|No. 61, 57|
|Born:||August 16, 1961|
Joliet, Illinois, U.S.
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||261 lb (118 kg)|
|High school:||Joliet Catholic|
|NFL Draft:||1983 / Round: 4 / Pick: 91|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com|
Thomas Allen Thayer (born August 16, 1961) is an American former professional football player who was a guard in the National Football League (NFL) and United States Football League (USFL). He played in the NFL for the Chicago Bears and the Miami Dolphins, and won a Super Bowl as a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears. Prior to his NFL career, Thayer played in the USFL for the Chicago Blitz, Arizona Wranglers and the Arizona Outlaws from 1983 to 1985. He is currently the color commentator on WMVP for Chicago Bears broadcasts.
The youngest of five children, Thayer was born and raised in Joliet, Illinois. Thayer's father, Allen, was a lineman for Com Ed for 43 years before retiring. In addition to their own children, Thayer's parents adopted the three children of a neighbor after their parents were killed in a plane crash.Thayer graduated from the Cathedral of Saint Raymond grade school in May 1975. He then attended Joliet Catholic High School and graduated in 1979. Thayer helped the Joliet Catholic "Hilltoppers" to win consecutive Class 4A IHSA football championships in 1977 and 1978 as a junior and senior. The Hilltoppers went an undefeated 13–0 in both seasons outscoring their opponents 224–24 in eight playoff games, including 106–0 in the 1978 playoffs. Gordie Gillespie, the head coach at Joliet Catholic at the time, has referred to Thayer as "one of the five best players I ever coached, and he was the best lineman".
After graduating from Joliet Catholic, Thayer went to University of Notre Dame and was a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team for four years, first under head coach Dan Devine and then under Gerry Faust. Thayer was a member of the 1980 Fighting Irish team that was ranked number one in both the Coaches' Poll and AP Pollafter going undefeated after seven games, but finished with only two wins out of their last five games, including a loss to the eventual National Champion Georgia Bulldogs in the 1981 Sugar Bowl, to finish the season ranked ninth and tenth respectively in the AP and College Coaches' polls. Thayer was named an honorable All-American while at Notre Dame and graduated with a degree in media communications in 1983.
Thayer was drafted by the Chicago Bears with the team's 91st pick in round four of the 1983 NFL draft in April 1983.Thayer, however, was also one of the twenty-five players selected by the USFL's Chicago Blitz as part of the new league's 1983 Territorial Draft, which was held in January 1983, and the Bears were unaware that Thayer had already agreed to a contract with the Blitz to play under head coach George Allen just hours before. According to Thayer, "They [the Bears] had told me before that I had been their fourth-round choice in a mock draft, but the Blitz was giving me first-round money, and it was guaranteed".
Thayer played in the USFL from 1983 to 1985 for the Blitz, the Arizona Wranglers, and the Arizona Outlaws.He even made it as far as the 1984 USFL Championship Game as a member of the Wranglers, but the team was defeated 23–3 by the Philadelphia Stars. Thayer then signed with the Bears for the 1985 season, joining a team, which also included fellow 1983 draft class members Jimbo Covert, Willie Gault, Mike Richardson, Dave Duerson, Richard Dent, and Mark Bortz, that would go on to win Super Bowl XX. Thayer played eight seasons for the Bears, and started 130 out of 134 season games before being waived by the team after the start of the 1993 season because of an injury suffered while lifting weights during the previous off-season. Thayer then signed with the Miami Dolphins, but only appeared in three games for the team. Thayer retired from the NFL as a member of the Dolphins in 1993.
During his career with the Bears, Thayer became friends with radio-personalities Steve Dahl and Garry Meier, and would often call in to The Steve and Garry Show to comment on the Bears and other things.He now appears regularly on Dahl's podcast.
After retiring from the NFL, Thayer hosted a radio show with former teammate Keith Van Horne called the "Tom and Keith Show" on "The Loop" from September 1994 to February 1995. He was part of a sports-talk program at WCBR-FM before signing a three-year contract with WMAQ-AM, replacing former teammate Dan Hampton, to work as color commentator alongside Wayne Larrivee and Hub Arkush for Bears' radio broadcasts.
In March 2005, the Bears decided to switch from a three-man to a two-man team for their radio broadcasts with Jeff Joniak as the play-by-play commentator and Thayer as the sole color commentator,and the two have continued to serve as the team's main radio voices ever since.
In addition to Bears' broadcasts, Thayer also appears with Joniak on Bears Gameday Live, hosting a segment called "Thayer's Game Plans", on Sunday mornings and Bears Gamenight Live on Sunday nights. On this show he is known as the Surf Master, due to his love of the Lake Michigan surfing. Both shows air on FOX Chicago and are hosted by Lou Canellis.Thayer also hosts the videocasts Game Preview, with co-host Larry Mayer, Bears Roundtable, with co-hosts Joniak and Mayer, and Thayer's Playbook for Chicagobears.com.
His brother-in-law is ex-Atlanta Falcon John Scully.Thayer currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. He is an avid surfer in the off season on Maui, Hawaii.
On August 30, 2014, Thayer was honored for his accomplishments at Joliet Catholic by being inducted into the Joliet Catholic Academy Hall of Champions along with fellow honorees Gordon Gillespie, Bill Gullickson, Allie Quigley, and Jim Stefanich.
Thayer is also a member of the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago. The Bears compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North Division. The Bears have won nine NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl, and hold the NFL record for the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the most retired jersey numbers. The Bears have also recorded the second-most victories of any NFL franchise, only behind the Green Bay Packers.
The Chicago Blitz was a professional American football team that played in the United States Football League in the mid-1980s. They played at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.
Timothy Arnold Spencer is a former professional American football running back who played in the USFL and NFL from 1983 to 1990.
Joliet Catholic Academy is a coed Catholic high school in Joliet, Illinois. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet. One of the oldest Catholic high schools in the Chicago area, Joliet Catholic is perhaps best known for its prowess in football. Since the advent of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state football playoffs in 1974, JCA has won more state football titles than any other team in the state, with 15 as of 11/26/2021.
Ted Phillips is an American businessman and the former president and CEO of the National Football League's Chicago Bears and was a part of the organization since 1984. He is only the fourth president of the 100-year-old organization, the others being Michael McCaskey, George Halas Jr., and "Papa Bear" George Halas, and the new fifth president Kevin Warren. Phillips is one of only two individuals in the NFL to serve on both the NFL Working Club Executive committee and the NFL Senior Club Executive committee, whose mission is to analyze both the financial and football operations aspects of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Timothy DeShawn Jennings is an American former professional football player who was a cornerback in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Georgia Bulldogs, and was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
Vincent Tobias Evans is a former professional American football quarterback who was selected by the Chicago Bears in the sixth round of the 1977 NFL Draft. Evans played college football at the University of Southern California (USC) and was the MVP of the 1977 Rose Bowl after the Trojans' 14–6 victory over Michigan.
Sports in Chicago include many professional sports teams. Chicago is one of eleven U.S. cities to have teams from the five major American professional team sports. Chicago has been named as the "Best Sports City" by Sporting News three times: 1993, 2006, and 2010.
Danny Marcellus Jiggetts is a retired American football offensive lineman. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 1976 NFL Draft.
The Chicago Catholic League (CCL) is a high school athletic conference based in Chicago, Illinois, United States. All of the schools are part of the Illinois High School Association, the governing body for Illinois scholastic sports. While some of the schools are coeducational institutions, the conference only supports athletics for male teams.
Timothy Gerard Grunhard is an American football coach and former center. A second-round draft choice in the 1990 NFL Draft for the Kansas City Chiefs, Grunhard went on to play 169 games with Kansas City, the fourth most ever by a Chiefs offensive lineman.
David Kris Haines is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins, the Chicago Bears, and the Buffalo Bills. He played college football at the University of Notre Dame and was drafted in the ninth round of the 1979 NFL Draft. He also played for the Chicago Blitz of the United States Football League (USFL) in 1984. He was special teams coach of the Chicago Enforcers of the XFL.
The Shepherd Rams are the athletic teams that represent Shepherd University, located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, in Division II intercollegiate sports of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The Rams compete as members of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) for all 15 varsity sports since the 2019–20 academic year. They previously competed in the Mountain East Conference (MEC) from 2013–14 to 2018–19, and before that, the now-defunct West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) from 1924–25 to 2012–13.
Perry Edmond Hartnett is a former American football guard. He played college football for the SMU Mustangs and later had stints in the National Football League (NFL) and United States Football League (USFL). He was a member of the Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers in the NFL, while being with the Chicago Blitz and Baltimore Stars in the USFL. Hartnett played 12 NFL games, five as a starter, in addition to 16 USFL games in his career.
George Leo Connor was an American football player for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) from 1948 to 1955. He played offensive tackle on offense, and on defense was recognized as one of the sport's first linebackers. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and of the College Football Hall of Fame. He attended both the College of the Holy Cross and the University of Notre Dame. He won the first Outland Trophy as the best college lineman in 1946. Sportswriter Grantland Rice once observed Connor was "the closest thing to a Greek God since Apollo".
Jerry Vainisi was an American football executive and businessman. He served as the general manager and executive vice president of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL) when they won Super Bowl XX. He also worked for the NFL's Detroit Lions, the World League of American Football, and in private business.
The 1954 Big Ten Conference football season was the 59th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference and was a part of the 1954 college football season.
The 1963 Big Ten Conference football season was the 68th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference and was a part of the 1963 NCAA University Division football season.
Chase Claypool is a Canadian American football wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Notre Dame and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He also played for the Chicago Bears.
Cole Kmet is an American football tight end for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Notre Dame, and was drafted by the Bears in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.