The summer is my least favorite sports season.
No football, no basketball, and the World Cup once every four years. Baseball is mildly entertaining to me, but not until August or September. By that time I have football back.
Anyway, to keep me entertained throughout the slow months of summer I sometimes turn to youtube. I can look at Redskins and Tarheels videos that I may never have seen before. Even if I have seen them there is nothing like a trip down memory lane to remind me of why I like sports.
This article is not about the Redskins or the Tarheels. But it is my humble attempt at giving recognition to one of the most entertaining and hardworking NFL teams of the eighties: the Chicago Bears.
I stumbled across the Bears innocently enough. I put in Joe Theismann into the youtube search engine to see what I could find. When the results came up there was one that intrigued me. The title of the clip was “A Bad Day for Joe Theismann,” submitted by Beerzgood5.
What I saw was a video that included highlights of the 45-10 thrashing that the Bears gave to the Redskins that autumn day in 1985. The highlight (or lowlight) occurred early in the game after the Bears had injured the Redskin’s punter and Joe Theismann was forced into emergency kicking duties.
The result was a highly pressured kick that yielded a net total of four yards.
I was going to write this article solely about this one game, but I decided to broaden my scope for two reasons.
First of all, when I looked up the box score for this game it showed that the Redskins didn’t get dominated as much as the score and video would indicate. They won the time of possession and out gained the Bears by 160+ yards. Although Theismann gave up three turnovers and was sacked four times his overall stats weren’t that bad.
The second reason was that this video led me to other Beerzgood5 submissions that highlighted those classic Bears’ teams in a way that America’s Game can’t accomplish.
Each video had a catchy title like “Bad day for Phil Simms (part one and two)” and “Bad Day for Cowboys QB’s”.
Also, each video was accompanied by an ACDC soundtrack (with a Who song thrown in here or there).
I’m not a huge ACDC fan or a huge Bears fan, but the combination somehow fits. ACDC represents blue collar America. So does the late eighties Bears’ football team. There is nothing pretty about either the songs or the videos, but the results are powerful.
As I watched video after video it occurred to me. This defense slaughtered some of the best offenses of all time.
Between 1983 and 1993 the NFC East accounted for seven out of ten Superbowl titles. Yet here was video proof that the Bears made these teams look like the expansion era Bucs.
The most revealing video was the two part video set against the Giants that documented a playoff game in 1985 and a MNF game in 1987, which pitted the two most recent Superbowl winners against each other.
The results are awe inspiring. I have never seen a Bill Parcells led team get out muscled like this in the trenches. I also have never seen so many quarterback substitutions in one game (other than the Redskins/Eagles body bag game in 1990).
Simms starts, and gets mauled.
Then Rutledge comes in, and gets the wind knocked out of him.
Then Simms comes back in, and goes back out, after a monstrous hit that had me screaming obscenities into a computer screen 22 years after the event.
Rutledge comes back and gets slaughtered again. There is one frame in the video that shows the two QB’s talking to each other. It looks like they are drawing straws as to who must go back into the game.
I know that the Chicago defenses of the 1980’s get a lot of respect, and are mentioned along with the all-time greats.
But seeing them in the proper context (beer in hand, ACDC blaring, and crucial hits highlighted) has given me a new appreciation for what they were all about.
Plus seeing Mike Ditka sporting a black Kangol makes it all worthwhile.
If you are like me and are desperately searching for anything to keep you entertained during the next month I suggest you watch these videos. Even a Packer fan might get inspired by watching the Fridge grab Walter Payton at the three yard line and throw him towards the goal line in a prime display of sheer will to win.
Stand up and be counted!