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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