The 1985 Chicago Bears
Three words: Super Bowl Shuffle.
Ok, there is a little more to the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears, but if you haven’t seen the Super Bowl Shuffle in, say, the last week, check it out on YouTube now.
Now back to the 1985 season, which was undoubtedly the most successful in franchise history, and led many to argue the ‘85 Bears as the greatest NFL team of all time. Chicago won the first 12 games of the season en route to a 15-1 record, which tied the then-NFL record for most regular season wins. The squad boasted the NFC Offensive Player of the Year (Walter Payton) and Defensive Player of the Year (Mike Singletary), as well as the NFL Coach of the Year (the one and only Mike Ditka) and a club-record nine Pro Bowlers.
Best known for their intimidating defense, the Bears rolled over teams throughout the season, including the famed Dallas Cowboys by a score of 44-0. But the team’s hopes for an undefeated season were crushed when Dan Marino led the Miami Dolphins to defeat the Bears 38-24 during Monday Night Football week thirteen. Chicago went on to win the final three games of the season, allowing an average of only 12.4 points per game that season.
The Bears defense continued to dominate in the playoffs, recording two shutouts (a 21-0 win over the New York Giants and a 24-0 win over the Los Angeles Rams) on the way to a 46-10 Super Bowl XX victory over the New England Patriots. The last game of the Bears’ epic season went down at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, compiling an impressive 91-10 playoff record.
The 1985 Bears are widely debated as the greatest team of all time, challenged primarily by the 1972 Super Bowl champion Miami Dolphins team which recorded the league’s first – and at that time, only – undefeated regular season (although it’s worth noting that the NFL season was only 14 games instead of 16 at that time). In 2007, the NFL Network’s documentary series America’s Game: The Super Bowl Champions ranked the 1985 Bears team second all time behind the ‘72 Dolphins. That same year, ESPN selected the 1985 Bears as the greatest NFL team of all-time.
Fun Fact: In 1986 the two stone lions that stand guard at the Art Institute of Chicago donned Bears helmets in honor of the winning team. Now, any year the team heads to the Championship the lions support them with the same helmets. They even sported White Sox hats when the team when to the World Series in 2005. Maybe someday they’ll don Cubs hats… Of course, the 1985 helmets aren’t still on display — the originals, made from upside down Weber grills, were sold years ago.
But most importantly, beyond the Super Bowl win and an offense crippling defense, the 1985 Chicago Bears team created the Super Bowl Shuffle. The rap hit recorded by Bears players immediately became a mainstream phenomenon, eventually reaching as high as #41 on the music charts. The single sold half a million copies and was even nominated for a Grammy in 1985. Known as Chicago Bears Shufflin’ Crew, the performers included some of the biggest names on the team: “Sweetness” Walter Payton, “Punky QB” Jim McMahon, “Samurai” Mike Singletary, and many others. The video was born from die-hard Bear fan Dick Meyer, who wrote, produced, and choreographed the rap song and dance for the team. A friend of his introduced him to a few players, he pitched the idea, and the rap world was never the same…