For many of the Chicago Bears, a Super Bowl ring was all they needed to retire a happy man. But for Steve McMichael, who won three of them with the 1985 football champions, the thrill of victory was never enough. In a stirring moment at an emotional fundraiser for former teammate and ALS-stricken Mark Bortz, McMichael announced that he will donate his brain to the Sports Legacy Institute, a non-profit organization committed to addressing the connection between repeated head trauma and brain disease.
The 1985 Chicago Bears just notched their biggest win ever at an emotional fundraiser for ALS-stricken teammate Steve McMichael. McMichael, who played on the team’s legendary 1985 squad , announced that he had the disease in 2012. (Sportsjuke.com)
The 1985 Chicago Bears always win. As strong as this team was 36 years ago, the boys came together recently and pulled off another victory, perhaps their biggest yet. Steve McMichael, the defensive end who dominated the 1985 Super Bowl, recently announced that he has been diagnosed with ALS. His former teammates came from all over for an emotional fundraiser Monday night for the man they called Mongo.
Is the 1985 Chicago Bears defense the best in history?
(From left) Chicago Bears linebackers Dan Hampton #99, William Perry #72, Richard Dent #95, center Wilbur Marshall #58 and left guard Steve McMichael #76 wait their turn at the line of scrimmage before the game during the 1985 season at Salger Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) COMPARED TO: Jim McMahon talks about the Bears’ only loss in 1985 and how he upset Mike Ditka The numbers are staggering. In 1985, the Bears scored 198 points in the regular season and another 10 points in three postseason games. They made 54 turnovers in 16 games, finishing at 15-1. They threw six more interceptions in a 46-10 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 20. They threw 10 interceptions in the playoffs. In 2016, Gil Brandt, former senior NFL media analyst and 28-year vice president of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys, called the Bears the best defense in history. Bill Parcells told me this is the best defense he’s ever seen, Brandt wrote on ChicagoBears.com. The Bears beat every team in the regular season and had a great playoff run, beating the Giants (21-0) and Rams (24-0) before beating the Patriots by 36 points. Led by defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, the Bears’ defense threw 34 interceptions and 64 sacks. I was with the Cowboys when we played this team and the Bears dismantled us with a 44-0 win, Brandt wrote. The following week, Chicago defeated the Atlanta Falcons 36-0.
Steve McMichael was diagnosed with ALS
. COMPARED TO: Chicago Bears legend Steve McMichael delivers heartbreaking news about his health I never thought it would end like this. McMichael, a 6-foot-2, 270-pound quarterback, was a quarterback chaser. He remains second in team history as a quarterback with 92.5. A five-time All-Pro, he started 191 consecutive games and was an iron man on the team’s defense. The 63-year-old is now confined to a wheelchair after being diagnosed with ALS four months ago. McMichael lost the use of his hands and arms. His legs are weak, which forces him to use a wheelchair. The medical bills piled up and put extra pressure on his wife Misty and their 13-year-old daughter Macy. A fundraiser was held Monday to help the McMichael family with these expenses. The event was held at the Wrigley View Rooftop, across from Wrigley Field. The money will also help the McMichaels move into a home that is handicap accessible. A GoFundMe page has been created and so far over $190,000 has been raised.
Several 1985 Chicago Bears teammates came to help
COMPARED TO: Mike Ditka can’t correct the mistake he regrets most In a night of laughter and tears, several members of the 1985 Bears team came from across the country to help their teammate. According to ChicagoBears.com, 13 players and head coach Mike Ditka attended the event. Midfielder Willie Gault flew over from California and said he wanted to do what he could to help. Mongo has been a part of our team for a long time, his teammate, Gault said. This is a bear from 1985. Anything I can do to help him, to ease his pain, that’s what I want to do. If you know anyone going through this, it’s very sad. It’s important to me because it’s so close. All we can do is support him, pray for him and do what we can to help him and his wife. It’s a very difficult situation, and I think he’s handling it incredibly well, as is (Misty), said former teammate Jimbo Covert, who flew in from Florida to visit him. We try to support him in any way we can, financially and emotionally. He’s just a sincere man. What you see is what you get, and I made sure of that from day one when I met him as a rookie in 1983 at the age of 22. She’s just a great person and a cool person. You have to be tough to handle what he does.