Bears were a bit above .500 from 65-68 before the bottom fell out with a 1-13 team in 69. By then, the knee injuries had affected both Sayers and Butkus. Sayers’ career was effectively over, while Butkus soldiered on on some bad teams until 1973.
Members of my family who watched the Bears in the 1940s talked about how great the Bears were back then.
And then when the ‘60s came around... they couldn’t believe it was the same franchise. Pride and Bears utter dominance had been replaced by mediocrity and thinking about past glory. And those fans from the ‘40s were NOT happy.
With the exciting brand of ball that was being played in the AFL in the Sixties... and new powers coming along in the NFL... the Bears got left behind. And they are still trying to catch up all these years later.
It became way more fun in Chicago to watch the Jets and the Chiefs and the Raiders in the ‘60s. Chicago used to get most Chiefs games... and the Chiefs were really good back then (they’re better today, but that’s a different era).