Da Bears! How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History


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The Bears will kick off their 100th season against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 5

When McMahon went down and NBC's cameras showed him wincing on the sideline, play-by-play man Dick Enberg said the injury was a "bruised back. A lacerated kidney. McMahon would spend nearly two weeks in the hospital and miss the rest of the season. In Monsters: The Chicago Bears and The Wild Heart of Football , Rich Cohen's recently released book , McMahon's agent, Steve Zucker, summed up his client's condition this way: "I went down to the locker room—this was in the middle of the game—and I found Jim there, standing at the toilet, in his pads, pissing blood.

But what about Wilson, the Raiders' quarterback? He had become the starter because Jim Plunkett, the two-time Super Bowl winner, was out with a pulled abdominal muscle, an injury he'd sustained earlier in the season. Wilson would get knocked out of this game twice before halftime. The first time, he got slammed to the turf after a sack. Olsen, from up in the booth and without the benefit of a sideline reporter to confirm actual information, repeatedly told the NBC viewing audience that Wilson's injury was "whiplash.

Wilson, now 56, spent 10 seasons in the NFL, all but two of them with the Raiders. In the NFL, he threw 82 touchdowns and interceptions, and his passer rating was He talked to me by phone not long ago from suburban Seattle, where he works in real estate.

He said that what actually happened when he was hit by the Bears' Otis Wilson was something worse than "whiplash. For a while, I wasn't sure where I was. This was , of course, so there was little concern that Wilson had sustained what was clearly a concussion. Olsen at one point even predicted that Wilson would return to the game rather quickly.

Wilson missed just two series before returning. His replacement, David Humm, was a veteran backup, but Humm had been living in Las Vegas and "playing golf" earlier in the year, according to Enberg. In the second quarter, Wilson had to leave the game again. This time, Wilson's hand connected with another player's helmet as he followed through:.

Wilson busted up his thumb pretty badly on the play, and he was in obvious pain as he left the field. Humm returned to replace him, but he kept getting battered around.

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At one point, according to Wilson, Humm even took a shot that knocked out a couple of his teeth. With to go in the first half, Humm finally took one hit too many. He blew out his knee. The Raiders, it seemed, were going to have to turn to Guy, their punter. This is how the scene looked on TV that afternoon:. In Da Bears! Guy refused to go in. Then all of them were arguing at halftime about who was going back in—was it gonna be David Humm or Marc Wilson? Nobody wanted to go back in. I made several attempts to talk to Guy, but a Raiders spokesman eventually told me he "wasn't interested at this time.

On a television, the X-ray technician saw Guy talking to coach Tom Flores about possibly going in.

Chicago Bears

When Wilson answered "No," the tech said, "Dude, you better get back out there. When Wilson went back in the game again, as you can see in the video above, receiver Malcolm Barnwell had to help him fasten his chin strap to his helmet. On the first play, Wilson pitched the ball to Allen, who fired a halfback pass deep downfield that sailed incomplete. When the second half began, no one knew who was going to be under center for the Raiders until Wilson took the field. When Halas died in , Michael, the eldest of Virginia's 11 children, was asked to take over as chief executive.

Though the Bears were a big part of his childhood he attended training camp starting at age 8; Virginia withheld the family dessert on Sundays when the Bears lost , he never seemed to want to run the team. In high school Michael wanted to be a priest. After graduating from Yale in , he joined the Peace Corps and taught science and English in Ethiopia.

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He returned to the U. He later started a consulting business in Boston. When he was asked to run the team, he says, it "was not an automatic 'yes. In his first eight years at the helm the Bears made the playoffs seven times and won the season's Super Bowl with what is considered to be one of the most dominating teams of all time.

NFL - Film - Chicago Bears LB Dick Butkus - The Monster of the Midway ihopocuhyp.tk

But from the team made the playoffs only once, and off-the-field problems began to mount. By then the NFL's stadium-building boom was under way. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Cleveland Browns began to reap the benefits of premium seating and sponsorships. The Bears' stadium, Soldier Field, was built in and had been home to the team since Michael's day-to-day reign over the Bears ended suddenly in , when he announced the hiring of coach Dave McGinnis before a contract had been finalized.

McGinnis, feeling betrayed, passed on the job. Michael was effectively fired by his mother and moved to the chairman position. Virginia, who declined to be interviewed for this story, replaced Michael with Ted Phillips, who had joined the Bears in and a few years later was in charge of the team's finances. A year after taking over he worked out a deal with Daley. But a bigger part of it was that Phillips got the renovation deal done by effectively giving Chicago the stadium. But in the six other top markets in the country, the NFL team paid the lion's share of stadium construction costs.

Worse, the Soldier Field renovation resulted in 5, fewer seats. With a capacity of 62, the Bears have the smallest stadium in the league. Daley prevented the team from selling naming rights, believing that in the wake of Sept.

T.O. author tackles '85 Bears | Thousand Oaks Acorn

Even in the revenues that are unshared with the rest of the NFL, the Bears have been laggards. The Patriots have half of Chicago's metropolitan population 4. If the Bears have been good at anything, it's at keeping payroll down.

Since forbes began tracking team values in , the Bears have never made the NFL's top ten for paying talent. This parsimony affects the entire league when it comes to shared revenues like sponsorships and merchandise. Michael McCaskey and Phillips insist that the Bears have done all they can on the revenue side.


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They point to the , fans who attend training camp in Bourbannais, Ill. Michael says that a recent program in which players like linebacker Brian Urlacher hand-deliver tickets to season ticketholders has been a success. The team will also open a retail store at Soldier Field this year, and Phillips says new hires in the marketing department have revamped the team's website. After this season George McCaskey, who was named for his grandfather and is the eighth of Virginia's 11 children, will become chairman. George, 54, joined the team in as the director of ticket operations.

Phillips is expected to maintain his current role. George insists that the family intends to keep control of the team and that the succession plan has been "carefully thought through," though they refuse to provide any details. But when Virginia dies there is the likelihood that no single McCaskey will own enough of the team to satisfy NFL requirements.

Da Bears! How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History Da Bears! How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History
Da Bears! How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History Da Bears! How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History
Da Bears! How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History Da Bears! How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History
Da Bears! How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History Da Bears! How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History
Da Bears! How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History Da Bears! How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History
Da Bears! How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History Da Bears! How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History

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