NFL Football - 1985 Chicago Bears

NFL Football - 1985 Chicago Bears

I LOVE this game!! That is truly the only way to start this article. With the Super Bowl just around the corner and another NFL season coming to a close I feel the need to reflect on the season and think about what wonderful gifts this game has given us. Plus, with Fantasy Football over I have a little time on my hands to reflect and write.

Without giving away my age I can say that I have witnessed decades of football, almost as many as Favre has played. Almost. Every season offers us great competition, lots of excitement, hopeful beginnings, miserable endings and of course an enormous cast of characters. This past weekend I had a chance to look back at my love affair with this sport and the characters that have graced the turf on Sundays. This reflection was the inspiration to “shuffle” on over to my typewriter(Favre can explain this device) and write about the 1985 Chicago Bears.

The '85 Chicago Bears, or Da' Bears, may have been the greatest collection of characters to ever come together on the same team. This motley crew of “average guys” were led by a young gun from BYU by the name of Jim McMahon, just 4 years out of college. McMahon would quickly prove he had what it took to lead this team, both skills and character.

McMahon started his career during the strike shortened 1982 season. He would follow this up with a couple good years at the helm, peaking for the memorable '85 season. While McMahon will rarely be mentioned as an elite QB from the standpoint of statistics, there is no doubt he was a leader, loved the limelight and provided plenty of moments that will always bring Jim McMahon to mind.

e of the most memorable moments of McMahon's career occurred during the '85 season when NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle fined him for wearing a headband with an unauthorized corporate logo. The fine prompted McMahon to wear another headband the following weekend.  This headband had a simple message delivered in one word, “Rozelle”. Adding to this bad-boy image were the ever present sunglasses and the helmet fitted with a tinted visor, rare for a QB. While his added to his image, both were medically required to minimize the light to his eye that was injured in a freak accident off the field.  Required or not, they still added to his image.

While McMahon was without a doubt the “wild side” of the offense, it was the Buddy Ryan led 46 defense that made this team. The defense was lead by the quiet, wild-eyed Mike Singletary supported at the linebacker position by Otis Wilson and Wilber Marshall. The front line of this defense was anchored on the ends by Dan Hampton and Richard Dent and the middle of the field was consumed by hard-nosed Steve McMicheal and Defensive Tackle (part-time fullback) William “The Refrigerator” Perry.

As a fan of the game and the history of this great sport I would be remiss not to mention a book that I recently read.  Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden has written a book titled, “Blood, Sweat and Chalk – The Ultimate Football Playbook: How The Great Coaches Built Today's Game”. If you feel like a huge void has entered your life after the Super Bowl ends each year, then I strongly suggest you grab this book and dive back into the game like never before.  This is a must read for any serious football fan.  Seriously, go get this book now and then come back and finish this article. Seriously. Go.

OK, Back to the Da' Bears.

Much to the contrast of the offensive leader, Mike Singletary was a quiet, lead-by-example linebacker. Anyone who ever had the privilege to see him play will talk, without a doubt, about the intensity in his eyes moments before the ball is snapped. His eyes conveyed a mixture of focus and intensity much like a chess-master planning his next move. A chess-master just moments away from dumping the board, smashing the table and driving you into the ground.  Check-mate.

While Buddy Ryan was the architect for this amazing defense it was Mike Singletary that provided the pulse for this amazing beast. The 46 Defense proved difficult to rush against and the secondary provided enough coverage, matched with a relentless pass rush, making it difficult to establish a consistent passing attack. The '85 Bears defense allowed only 12 points per game during the regular season, allowed 0 points in their playoff games and held the Patriots to 10 points in the Super Bowl. The final score to Super Bowl XX, ironically was 46-10. The highest point total all year and a tribute to the 46 defense that brought them this far.

This article would not be complete without the mention of William Perry. William “The Refrigerator” Perry was a rookie during the '85 season and provide just one more character to this fine mix. The Fridge is probably most remembered by fans as the 382lb full-back that lead the way for Walter Payton. The Bears were also brave enough on occasion to give the ball to The Fridge, creating one the those memorable moments in Super Bowl XX when late in the 3rd Qtr he rushed for a 1-yard TD, forever burning the image of his windmill spike into my mental football scrapbook.

If you did not take my advise and buy Tim Layden's book that I mentioned earlier then I can only assume you are not a real fan or you were two engrossed in this article to break-away. You finished the article, so it had to be the latter. Thanks. Now go get the book.


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