In 1985 people were still Bears fans where I lived in Northern Indiana, two hours from Chicagoland. The Colts had been in Indianapolis for just two seasons. Their journey there from Baltimore was fraught with controversy. To this day my dad claims Jim Irsay cowardly sneaked out of Baltimore and into Indy in the middle of the night. It was 13 years before Payton Manning would come to town and win over the Hoosier football audience.
I was 10 years old in ’85. I didn’t really understand anything about football. I recall my dad explaining what a down was three or four times before I finally got it. But I couldn’t help but get caught up in Bears fever, and fall in love with the game.
I don’t know if the ’85 Bears were their best team ever, but they were certainly the most notable. Hotshot quarterback Jim McMahon was always embroiled in some scandal. Running back Walter Payton is still considered one of the greatest of all time. Who can forget defensive lineman William “The Refrigerator” Perry? Pro-football-hall-of-famer Mike Singletary, starting linebacker, was known as Samurai Mike for his intimidating defensive play. Then of course there was their beloved, if tough-as-nails, coach Mike Ditka who with his dark hair, dark eyes and deep widow’s peek kind of resembled a bear.
The Bears finished the ’85 season with a 15-1 record. In the post-season they gave up only 10 points in three play-off games. The frenzy was at an all time high when they released their rap video The Super Bowl Shuffle. I remember watching its premiere on MTV. The next day it was all anyone at school talked about. Take a trip down memory lane with me and watch it here.
In retrospect The Super Bowl Shuffle is cheesier than a bag of Cheetos , but it was 1985. We Are The World was nominated for Best Video that year, after all.
On January 26, 1986 the Bears beat the New England Patriots 46-10 at the Louisiana Superdome to win Super Bowl XX. My parents let me watch until halftime, then I had to go to bed because it was a school night. I stayed awake though, listening to the rest of the game on my radio, cheering silently when they won.
Again the next day the Bears were the main topic of conversation at school. Even the teachers talked about it all morning.
Despite living in Michigan now and married to an ever-hopeful Lion’s fan, I still root for the Bears every weekend in the fall.
My oldest son will start his third season of flag football in a few weeks. I’m not sure he understands the game any better than I did in 1985.
When it comes to kids’ football you’re just lucky if the players all run in the right direction. He does have a good arm, and despite not knowing all the rules he seems to love the game.
I’m a proud mom cheering him on from the sidelines on Saturday mornings.
My youngest, not old enough to play yet, is drawn to the game also. If there’s a football game on TV, he’ll drop everything and watch. He’s done that since he was just a baby.
What is it about football that draws us in? Is it that it’s so uniquely American? Is it the crisp fall air? Is it the “Any Give Sunday” factor? I suspect it’s all of those things. Mostly though, I think it’s the story football tells. Like the one about the girl from Indiana who cheered on the ’85 Bears.
That girl is in the mood for some football now that the days are cooler and shorter, and so is SNICKERS®. You can head to Walmart today and pick up their NEW SNICKERS® Brand NFL Minis to celebrate the kickoff of football season at your house. Chocolate is always a great addition to any tailgating party. You’ll find SNICKERS® Brand NFL Minis with the bagged candy.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and SNICKERS® Brand NFL Minis #SnickersMinis #CBias #SocialFabric. All opinions are my own.