Mark Bortz was born in Pardeeville, Wisconsin, and played football at Pardeeville High School.  He attended the University of Iowa. At Iowa, Bortz played defensive tackle for legendary coach Hayden Fry.  He was drafted by the Bears in 1983 and played offensive guard from 1983-1994. The Bears snagged three offensive lineman in the draft that year: Bortz, Guard Tom Thayer, and Tackle Jim Covert.   Head Coach Mike Ditka switched Bortz over to offensive guard for the Bears. Offensive linemen were often thought to be anonymous–stats don’t adequately reflect their play and little credit was given them. But more and more, their play is seen as imperative  as teams continue to beef up the pressure put on quarterbacks.

Bortz was among the 1985 Super Bowl XX Championship Bears.  The 6-foot-6, 282 pound guard was  invited to the Pro Bowl twice.  He was named as one of the Top 100 Bears of All Time.

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Words in ital. are vocabulary words for students (we also use ital. for book titles)–in this post the vocabulary words are for the 8th grade. Have your kids and grandkids read our posts on Chicago Bears Terms at to help them in school. 

PAPA BEAR AND THE CHICAGO BEARS’ WINNING WAYS reviews the exciting story of George Halas and his dynamic role in professional football for those in middle school and older. Author: Patrick McCaskey. Visit Amazon, Great offer today on this great educational and sports resource for middle grades students!