Posts tagged with: Walter Payton

Another odd Bears jersey sighting

It happened again yesterday. I was riding my bike when I came across a middle-aged man, also on bike, wearing a Bears jersey. I think this is weird in all cases: An adult shouldn’t be wearing a football jersey unless it has his own name on the back of it.

Anyway, this guy was wearing a number 83 jersey. You may ask, who is 83 on the Bears? Well, it doesn’t matter. This 83 honored that former Bear great wide receiver David Terrell. You might remember Terrell, the former Michigan University wide receiver taken eighth by the Bears in the 2001 NFL draft. You might also remember that he sucked.

Actually, that was an understatement. Terrell makes Rashied Davis look like Jerry Rice.

So, why was this bicycling guy wearing not only a Bears jersey, but one honoring one of the team’s biggest busts in history? I blinked my eyes and expected to see someone pedaling down the street with an “Enis” jersey on.

Remember, adults, you shouldn’t be wearing the names of any Bears players on your back. You’re too old. But if you insist, try wearing a “Marshall,” “Hampton” or “Payton” jersey. At least those guys didn’t suck.

When did you become a Bears fan for life?

When I was younger, I didn’t much care for football. My dad would hog the TV for what seemed like hours. And all those football games screwed up the Sunday evening TV schedule; The games always ran late.

But then came 1984, and the Bears were actually a pretty good team. They had a ferocious defense, a great running back and a cocky young quarterback.

Still, halfway through the season they hadn’t really proven themselves to the rest of the league. Then they took on the Oakland Raiders.

If you remember that 1984 game at Soldier Field, you’ll remember that defense ruled. The Raiders knocked quarterback Jim McMahon out of the game with a serious injury, more or less derailing his career. But the Bears, led by that punishing defense and running game, ruled 17-9. I’d never seen two teams hit each other so hard.

From that moment on, I was a Bears game. I was rewarded in 1984 with the Bears’ surprising playoff victory on the road against a tough Washington Redskins team. Of course, one week later, in the NFC championship game, the 49ers stifled the Bears 23-0.

I knew a team on the rise when I saw one, though, and I was hooked.

I still am, even when watching the Bears is as exciting as watching grass grow. They’re still my team.

1984 Bears win title! (In my strategy football game)

The best football game of all time has nothing to do with John Madden. It’s not even a video game.

Nope, it’s Statis-Pro Football, a strategy board game created by the Avalon Hill game company, atleast until 1992, when the company sadly stopped production.

The game, for those not familiar with it, allowed players to coach real teams from a number of professional football seasons — at least until the company stopped making new player cards in 1992. Using a deck of cards and real statistics from actual NFL players, you could throw an 80-yard touchdown pass on a play or watch in horror as your quarterback fumbled the ball after a particularly brutal Lawrence Taylor sack.

I love this game. It takes forever to play, but when I do get the chance, it’s a nice way to kill an afternoon.

When I first bought the game, I played with cards from the 1984 season. This was when the San Francisco 49ers were king of the NFL. But the Bears were good, too. Remember, they won their division in 1984, albeit with a fairly pedestrian 10-6 record.

Those Bears thrived on defense and the running of Walter Payton. In the Avalon Hill game, players like Dan Hampton, Mike Singletary and Otis Wilson had great player cards. Even cornerback Mike Richardson somehow graded out as a strong player.

I played two seasons with my 1984 Bears. The first, the Miami Dolphins won, and my beloved Bears lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Giants. I played a second season and fared better. My Bears went to the Super Bowl, beating the 49ers and the then St. Louis Cardinals along the way. There they faced our league’s defending champion Miami Dolphins.

Payton scored the winning touchdown on the Bears’s last drive of the game and Gary Fencik intercepted a late Dan Marino pass to preserve a 21-17 Super Bowl victory.

You know, I was nearly as excited as when the Bears won it allfor real in 1985.

And, yes, I know that makes me a geek. But what can you do?