The '85 Bears **Updated photos!

KCLJ520

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My wife and I spent quite a bit of time in autograph lines in Chicago in 2006-2007 when we lived up there. My wife, not a Bears fan, as she is from the STL area (Illinois Metro East, for those of you who are familiar with our area), but I am from LaGrange, and my Grandfather was one of the news editors of the Chicago Tribune. Growing up with them, every conversation we had in 1985 it seemed like centered around the Bears. It was so unbelievably exciting, the whole area was just alive with Bears fever!

So when we got married and lived up there, we went to some events, and met some Super Bowl Champs!

Steve McMichael was our first player we met, he was hilarious, and was at a small pet shop in LaGrange Park. He was talking about some defensive plays that a few of his Longhorn brothers are running now as coaches in various places, and stood up, and took my wife, myself, and a few other people in line, and lined us up on defense to demonstrate what he was talking about. I was a linebacker in his play calling, as I remember! I am 5'6" and 173 lbs. so not Dick Butkus by any means, but flattered that Mongo chose me as a linebacker in his scheme!



A few weeks later, Dan Hampton was signing at a Jewel Osco in Naperville, we waited quite a while for him, but he signed everything put in front of him, just like Mongo did! True Hall of Famer, as we got closer to him, my wife looked and said "he isn't as tall as I would have thought." to which I said "He's sitting down!" He was huge, and looked like he could still play, in great shape, and has the scars all over his hands, with broken fingers and all. He commented on one of his photos, saying "you wonder why I've had 16 knee surgeries! Blocked out and still batting the ball away" from QB Tony Eason.



Kevin Butler was my favorite player growing up, as we share a first name. I told him he was my favorite, and why, and he took his Super Bowl ring off, handed it to me, and said "why don't you try that on for size then, Kevin!" We got this photo, which I later printed and sent to him, as he is a great TTM signer as well:



I counted, at one time I had 23 of the players TTM or IP, have sold most of my memorabilia for various reasons over the years, but here are a few customs I made and gave away in a contest last year (Butler, Les Frazier, Maury Buford):



Will post more as I come across more, thanks for looking and God Bless!

Kevin

PS: Hope this is a fun thread for Bears fans as we have started the season 0-2!
 
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katester44

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Photos are now up - good stuff.

I have an autograph from Steve McMichael somewhere in my card room. Met him after a WCW show in Baltimore - he was driving his rental car and stopped in the middle of the road to ask us how to get to the local hot spot (Baja Beach Club). Gave him directions and than ran into him about 30 minutes later. He was there with a handful of other wrestlers, the only one I can remember right now is Rick Steiner - in any case, they all signed for those of us who knew who they were.
 

KCLJ520

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Photos are now up - good stuff.

I have an autograph from Steve McMichael somewhere in my card room. Met him after a WCW show in Baltimore - he was driving his rental car and stopped in the middle of the road to ask us how to get to the local hot spot (Baja Beach Club). Gave him directions and than ran into him about 30 minutes later. He was there with a handful of other wrestlers, the only one I can remember right now is Rick Steiner - in any case, they all signed for those of us who knew who they were.

Mongo has calmed down a lot, got remarried and has a daughter now, not much older than my oldest (5), which makes Steve an older dad than me (36) so I feel pretty good!

He is a Bears fan favorite, I have heard some wild stories, but his love for the fans is great! I met him again with Gary Fencik at a Meijer store in Chgo shortly before we moved south in '07. There was a huge line, and Steve was telling stories, taking photos, and talking with everyone. The coordinators asked Gary if he would stay 30 more minutes, to which he said "sure." They then asked Steve if he could stay 30 more minutes, and he replied "I'll sign till there's nobody left!" Just a friendly Texan who Chicago just loves!
 

Jeffo65

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Nice story.

I believe I have whole team's autographs. I was going to college at University of Wisconsin Platteville at that time and worked for the university food/catering department during the summer when the Bears where there. I delivered ice, drinks and snacks to the bears locker rooms before and after their practices. We also were allowed on the practice fields during their practice since we had the ice.

I met a number of them personally during that time and became friends with a few. A good friend of mine, Mike Hintz also went to UWP and tried out for the Bears and actually suited up for 3 games in 1987.

I remember hitting the bars with a group of the bears and also having them over for cookouts at our apartment. My son still has an autographed football with about 10 signatures that he would have signed when they would come over. He was 2 at that time.

I have been slowly trying to replace some of my autographs that are not on 8x10s with 8x10 photos. A few of these were very easy as I am still friends with a couple guys from the team.

Great times were had during summer camp. Butler was a great guy, The Fridge was huge, McMahon was truly outrageous. Gary Fencik and Walter Payton were true professionals.

The guy that blew me away was Mike Ditka. Whenever we would ask him a football question, he would answer short and quick then ask us how school was going. He wanted know about us.
 
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SymphonicMetal

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Hard to believe with a team that dominant that there are only 4 HOF players from that team.....Payton, Hampton, Dent and Singletary. It is kind of hard to come up with another player who would be a hall of famer off the top of my head. I know Ditka is in but that was for being a player long before the '85 Bears.

And not everything was roses for the Bears in 1985. It was the last year for the Honey Bears. And now it is believed by some highly educated people that the Bears have suffered from the Honey Bear Curse ever since.


Great stories Kevin! Very fun to read.
 

KCLJ520

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Nice story.

I believe I have whole team's autographs. I was going to college at University of Wisconsin Platteville at that time and worked for the university food/catering department during the summer when the Bears where there. I delivered ice, drinks and snacks to the bears locker rooms before and after their practices. We also were allowed on the practice fields during their practice since we had the ice.

I met a number of them personally during that time and became friends with a few. A good friend of mine, Mike Hintz also went to UWP and tried out for the Bears and actually suited up for 3 games in 1987.

I remember hitting the bars with a group of the bears and also having them over for cookouts at our apartment. My son still has an autographed football with about 10 signatures that he would have signed when they would come over. He was 2 at that time.

I have been slowly trying to replace some of my autographs that are not on 8x10s with 8x10 photos. A few of these were very easy as I am still friends with a couple guys from the team.

Great times were had during summer camp. Butler was a great guy, The Fridge was huge, McMahon was truly outrageous. Gary Fencik and Walter Payton were true professionals.

The guy that blew me away was Mike Ditka. Whenever we would ask him a football question, he would answer short and quick then ask us how school was going. He wanted know about us.


What a cool story! I am so excited to read, the '85 Bears have a really enduring place in so many people's hearts, from the Super Bowl shuffle, to their personalities.....so cool to hear from someone who knew a lot of those guys personally. Who from the team are you still friends with, if you don't mind my asking? I believe those guys to have been very down to earth, just regular guys who happened to be parts of the best football team in NFL history!

Also cool to hear that you and Mike Hintz are friends, I remember his name from 1987, a heck of a college player too! Awesome that your son has a signed football as a memento, that is a true part of history. The Platteville camps were famous for the fans, and cool that you were behind the scenes there.

also very cool to know that Mike Ditka was down to earth as well, I know he has a real image in the media, but I think he is probably a warmer and friendlier guy in real life. I remember reading a story when he coached the Saints that his granddaughter was small at the time, and he would go out and buy a new book for her every week, and read to her before the game to settle his nerves, and relax before going out on the field. I have also heard that he is a deeply religious person, who made sure that there was Mass for all the Catholics on the team before games on Sundays too, as I know the McCaskey/Halas family participated in as well. Cool stuff.

Any other cool stories from your interactions?? I'm impressed!

God Bless

Kevin
 

KCLJ520

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Hard to believe with a team that dominant that there are only 4 HOF players from that team.....Payton, Hampton, Dent and Singletary. It is kind of hard to come up with another player who would be a hall of famer off the top of my head. I know Ditka is in but that was for being a player long before the '85 Bears.

And not everything was roses for the Bears in 1985. It was the last year for the Honey Bears. And now it is believed by some highly educated people that the Bears have suffered from the Honey Bear Curse ever since.


Great stories Kevin! Very fun to read.

Thank you Jeff, I had a fun time reminiscing putting this thread together, I mentioned the lines to my wife, and she smiled and said "hours of my life....it was worth it!"

I don't miss Chicago, but the signings were cool in those days, lots of free signings, and met the same characters at a lot of the events. There was a Bears Autograph Tattoo guy, Glenn Timmermann (http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20141205/sports/141208990/) who has by this time probably 150+ Bears autographs tattooed all over himself. Needless to say, he is something of a celebrity up there, probably the most committed and dedicated fan!

I think the Honey Bears are a really fun part of Bears history, I remember re-watching Super Bowl XX a few years back and seeing their poofy hair and Rockette-like routines on the sidelines! I think the Bears and Packers are the only teams without cheerleaders, if I am not mistaken?

What you said about Hall of Famers....crazy to think about! The 49ers were for sure the team of the 80s, and have Walsh as coach, Montana, Lott, Young, Dean, and Rice as players....similar numbers, more Super Bowls! Also, Young won another SB in '94 as well, still with Jerry Rice (best WR ever).

I would make a case maybe for Wilber Marshall as the other Bears Hall of Famer, he was so hard hitting. I always thought he was better than Dent, though Dent's numbers are pretty spectacular too. I think the entire defensive unit played in such sync, it would be hard to pick who the true HOFers were, since Otis Wilson played so well, Perry blocked so well, Fencik, Duerson, Frazier were great in the backfield. Steve McMichael was an above average player too, he had a long career in the NFL, mostly with Chgo too.

Overall, lots of standout players who learned to play just beautifully together, and Buddy Ryan, probably another HOF caliber coach, leading them from the sidelines.

What a thread this has turned into, let's keep it rolling my friends!

God bless,

Kevin
 

SymphonicMetal

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I was thinking Wilbur Marshall was the most likely candidate for the Hall from the defense also. I wonder if any of the Bear's O-lineman would be in consideration? It is odd that the 1969 Chiefs have 5 defensive players in the HOF and at least one (possibly 2) other(s) that is (are) on the All Time AFL team 1st team defense. I know the Hall is a career achievement but that is pretty surprising given the incredible dominance of the 1985 Bears D..

I was surprised to see it was George Halas's daughter that disbanded the Honey Bears. I thought they were finished after several of them appeared in Playboy. Apparently that had nothing to do with their demise.

I'm not an expert on who has cheerleaders in the NFL but it seems many of the traditional teams have never or rarely had them. The Giants and Steelers don't have them although the Steelers had some in the early-mid 1960s. The Bills used to have the Jills but they were dropped after they sued the team for overtime pay a few years ago. And the Lions never had cheerleaders until a year or two ago. And you mentioned the Bears and the Packers so there are at least 5 teams that don't have cheerleaders.

I gotta say that if you showed me Dan Hampton's picture and gave me no other details other than he was an NFL HOFer, I would have been able to guess who he was from his hair. I remember from the old football cards that he was on the All Hair Team LOL

And my two favorite characters from that team were Ditka and Singletary. I always liked that kind of no nonsense personality those two have.
 

KCLJ520

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I was thinking Wilbur Marshall was the most likely candidate for the Hall from the defense also. I wonder if any of the Bear's O-lineman would be in consideration? It is odd that the 1969 Chiefs have 5 defensive players in the HOF and at least one (possibly 2) other(s) that is (are) on the All Time AFL team 1st team defense. I know the Hall is a career achievement but that is pretty surprising given the incredible dominance of the 1985 Bears D..

I was surprised to see it was George Halas's daughter that disbanded the Honey Bears. I thought they were finished after several of them appeared in Playboy. Apparently that had nothing to do with their demise.

I'm not an expert on who has cheerleaders in the NFL but it seems many of the traditional teams have never or rarely had them. The Giants and Steelers don't have them although the Steelers had some in the early-mid 1960s. The Bills used to have the Jills but they were dropped after they sued the team for overtime pay a few years ago. And the Lions never had cheerleaders until a year or two ago. And you mentioned the Bears and the Packers so there are at least 5 teams that don't have cheerleaders.

I gotta say that if you showed me Dan Hampton's picture and gave me no other details other than he was an NFL HOFer, I would have been able to guess who he was from his hair. I remember from the old football cards that he was on the All Hair Team LOL

And my two favorite characters from that team were Ditka and Singletary. I always liked that kind of no nonsense personality those two have.

I looked up the Honey Bears today, Jeff, interesting history! Their first coach now is the coach of the Luvabulls, the Chgo Bulls dancers, and has been for 25+ years now. Interesting that Virginia canned the team, she has been criticized for not changing things that her father put in place, I have a handwritten letter from her that I will post at some point too.

Dan has very distinctive hair, he takes a lot of time on it from what I understand, too! Amazing the lack of HOFers, but I think the team chemistry kept a lot of credit fro

Ditka and Singletary are somewhere to the right of Atilla the Hun on a liberal-conservative scale....definitely old school, no nonsense types. I thought they would have won 3 or 4 in a row, or at least in the decade, but maybe part of the allure is the fact that for that season, they were the very best!

The O Line:

74 Jim Covert T
62 Mark Bortz G
63 Jay Hilgenberg C
57 Tom Thayer G
78 Keith Van Horne T
60 Tom Andrews OL
71 Andy Frederick OL
75 Stefan Humphries OL
79 Kurt Becker G

Really don't see any HOF caliber players there, maybe Jimbo Covert, but even he didn't have the longevity. Tommy Thayer was good, as was Jay Hilgenberg, and they played very well together, but honestly, the enigma of the Bears that year, McMahon was a hotshot, and hit Dennis McKinnon and Willie Gault for a lot of TDs, but was injured frequently (never played a full NFL season without being on the DL!). The neat thing about McMahon was the fact that he wasn't afraid to score himself (to Walter Payton's detriment in the Super Bowl, McMahon pushed two in from the 2 yard line and Payton never scored).

I think the key to the offense was Walter, but Matt Suhey blocked for him really well, which makes a great player even better....Payton had seen the postseason, but only 9 games from 1975-1987. I think the Bears were a "none of us is as strong as all of us" story.
 
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