Imagine what a campus would be like after thousands of football fans stopped by to watch the Bears practice each summer over 18 years. And while the town is predominately Packer fans, the Bears showed their appreciation by donating $250,000 for a computer lab and its equipment to the University of Wisconsin Platteville.
"A lot of people come up and say oh you go to Platteville? That's where the Bears (trained). I take some pride in knowing that they took some ground in Wisconsin." The antics of Payton and his teammates on the Bears of the 1980s will forever live in Bears training camp lore. Friday, the Bears will end their 18th and final training camp in the southwestern Wisconsin college town where they went to build a Super Bowl team and have stayed through the lean years of the 1990s.
"I'll always remember Platteville for being a little cow town with all the cornfields and the 100-degree weather," said Dave Duerson, a Pro Bowl safety on the '85 Bears. "But by the time my career was over with the Bears (1989), Platteville had become a small community with a bunch of hotels sitting where cornfields used to be. I'll remember the thousands of people showing up to watch us practice." The crowds aren't as big anymore, and the pranks not as common. But Platteville will always have a special place in Bears history.