After the Bears won Super Bowl XX, their chance to celebrate at the White House during Ronald Reagan's tenure was interrupted when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded.
|Mike Ditka (l) and Buddy Ryan (far right) show off the official Presidential Chicago Bears jersey. Perhaps his most favorite athletic jersey yet. Photo/CD Brown.|
"So, the moment for the Bears to visit the White House was postponed and the years went by. But shortly after I took office, someone at the NFL realized, hey, there’s a Bears fan living in the White House", said President Obama.
The president went on to mention two members of the 1985 team who passed, Walter Peyton (cancer at 45), and Dave Duerson.
After it was made public that the Bears would visit the White House, Peyton was in the news about bringing both his wife Connie, and his mistress to his 1993 NFL Hall of Fame induction.
Teammate Otis Wilson lauded his friend as a "phenomemal athlete" that was also a "class act" and "great individual" that he thinks about every day.
|Chicago Bears Richard Dent and Otis Wilson display their 1985 Championship Super Bowl rings. Photo/CD Brown.|
"We’re very proud that you honored us by bringing us here, said Ditka. It’s only 26 years after the fact, and five administrations, but thank you."
Said the president, "This is as much fun as I will have as President of the United States, right here. This is one of the perks of the job, right here."
Quite naturally, the love for the team and its players doesn't just have the attention of the nation's Commander In Chief and personal friend. Said Dent, speaking to reporters at the White House, "We appreciate the love', and said of the team's legends of fans, "Anything you love you just don't stop the love."
Former linebacker Otis Wilson told reporters, "We did something special for the city of Chicago. Both on the field, and off the field. On continuing to receive accolades and recognition he said, "It's never enough."
When asked what the 2011 Bears need to play just like their predecessor, Dent, not being judgemental said, "We played with a certain attitude. We were pretty wild, just like our head coach."
The current Chicago Bears team sits 2-2 in the NFC North."Different era. Different time", explained Dent.
Dan Hampton, defensive linemen for the team, decided not to make the trip to Washington with his former teammates. In a radio interview earlier this month, Hampton said: “I don’t choose to go. No family, no kids (are allowed at the White House.) Honey’s going to the White House, and you tell your kids and your wife, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. You’re not invited.’ Secondly, I’m not a fan of the guy in the White House, and third, it was 25 years ago. Let it go."
Thankfully, the rest of the team didn't share those opinions.
"We all have choices we have to make in life", said Wilson. "This is an opportunity many people never get", recounting his days as a youngster growing up in Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York.
"You never squander an opportunity like this."The president shares a long and trusted friendship with both Dent and Wilson. The pair recounted their days the helping their friend in his early political career.
"Less than two and half years he becomes [a] US Senator, and then he becomes president", Dent said. "I just tell kids once you put yourself on the right path, you know, the world is your oyster."
The world was certainly an oyster for the 1985 Chicago Bears, in a season that saw the organization earn a 15-1 record, making them the top seed in the NFC for the playoffs. The Bears defeated their three post season opponents by a combined score of 91-10 en route to a victory in Super Bowl XX, their ninth NFL Championship. (Source)
The team is the only team in NFL history with a gold record and a Grammy nomination for the recording of the 'Super Bowl Shuffle', of which neither the president, nor team members performed.
"People would probably want to see something cooler", said Wilson.
Thanks to YouTube, there is a 'modern' version, but we think the 1985 version is much, much better.The president, who calls Chicago home, called the 1985 Chicago Bears the greatest team in NFL history.
"Now, I know that may get me into some trouble in some cities that I visit. But I believe it is the truth."
1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl Trivia
- The team's starting middle linebacker, linebacker Mike Singletary was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and the UPI Defensive NFC Player of the Year.
- Running back Walter Payton won became the NFC Offensive Player of the Year, while the team's head coach, Mike Ditka was kinged NFL Coach of the Year.
- Defense end Richard Dent was the Super Bowl MVP.
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