Origin of NFL Team Names Chicago Bears-When this team became a charter member of the American Professional Football Association (APFA) in 1920, the team was located in Decatur, IL, and was named after team sponsor, the Staley Starch Company. The team moved to Chicago in 1921 and became the Chicago Staleys. In 1922, after team founder-manager and star end George Halas purchased the team, he changed the name to the Bears. Halas reasoned that because football players were generally bigger than base