CHICAGO IL - JANUARY 16: Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears runs out of the tunnel during player introductions before taking on the Seattle Seahawks in the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field on January 16 2011 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
... then Sunday could be exactly what you need. What a better defining moment for the 2010 Chicago Bears than to defeat the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game? In a game that is arguably the biggest sporting event ever to be played in the city of Chicago, these Bears have a chance to climb into the hearts of Bears fans across the world by sending home their most despised rivals. Is there a greater feeling as a Bears fan then when our team beats Green Bay? I hate the freaking Packers. And I especially can't stand the generation of Packer fan that thinks their team started in the 90's. How many Packer fans came out of the woodwork when Brett Favre came onto the scene?
But back to the Bears: Where would a win Sunday rank in the history of the franchise? I know for this generation of Bears fans it would be #1.
Every generation of Bears fan has their team, so I understand some of the disinterest this generation has towards the '85 Bears. I wasn't around for the 1963 team, but I hear that team was all the talk around Chicago until the 1985 guys came along. Just find someone (ed_brown) that saw them play and they'll give you a great history lesson. If sports radio, the internet, and hundreds of options on television had been around back then, I may have been sick of hearing about Richie Petitbon, Doug Atkins, and Mike Ditka. Well, maybe not Da Coach. And before the 1963 Championship went down, I'm sure Bears fans would talk your ear off about the great teams of the 40's.
I was 15 years old when the Bears beat the Patriots 46-10. So much of that season is seared into my brain. It was a hell of a ride from week one and shutting down the Buccaneers in the second half to secure the win, week three and the Jim McMahon comeback in the Metrodome, sticking it to Bill Walsh with the Fridge in week six, the following week when the Fridge really bacame "The Fridge" against the Packers, 44-0 in Dallas, the Monday nighter in Miami, shutout and another shutout in the playoffs, then on to New Orleans for Super Bowl XX.
I had all the posters in my room. The classic Sports Illustrated Walter Payton, the Junkyard Dogs, the Black and Bruise Brothers, and the apocalyptic Jim McMahon. I even had the full set of McDonalds cards. The 1985 Bears were more than a football team, they captured the imagination of a nation. All the characters on that team, all the endorsements, and no one will ever forget The Super Bowl Shuffle. That song made it as far as #41 on the Billboard charts and was nominated for a Grammy. A freaking Grammy!
But here's my take on the Bears fans that allow the 1985 team to get under their skin. Get over it. If you're a Bears fan you should be proud of your history. All of your history. It does kind of suck that our fan base has gone so long between championships, but it is what it is. Do Packer fans frown upon their 1996 Champs? Are the New York Jets fans tired of Joe Namath and the Guarantee? I know I'm sick of the 1972 Dolphins, but are Miami fans? Bears fans, embrace your history.
I'd like to be that cranky old man sitting on my porch with my Bears flag flying telling a young whippersnapper all about 1985 Bears Hall of Famers Walter Payton, Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, and Richard Dent. Tell then about Da Coach, and the Superfans, and how reserve defensive tackle Henry Waechter added a safety in SBXX to fittingly take the Bears score to 46. Then tell them how great Buddy Ryan and his 46 defense was. Only for the young punk to tell me; 'Yeah, but the twenty ten Bears whipped the Packers in the NFC Championship game before going on to win the Super Bowl. And I hate the freaking Packers.' Yes little buddy, I hate them too...