Tom Waddle

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Not to be confused with Tom Waddell.
Tom Waddle
Tom Waddle at Navy Pier.jpg
No. 87
Wide Receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1967-02-20) February 20, 1967 (age 47)
Place of birth: Cincinnati, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) Weight: 185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
College: Boston College
Undrafted in 1989
Debuted in 1989
Last played in 1994
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
  • All Madden Team (1991)
  • Chicago Bears Leading Receiver (1991, 1992)
Career NFL statistics
Touchdowns 9
Receiving yards 2,109
Receptions 173
Stats at pro-football-reference.com

Gregory Thomas Waddle (born February 20, 1967) is a former American football wide receiver in the NFL. Waddle is currently a co host of "Waddle and Silvy" on ESPN 1000, as well as providing NFL analysis for WLS-TV in Chicago.[1] He also appears on Pro Football Weekly and NFL Network. He spent his entire six-year career with the Chicago Bears. He attended Boston College.

College career[edit]

Tom Waddle was an outstanding receiver for the Boston College Eagles. He is currently third all-time in career receptions with 139, and amassed 1,956 yards and 6 touchdowns for BC. Tom finished his collegiate career first on the school’s all-time list for receptions in a season with 70 in 1988, and is tied for first in all-time receptions in a single game with 13 against Notre Dame in 1988. Waddle's precise routes and excellent hands made him a standout receiver at the college level, earning him the honor of first-team All-East selection in 1988 and an appearance in the Japan Bowl. His achievements at BC resulted in his induction into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.[2] He also played alongside Doug Flutie's younger brother, Darren Flutie.

  • 1985: 8 catches for 122 yards.
  • 1986: 18 catches for 160 yards and 1 TD.
  • 1987: 43 catches for 781 yards.
  • 1988: 70 catches for 902 yards and 5 TD.

Professional career[edit]

In 1989, the Chicago Bears signed Waddle as an undrafted free agent. During his first two years with the Bears, he struggled to make an impact as a receiver. Waddle lacked the size and speed to distinguish himself from other Bears wide receivers and remained on the lower rungs of the team's depth chart. He received a chance to start in 1991 after the Bears lost starters due to injuries. In a nationally televised Monday night game against the Jets, he made eight catches for 102 yards in an overtime win.[3] In Chicago's wild card playoff loss to Dallas (17-13), Waddle was the Bears' sole standout performer on the offensive side of the ball, catching nine passes [4] for 104 yards and a touchdown. His performance established him as a mainstay in the Bears lineup and clinched him a spot on the famed All-Madden Team.[4][5]

In 1992, Waddle began the season as a starting wide receiver and became a fan favorite. In the opener against the Detroit Lions, he caught a last second game-winning touchdown pass from Jim Harbaugh. Later in a week 4 victory over the Falcons, he managed to outrun Deion Sanders into the endzone for a score. Waddle missed the final four games of the season on account of injury.

After finishing the 1992 season with a record 5-11, coach Mike Ditka was fired and Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt was brought in to replace him.[4] After leading the Bears in receiving yards and receptions in 1993,[6] Wannstedt demoted Waddle in favor of faster receivers.[7] Later that year, he suffered a concussion and a partially torn knee ligament from an illegal hit by Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Thomas Everett.[8] The following off-season, the Bears offered Waddle a choice between a guaranteed contract at the league minimum salary, and a more lucrative deal that would be dissolved if he were cut. He instead attended the Cincinnati Bengals' training camp, but elected to retire, as he felt that his lingering leg injuries no longer allowed him to compete at the professional level.[7]

Broadcasting career[edit]

Waddle in 2012.

WFLD-TV: Following his retirement, he began working at the Fox Chicago affiliate WFLD doing pre and post game analysis for Bears games. During this time, he also began to work as a weekend and fill-in sports anchor as well doing feature segments that were mostly comedic in nature. Later he began co-hosting shows such as Chicago Bears Gameday Live, Fox Kickoff Sunday and The Final Word on Sunday nights, all of which he is was involved with until summer of 2013.

WLS-TV: Waddle did not renew his contract with WFLD when it expired, and in August 2013 he joined WLS-TV.[1]

WGN-AM: In 1997, Tom began co-hosting Sports Central with David Kaplan weeknights from 7–9 discussing not just football, but all sports. This partnership ended in 2007 with his move to WMVP ESPN Radio 1000.

While at WGN he was also one of the trio of former Chicago Bears called "The Three Bears" with Glen Kozlowski and Dan Hampton.

Waddle and Silvy Show on WMVP-AM: Paired with Marc "Silvy" Silverman, his new show initially aired in the same 7–9 pm spot as Sports Central. After 2 months in this timeslot, they were moved to the weekday morning slot 9 am to 12 noon formerly occupied by Steve Rosenbloom and Sean Salisbury. The show was eventually expanded to four hours and to include weekly in-studio one hour segments with WLS-TV sports anchor Mark Giangreco each Tuesday. During football season, "Waddle and Silvy" host "The Jay Cutler Show" with the Bears' QB, which originates from various bar/restaurants throughout the greater Chicago area on Mondays or Tuesdays following each Bears' Game.[9] Every Wednesday, a listener is invited to be a contestant in the game "Wife or Radio Partner" where Tom Waddle reads three statements and the contestant must decide whether they were made by his wife, Cara, or his radio partner, Silvy. Two out of three correct guesses wins the listener a prize from one of the show's sponsors (though prizes are often awarded for scores of zero or one.)

NFL Network: In 2007, he began working at the NFL network in Los Angeles as gameday analyst paired with retired offensive lineman Jamie Dukes. In the 2010 season, he contributed as an analyst on NFL GameDay Scoreboard and NFL Total Access.His NFL analyses are notable for being concise and cogent.

Other Media: In addition to his duties at WLS, WMVP, and the NFL Network, Tom appears weekly during the football season on Pro Football Weekly. Also during the season he writes a weekly column for the Northwest Herald of McHenry County, IL.

He is also seen an analyst for Sprint Exclusive Entertainment, providing content on all sports for cell phones.

On several occasions in 2008 and 2009, he appeared as a fill-in host, alongside Mike Greenberg, on Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio. He and radio partner Marc Silverman have also hosted The Scott Van Pelt Show.

He has also done color commentating during CSN Chicago broadcasts of NIU Huskies Football and for a limited number of Chicago Rush games aired on the NFL Network.

As of July 2013 he is an analyst for ESPN and is a frequently guest from Colin Cowherd's "Colin's New Football Show."

Personal life[edit]

Tom lives in Lake Forest with his wife, Cara and 4 daughters. Tom's wife Cara is the daughter of former Boston Patriots running back and AFL Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti. His oldest daughter Georgia is a member of the Northwestern Wildcats soccer team.[10]


References[edit]

External links[edit]