Hampton, Butkus praise Virginia McCaskey on her 100th birthday

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1985 team praises Virginia McCaskey on her birthday originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

On Thursday, Bears principal owner, Virginia McCaskey, turned 100 years old.

She is the eldest child of Bears founder, George Halas, who left the team in her estate when he passed in 1983. This year marks the 100th year of her life and the 40th year of her ownership of the Bears.

To celebrate triple digits, some members of the 1985 Chicago Bears team and one ex-Bears coach shared their stories and compliments of McCaskey.

"In an abstract way, she's been the unofficial queen of the NFL for 100 years maybe," Dan Hampton said. "You think about all the players she has witnessed, playing not only for the Bears but across the league. Look at someone who is a walking, talking NFL greatness, it's Virginia McCaskey.

"You know who is probably so proud of her, looking down. That's right, her dad George Halas."

"Well, I think what she's meant to me is that she had lunches for all the Bear wives," Dick Butkus said. "And it was especially important, the first one, when as a rookie we came in and my wife Helen went to the luncheon.

"She (Virginia) really made an effort to make everybody feel comfortable. Even though we were from Chicago, it was no big deal, but it meant a lot to a lot of other guys. She had that ability to really welcome everybody. She's quite the lady."

"It's not that she doesn't pay attention to the Bears," Butkus continued. "If you know anything about her, she's at those games all the time."

Butkus went on to mention she visited SoFi Stadium to watch a Bears away game. Butkus tried talking to her at the game, but she was too focused on the game to listen to Butkus.

She's adamant about keeping up with the state of the team.

Hampton and Butkus both played on the 1985 Super Bowl-winning Bears. The team was two years into Virginia's ownership of the team and they gave her a welcoming gift via the organization's most recent championship win.

But, it's not just ex-players who had positive sayings about McCaskey to tell. One ex-Bears head coach knows her well too.

"I got to start off by saying, Mrs. McCaskey - God bless, congratulations," Dave Wannstedt said. "Many, many more. Mrs. McCaskey's been the foundation. She's been kind of the cornerstone of this organization. Trust me, you think it's just tough on the head coaches or the players. It's just as difficult on the owners."

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