A longtime fan of the Chicago Bears, author and essayist Rich Cohen tracked down the members of the 1985 team that won the Super Bowl to create a portrait of that colorful team and the special bond it created with the city of Chicago. In the process, he also examines the meaning of being a fan and devoting yourself completely to a team.
An ESPN essay likened the '85 Bears to the greatest rock 'n' roll band of all time:
"It was like following The Beatles, quite honestly. It almost had that sort of aura to it," said Ken Valdiserri, the team's longtime PR and marketing director. "When I think of it, I think of it fondly and with a lot of adoration to the people that were part of it.
"There's nothing like it, nothing that I think could ever be replicated in professional sports. ... It just created a hailstorm of publicity. It also brought about the fact that the Bears solidified their position as THE team in town."
Rich Cohen joins The Daily Circuit to talk about the book he wrote and the team he loved.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 1985 CHICAGO BEARS:
Review: 'Monsters' by Rich Cohen
This is a football city, and that is because we (or most of us) still like to think we live in a rough-and-tumble town. The echo of Carl Sandburg remains strong. He called the city "alive and coarse and strong and cunning" and endowed it with those "big shoulders," and through the generations they have performed for us in the human forms of Red Grange, Bronko Nagurski, Mike Ditka, Dick Butkus, Brian Urlacher and ... I could go on. (Rick Kogan in the Chicago Tribune)
An excerpt from Rich Cohen's "Monsters"
The '85 Bears developed a special bond with all their fans but most powerfully with the sort I had seen taken away. It was not just that they won--they went 15 and 1 in the regular season — but how they did it. With personality, style. This was the team of "The Super Bowl Shuffle" — a song released earlier that season by several of the players, it expressed their confidence in ultimate victory — and it was made of characters. Like the Beatles, there was a Bear for every sort of fan: Jim McMahon, the Punky QB, for the cocky daredevils. Walter Payton, Sweetness, the great running back, for the aficionados. William Perry, the Fridge, the gap-toothed 325-pounder, for big tall men. Dan Hampton, Danimal, the ferocious defensive tackle, for band geeks filled with secret violence. Mike Ditka, the coach who actually looked like a bear, for lovers of Patton-like rhetoric and the military boot. The offense was good but the defense was vicious: the famed 46, a concussion machine that swarmed and confused and beat other teams bloody. (Excerpted by the Morning Joe staff on MSNBC)