Link Lyman was one of the very first professional football players of note. Lyman was born in Table Rock, Nebraska. His large family moved to northwest Kansas where they farmed. At his high school in McDonald, Kansas, there was not enough students to have a football team. When Lyman attended the University of Nebraska, he had his first opportunity to play football. At Nebraska, Lyman played with another big-time athlete, Guy Chamberlin. Lyman was an excellent tackle and played for the Canton Bulldogs, the Cleveland Bulldogs, and the Frankfort Yellow Jackets before he joined the Chicago Bears in 1926. He played in Chicago from 1926-1934 except for 1929 and 1932. Lyman was a load at 6-foot-2 and 233 pounds, a big man for those days. He exemplified the tough rural athletes of the day. Lyman played for Guy Chamberlin-coached Championship teams, the Canton Bulldogs of 1922 and 1923, and the Cleveland Bulldogs of 1924. He played for the George Halas-coached Champion Chicago Bears of 1933. When Lyman came to the Bears, he took part in the highly-successful barnstorming tour that featured Red Grange in 1925-1926 that added needed dollars into team coffers. Lineman might have been overlooked by fans for many years, but Halas always knew how important they were to the success of the team. For Halas, Lyman was a great tackle and one of the Bears Hall of Famers. Opponents did not like to grapple with Lyman. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964, the second HOF Class. Lyman contributions to the Bears also earned him a position on the 100 Top Bears of All-Time selected by sportswriters, Don Pierson and Dan Pompei, for the Bears’ centennial anniversary.
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