One of the more unheralded Super Bowl champions of the last few decades are the Chicago Bears of 1985. A ragtag bunch with very few notable charismatic personalities, they’ve managed to fly under the radar since their improbable Super Bowl run three decades ago. However, that is all about to change with a new episode of ESPN’s 30 for 30 titled, simply, “The ’85 Bears.”
Led by head coach Mike Ditka, or, The Coaching Guy, as he is commonly referred to locally in Chicago, the 1985 Bears marched to an improbable title after a ho-hum regular season that even saw them lose on Monday Night Football to the lowly Miami Dolphins in Week 13. But they somehow managed to regain their poise, and a month later, shuffled their way to a come-from-behind win in Super Bowl XX.
“We had a good football team and we did things the right way,” Coaching Guy said. “It was a team. It really was.”
“The ’85 Bears” is narrated by actor Vince Vaughn, who you may know from his guest spots on TV shows like 21 Jump Street and China Beach. As a lifelong Bears fan who has been practically disregarded as a non-player in Hollywood, Vaughn was an obvious choice to provide commentary for the film. It’s also likely that he enjoyed every minute of the project, because it honored the group of men who still to this day have provided the city of Chicago with their only Super Bowl win.
“These guys would say what was on their mind,” said Vaughn. “They would, you know, kind of hang out and let it all, kind of, fall in front of everybody.”
Members of the team who were interviewed for “The ’85 Bears” include Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, William Perry, Coaching Guy, and Jim McMahon.
“I remember most of those names,” said one Bears fan. “I’ve never seen a documentary on this team before, so I’m looking forward to watching all the interviews and learning about the insider stuff from the people who lived it.”
“For instance, I always wondered if Walter Payton was okay about not getting to score a touchdown in the Super Bowl that year,” the fan added. “Is there a back story to it that I’ve never heard? Probably. Because, again, I’ve never seen a documentary on this team before.”
It’s hard to believe it has taken 30 years for this particular bunch of football champions to finally get the respect from the national media that’s been so long overdue. But it’s better late than never.
“The ’85 Bears” premiers Thursday, Feb. 4 on ESPN.