Mike Singletary recalls 1981 draft experience

Given all the talk recently about Chicago returning to its identity on defense, it was only fitting the team’s official website recently sat down at Halas Hall with Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary, who dished on a variety of subjects ranging from his experience with the NFL draft to former running back Walter Payton.

We won’t steal all the goodies, because if you’re looking for a trip down memory lane with Singletary, you should check out his segment on “Inside the Bears” right here.

Singletary has probably told the story of his frustrating draft experience hundreds of times before, but it never gets old.

“My future wife and I were in Houston watching it and there were a number of people there, a lot of television and things like that. I got called maybe four different times, I think, by Kansas City, the Bears, I think San Diego. [They’d say], ‘Mike, our pick is coming up and it could be between you and the next guy.’ And it was always the next guy,” Singletary said. “So needless to say, after the first round, I was very frustrated. I went outside and kicked a few tires and just was really frustrated. Finally, I just said, ‘Lord, if you really want me to play in the NFL, let me go to the Chicago Bears.’ Five seconds later, my wife came out of the door and said, ‘Hey, the Bears just drafted you.’”

The 38th pick of the 1981 draft class, which included offensive tackle Keith Van Horne and current St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher, Singletary went on to play 12 seasons for the Bears, earning Pro Bowl recognition for 10 consecutive years (1983-92). During Singletary’s last 11 seasons in the NFL, he finished ranked No. 1 or No. 2 on the team in tackles and missed just two games in 12 seasons as a pro.

Singletary finished his career with 1,488 tackles, 19 sacks and seven interceptions.