Longtime Bears beat author John ‘Moon’ Mullin passes away

The ready room on the second ground of Lake Forest Hospital final week was full of guests — just about all of whom had room quantity 2507 listed on their visitor badges.

That was the room the place their relative, buddy or colleague, John “Moon” Mullin, was receiving remedy for pancreatic most cancers.

The longtime Bears beat author was having an incredible 2022 — vacationing in Naples, Fla., In January and Hilton Head, SC, in April. However his well being took a dramatic downward flip in Could. He discovered that his chemotherapy remedies had misplaced their effectiveness and he needed to be hospitalized on three totally different events as a result of issue respiratory.

Mullin handed away Sunday afternoon, surrounded by family members. He was 74.

Mullin left an indelible mark on everybody’s life he touched. The popular and highly-respected reporter started overlaying the Bears for the Day by day Herald newspaper in 1992, Mike Ditka’s last 12 months as coach. Mullin continued to cowl the Bears for the Chicago Tribune from 1997-2008 and NBC Sports activities Chicago from 2009-18. He additionally wrote two books in regards to the staff.

“In a aggressive enterprise, for any person to have the respect of his colleagues and the individuals he lined was very uncommon, and Moon had that,” stated Bears chairman George H. McCaskey. “Moon had a method of carrying himself that was simply dignified. He was a category act.”

“He actually beloved what he did,” added former Bears defensive finish Alex Brown. “He actually beloved overlaying the staff, and also you develop to like any person like that.”

Former Bears quarterback Jim Miller, who’s now an NFL analyst, recollects that Mullin was a real skilled who might all the time be trusted.

“He was one in every of my favorites as a result of he was there daily,” Miller stated. “He actually had a superb heartbeat and really feel of the staff and the place it was and the best way to cowl it. Gamers felt snug round John. When he stated one thing was on the document or off the document, he caught to his phrase. Gamers trusted him. . “

Lengthy after his enjoying profession ended, Miller remained buddies with Mullin. The 2 would dine collectively when Miller visited Bears coaching camp in Bourbonnais as a part of his duties as a bunch on SiriusXM NFL Radio. Requested to relay a comic story, Miller didn’t disappoint.

“One time we went out for dinner and he might need been overserved that night time,” Miller stated. “He did not notice he paid for the invoice. The following morning he thanked me for selecting up the verify at dinner, and I am like, ‘John, what are you speaking about? You are the one who paid for it. ! ‘”

Mullin’s generosity was evident even on the most sudden occasions. On his radio present final Friday morning on WSCR 670 AM, David Haugh paid tribute to his former colleague by describing how Mullin mentored him after Haugh had changed him on the Chicago Tribune.

“Once I got here to Chicago almost 20 years in the past, I took Moon’s job,” Haugh stated. “John ‘Moon’ Mullin had each purpose to resent me and each purpose to disregard me and each purpose to be the worst potential teammate to me. And he was the alternative. He handled me higher than anyone on the Chicago Tribune I labored with.

“This man — whose job I took — made it simpler for me to do my job. He made me higher due to his enter. And you do not neglect stuff like that. I principally discovered the beat from any person whose job I took. I owe him big-time and I’ve all the time felt indebted to him for virtually coaching me, for swallowing his delight, displaying me the way in which and setting an instance that I am nonetheless grateful for. “

Mullin was identified with stage 4 pancreatic most cancers in late 2019. Given a 12 months to stay, he outlived that projection by almost two full years. He battled the illness with grace and dignity, all the time staying constructive. As lately as final Wednesday, he sat in a chair in his hospital room laughing and joking and sharing tales with three longtime buddies.

“He was a mannequin of the best way to cope with a critical sickness,” stated Dan Pompei, a longtime NFL author and buddy of Mullin’s. “He by no means stopped dwelling and rising. Oftentimes when somebody has the sort of analysis he had, it finally ends up being a tragic, mournful time of their life. With him, it was the alternative. He traveled, grew relationships and grew spiritually. He had nice conversations and ideas with individuals and actually I believe he sort of in the end accomplished himself as a human being.

“I do not suppose he ever felt sorry for himself. I do not suppose he ever stated, ‘Why me?’ Once I visited with him a couple of week in the past, he was speaking lots about his blessings and the way grateful he was for all the pieces in his life and what an ideal life he is had. “

Even whereas within the struggle of his life, Mullin was decided to assist full strangers. He created a sequence of inspirational YouTube movies entitled “Angle over Most cancers,” sharing them with others affected by the illness. He inspired buddies to unfold the phrase, writing to 1: “If there’d be any method you may tweet out the hyperlink, simply to spice up consciousness, could be nice — nothing in it for me, simply appears to be resonating with of us who ‘ve seen them. “

In the course of the years he lined the Bears, Mullin was sometimes called “probably the most fascinating man on the earth.” And it wasn’t simply because he shared the identical white beard and complex look because the actor featured within the Dos Equis beer commercials. Mullin taught journalism at native schools, performed guitar and sang in a band and beloved biking, kayaking, {golfing} and wine.

A number of of Mullin’s buddies and colleagues, together with former Bears gamers and coaches, paid tribute to him on Twitter:

Leave a Comment