Chicago's overlooked champions

"That day in Chicago, probably half the city didn't even know we won the championship," Ditka said. "The world didn't stop."

"That was a football team," O'Bradovich said. He paused and bit his lip. "The sad thing is nobody knows about us. We were the forgotten team. I understand. It was what it is."

When Kilcullen received his invitation to attend the golden anniversary celebration of the '63 Bears, he was pumped.

"What a glorious year that was," he said. "It should have told all of us we could accomplish incredible things in life."

They are old men now, hunched over with thinning hair. They walk slowly, gingerly. When they look back on the 1963 season though, they stand a little taller.

"It was the biggest thing that ever happened to a lot of us," Bull said. "I never won another championship at any level in my life. And the thing about it is they never can take that away. I'll always be part of the team that won everything."

For these men, the 1963 season was a brand for life.

"When people say I played on a Super Bowl team, I say, 'No, it was bigger than that,'" Glueck said. "We were world champions."

Twitter @danpompei