Robbie Gould

Robbie Gould has nothing but fond feelings for Chicago: 'Once a Bear, always a Bear'

Robbie Gould has nothing but fond feelings for Chicago: 'Once a Bear, always a Bear'

MIAMI — Robbie Gould hasn’t played for the Bears since 2016, but his love for the team that he spent over a decade kicking for hasn’t faded one bit. Now playing in his second Super Bowl, Gould still holds his time in the Windy City in the highest regards.

“This is a very special year for me,” Gould said. “I love the city of Chicago. I always will. That love I have for the city and the Bears organization will never go away. I said it when I got cut: Once a Bear, always a Bear. I truly mean that.”

Gould left the Bears as the team’s all-time leader in career points (1,207), field goals made (276), and career field goals of at least 50 yards (23). He’s still beloved by the people of Chicago, and more recently won NBC Sports Chicago’s “Chicago Football Madness” contest last offseason, beating all-time greats along the way. 

“I played 11 years there, I’m the all-time leading scorer," he said. "I think I have most of the field goal records there. You know, there’s a spot in my heart that my kids will learn Bear Down and all that when the time’s right.” 

Talking with the media on Monday night, the kicker briefly touched on the Bears’ current kicking situation. Gould kept an eye on the situation as the Bears went through a well-publicized debacle that eventually led to Eddy Pineiro, and had empathy for the first year kicker who faced many of the same ups and downs that Gould did. 

“Yeah I thought he did a great job,” he said. “I thought he came in and played very well. Obviously he played through an injury, and if you take away the Los Angeles Rams’ game, he had a very solid season.” 

This Sunday, Gould will attempt to bring a second Lombardi Trophy home to the family. His brother Chris coaches for the Denver Broncos, and won a Super Bowl with the team in 2016. 

“I was telling the young guys, I went [to a Super Bowl] in my first full year with the Bears,” he said. “And all I remember was ‘oh, this is nothing. I’ll be back.’ And now 13 years later, I’m back in the Super Bowl. You never know when you’re going to do it, you never know how it’s going to happen, you never know when it’s going to happen.” 

“I don’t believe you can chase a Super Bowl. I don’t think you can go team to team to try and win it.” 

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Bears All-Decade Team: Robbie Gould and Pat O'Donnell

Bears All-Decade Team: Robbie Gould and Pat O'Donnell

The Chicago Bears wrapped up their 100th season of football in disappointing fashion, but the 2010s provided Bears fans with some fun moments and personalities to cheer for.

In this multi-part series, we'll name our Bears All-Decade Team.

We've already covered linebackersdefensive linemenedge defenderscornerbackssafeties , wide receiversquarterbackrunning backsoffensive linetight endskick returner, head coach and special teams ace. Next up: Kicker and punter.

Kicker: Robbie Gould

Bears fans were left asking 'what if' after Cody Parkey's double-doink in the 2018 NFC wild-card round. What if Gould was still the kicker? What if GM Ryan Pace decided to keep him around for a few more seasons instead of cutting him loose and jump-starting what would be (and may still be) an unbearable search for his replacement?

Replacing Gould was never going to be an easy task. He connected on over 85% of his kicks for the Bears and was nearly automatic in 2013 when he hit on 89.7% of his attempts.

Gould is unquestionably the greatest kicker in franchise history whose shadow continues to loom large over Soldier Field.

Punter: Pat O'Donnell

O'Donnell is an overlooked and underappreciated player on the roster. His name rarely comes up as a key factor on special teams, and that's a good thing. The less a punter's name is mentioned, the more likely he's getting the job done on a consistent basis.

O'Donnell's averaged just under 45 yards per punt during his tenure with the Bears. Great numbers? No. But have they been good enough to eliminate punter as a yearly need for GM Ryan Pace to address? Yes. Consider that a win.

Guess which highly-paid NFL kicker is only making 58% of his field goals?

USA Today

Guess which highly-paid NFL kicker is only making 58% of his field goals?

Remember that time when the Bears tried out like 47 kickers and put them through a wide variety of arbitrary tests all while fan favorite Robbie Gould was using the team's desperation as leverage to become the NFL's highest-paid kicker? Classic! 

It's been like three months since those totally-sane summer days, and reader, things have not gone so hot for Gould: 

Meanwhile, Eddy P is not only 8/9 on the season, but is already well on his way to becoming a fan favorite. We're already calling him Eddy P! After 5 games! 

That said, we won't truly know if the Bears made the right decision until Piñeiro beats out several Hall of Famers -- including someone credited for literally starting the NFL -- on the path to winning an offseason bracket-style fan vote.