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20 years later, the '85 Bears still Super

5

February

Once upon a time, Super Bowls were about football, determination and skill. Not advertising rates, celebrities mugging for cameras and "I'm going to Disney World!" Want a perfect example? Look back to the 1985 Chicago Bears on the 20th anniversary of their triumph in Super Bowl XX.

Sure, the Bears can be accused of starting the hype machine with their silly "Super Bowl Shuffle" video. But they backed it up on the field, so we'll give them a mulligan on that minor snafu. Their offense was ranked second in the NFL; their defense was first.

The result of that firepower? The Bears went 15-1 during the regular season, losing only to the Dolphins and their spooky perfect-season curse. (Ironically, Bears players recorded the Shuffle video the day after their only loss.)

During the playoffs, the Bears were unstoppable. They beat the Giants 21-0 and the Rams 24-0. They did it with the players. Jim McMahon, Mike Singletary, Richard Dent, Willie Gault, Dan Hampton, Refrigerator Perry and the late Walter Payton. Wrap them around the coaching of Hall of Famer Mike Ditka and it's easy to see why the Bears were huge favorites to beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX.

Even a few distractions that week -- McMahon mooned a TV helicopter and called the women of New Orleans "sluts" -- couldn't distract the Bears. Chicago beat the Patriots 46-10, the largest margin of victory in a Super Bowl to that point.

The following season, injuries to McMahon and the departure of defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan took their toll on the team and they couldn't defend their title. But we'd take those Bears over either today's Seahawks or Steelers. Afterall, everything in the 80s was better, right?

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:16pm]

    

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