My fandom for the Chicago Bears started to take hold in the early 80s, thanks to the great Walter Payton, who is, in my opinion, the greatest football player of all time. Payton’s running style and all around play, drew me to the team, but I quickly noticed their hard hitting defensive style as well. Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, Richard Dent, and my favorite defender back then, the underrated Wilber Marshall, were a joy to watch.
But as a young offensive lineman, I started to pay attention to the big fellas up front, and Jay Hilgenberg, Jimbo Covert and Keith Van Horne really stood out to me. I was especially drawn to Van Horne, at first, because we shared the same number, but then because he kind of played with an edge. He wasn’t necessarily dirty, but he played to the whistle, and he always had his teammates back.
This collection of players, along with head coach Mike Ditka, is what made that era so special to my young impressionable mind.
I was a teenager when the Chicago Bears won Super Bowl XX and I assumed there was a dynasty coming to Chicago. The fact that their subsequent teams couldn’t get it done, doesn’t take away that the 1985 Bears is my favorite sports team of all time.
That was just such a special season. From the big hits and the big plays, to the close games (yes, there were a few), to the blow outs, to the Super Bowl Shuffle, to their historic playoff run, and to the fitting final score of SBXX, 46-10. With the 46 representing the greatest defense of all time, Buddy Ryan’s 46 Defense.
That season was full of memories, and just off the top of my head...
- Wilber Marshall destroying the Detroit Lions’ quarterbacks
- Jim McMahon coming off the bench in Minnesota
- Ditka’s revenge in San Francisco
- William Perry plowing through the Packers
- Payton’s 192 yards in Green Bay
- Calvin Thomas on the saxophone
- Marshall’s fumble recovery and TD in the snow
- McMahon’s moon
- The Black and Blues Brothers
- The Junkyard Dogs
Do any of those bring back memories?
I know some Bears’ fans grew tired about hearing of the 85 team and how great they were. Other fans resent the fact that they couldn’t bring anymore titles to Chicago. Earlier this year, I discussed on my podcast why some fans don’t like the 1985 team.