, she’s a huge part of the history of the NFL. Her father, George Halas, founded the league and the Bears, and she had a front-row seat to it all. From the Red Grange traveling tour to the 1985 Bears to the NFL’s 100th anniversary, McCaskey’s life has been football. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Following her father’s death in 1983, McCaskey took over as principal owner of the Bears, a role she’s served in for the last 40 years.

On Wednesday, Bears coach Matt Eberflus recalled the first conversation he had with McCaskey when he was hired as the franchise’s 18th head coach.

“She said, ‘Matt, you know I’ll be your biggest fan,’ ” Eberflus said. “(She is) always encouraging, always upbeat, always thoughtful. It’s been a joy to get to know her this last year.”

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It’s been one heck of a brutal season to celebrate her 100th birthday, given the Bears have lost a franchise-record nine straight games (which could become 10 on Sunday).

But the future is certainly bright for this franchise, given they’ve found their quarterback in Justin Fields and with the Arlington Heights stadium project.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire