| ||Tuesday, December 28|
Special to ESPN.com
|They weren't here to start no trouble.
They were just here to do the Super Bowl shuffle.
It couldn't have been nearly 15 years since the 1985 Chicago Bears rolled through the nation's imagination like William (The Refrigerator) Perry on a dive play, could it?
Fifteen years? That means kids today don't know "The Super Bowl Shuffle," the rap video cut by the team that, by today's standards, was neither a rap nor a video. Just a bunch of Bears standing around in their uniforms, white men dancing awkwardly (remember Gary Fencik, a Yale graduate for God's sake, and his spastic rhythms?) tossing out rhymes that DMX or Dr. Dre would have written only if on cough syrup.
When I hit the turf I don't got no plan. I just throw my body all over the field
I can't dance but I can throw the pill. I motivate the cats, I like to tease
I play so cool, I aim to please. Jim McMahon in the headbands! And the shades! With the spiky hair! Guy looked like an extra from "Flashdance." Who would be caught dead in that look today? Yet he appeared the ultimate anti-hero, the rebel with a cause: to tweak the NFL establishment, right down to his mooning of a helicopter at a Super Bowl practice in New Orleans. Well they call me Sweetness and I like to dance
Runnin' the ball is like making romance. Jesus, it has been that long. Walter Payton, who piped out that line sporting a Jheri-curl and a trademark falsetto, is dead. That's how much time has passed since we had a championship team as fun as the Bears, a championship team as devastating as the Bears, who allowed a total of 10 points in three playoff games, including the Super Bowl XX win over the hopelessly overmatched New England Patriots on January 26, 1986 at the Superdome. Hey, the Patriots at least did better than the Giants and Rams in the NFC playoffs. Their combined point total in the postseason at windy Soldier Field (which then had AstroTurf, remember): Zero points. They were fun, weren't they? The most personality-laden team of the Super Bowl era in the NFL. Take your pick of memories. They have to start with coach Mike Ditka, who worked his gum so hard on the sidelines he must have fractured a mandible. You have to go that defense, the so-called "46" defense, named in honor of retired Bears safety Doug Plank's jersey number, the defense crafted by that crazy little guy named Buddy Ryan, the cantankerous leader of the best defense you ever saw, and the genius who turned them loose after the quarterback in a way the NFL had never seen before. Man, they carried Ryan off the field after winning the Super Bowl! It was the first time in NFL history a coordinator had been so glorified, and changed the way we thought about coaching staffs and their influences. But the Bears were so much more than X's and O's. The Bears stole Chicago's heart when Michael Jordan was in his NBA diapers. And in some minds around Chicago, the Bears remain the sweetest of memories, even better than Michael. The town hadn't won a championship of any kind since 1963, and here were the swaggering Bears, taking on the personality of their town perhaps like no other sports team of the century. You never forget your first time, and for so many Chicagoans, the Bears were that first time.
"One of the biggest fears in football was going to meet with Ditka if you played a bad game," said Tom Thayer, a longtime Bears offensive lineman. "After film sessions, you could tell how good or bad you played by the size of the sweat rings on your shirt."
Yes, the defense will always be the reason that team was amazing -- ends Dan Hampton and Richard Dent, tackles Perry and Steve McMichael, linebackers Mike Singletary, Otis Wilson and Wilbur Marshall, and safeties Dave Duerson and Gary Fencik. The cornerbacks, Mike Richardson and Leslie Frazier, were mere window dressing. When the Bears turned those other nine men loose at the line of scrimmage, forget it. No quarterback left a game against the Bears thinking about Richardson and Frazier on the corners.They left games thinking about Singletary's eyes.
I'm Samurai Mike and I stop 'em cold
ESPN.com's 10 greatest teams