Plainfield native pens Chicago Bears book
Roy Taylor remembers when it started. His love-some might say obsession-of the Chicago Bears took root early in Taylor¹s life, when his father, Jerry Taylor, took him to Soldier Field in 1979.
“My dad took me to my first game when I was 8 years old,” said Taylor, who grew up in Plainfield. That¹s when I got hooked. The youngster soon became interested in the history of the team that so captured his imagination. That fascination would carry into adulthood, as Taylor created a Web site dedicated to the Bears.
“It all started with a hobby I had,” said Taylor, a technical account manager at Thompson Corporation in Lisle., launched in 2001, soon caught the eye of a publisher.
About a year ago, this publisher sent me an e-mail, said Taylor. Arcadia Publishing asked him to parlay his Bears expertise into a book. “It was really a dream to me,” said Taylor. Chicago Bears History, outlining 85 years of team lore, was released in August.
Taylor collected firsthand accounts from fans, coaches and former players including Doug Buffone, Ed Sprinkle and Ronnie Bull. Taylor said his book is the first complete Bears history written since 1979.
”I feel as a Bears fan, the millions of other Bears fans out there find this interesting,” he said of the book, which chronicles the rise of the Bears and the stories of greats Bronko Nagurski, Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Brian Piccolo and Walter Payton.
A section of Chicago Bears History deals with an era that holds a special place in Taylor¹s heart. “I miss the Honey Bears,” Taylor said, referring to the team¹s official cheerleaders. New team owners did away with the cheerleaders in 1985, but many fans remember them fondly.
“I really wanted to talk to the lady who founded the Honey Bears,” said Taylor. Ninety-five percent of NFL teams have (cheerleaders), but the Bears don’t.
Taylor honed his writing skills during a summer interning at The Enterprise.
“I’m realizing that my dream job would be in sports journalism,” he said. “In high school, I never would have imagined that I would write a book,” said Taylor, who credits his Plainfield High School English teachers with pushing him to become a better writer. ”(They) challenged me to become a better student,” said Taylor, referring to PHS teachers Mike Reed, Betty Ellis and Helen Valerugo.
Taylor also said a course in Web design-and his loving family-made the book possible. I’m fortunate that I have a wonderful wife who understands that I have these hobbies, he said.
The son of former Plainfield residents Jerry and Ann Taylor, the younger Taylor also acknowledged his mom¹s contribution to his writing career. ”I should thank my mother for almost annoyingly correcting my sister’s and my grammar,” he joked.
Currently, Taylor is pursuing a degree in technology and pondering a second book. “Now, the best thing about it is I can go out there and say I have this first book published,” he said.
But first things first.
I need to finish school and get to know my family again, said Taylor. ”Chicago Bears History” sells for $19.99 at most major retailers, including Borders and Barnes and Noble.
The book is also available at © 2000-2016 Roy Taylor