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ESPN’s 30 for 30: “The ’85 Bears” Is the Cure for Chicago’s 2016 Super Bowl Blues

Fri February 05 2016 12:13 pm
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ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 documentary “The ’85 Bears” premiered Thursday night featuring arguably the greatest football team in NFL history. The comprehensive feature was released Thursday night February 4, 2016 on the 30th anniversary of the Chicago Bears Super Bowl XX victory. The 1985-1986 Bears team members got a sneak preview a week ago Wednesday in Chicago.

The ESPN documentary is narrated by Lake Forest native Vince Vaughn, who was also Executive Producer of the film with Director Jason Hehir.

Jim Parmer and Bill Tobin
Chicago Bears scouts Jim Parmer (left) and Bill Tobin.

“Bears ’85” begins by introducing the close relationship of the Defensive Team with Defensive Coordinator Buddy Ryan, who left the championship team the year after Super Bowl XX — just one of many occurrences that tarnished the full celebration for the team. The two-hour documentary covers the remarkable history from the retention of Buddy Ryan, hiring of new General Manager Jim Finks and firing of Head Coach Neill Armstrong, to the scouting talent of Bill Tobin and Jim Parmer, to the development of the championship team to the Super Bowl XX victory, to the death of Walter Payton and post-career traumatic injuries and medical treatment of Jim McMahon.

Bears fans will learn or recall the players’ personalities, their nicknames, and their athletic performances with game and practice clips and interviews with Mike Ditka, Mike Singletary, Gary Fencik, Jim McMahon, Otis Wilson, Dan Hampton, “Mongo” Steve McMichael, Jimbo Covert, “Refrigerator” William Perry, Matt Suhey, and Kevin Butler.

Mike Ditka 85 Bears
Mike Ditka: “Not how fast he runs. Not how high he jumps. Not how much weight he lifts.”

“We knew who we wanted. We knew the kind of players we wanted. I wanted to know the character … what’s the guy all about. Not how fast he runs. Not how high he jumps. Not how much weight he lifts. Now, that’s all wonderful … [but] that has nothing to do with him being a football player.

— Mike Ditka

Old practice clips reveal a great insight to the team. You’ll learn how the “46 Defense” was named. You’ll learn what player was recognized for his protection of Dan Marino at Pitt. You’ll learn whether the relationship of Ditka and Ryan was amicable or contentious. You’ll learn something many people don’t know about Walter Payton and Super Bowl XX, and how long Payton lived after he tearfully announced he needed a liver transplant to survive. The history, the triumphs, the tragedies are remarkable.

For Super Bowl 50 weekend, Bears fans just might want to remember the Black-n-Blues Brothers (Bears Offensive Line/1985) and the incredible defense, quarterback, scouts and coaches by viewing ESPN’s documentary on ESPN2 before Super Bowl 50 on Sunday February 7, 2016 at 5:30PM CT.

The first replay of ESPN FILMS 30 for 30 “The ’85 Bears” is overnight tonight — Saturday February 6, 2016 from 12AM-2AM CT.

The second replay of ESPN FILMS 30 for 30 “The ’85 Bears” is Sunday, February 7, 2016 from 11AM-1PM CT.

You can also watch ESPN FILMS 30 for 30 “The ’85 Bears” anytime on AppleTV. If you’re a Bears, there is no better time to activate your ESPN app. You can find the the full replay of the ESPN documentary here …

ESPN: Featured: 30 for 30 “The ’85 Bears”: Replay tab

ESPN First Take – Molly Qerim Joins Stephen A Smith and Skip Bayless as they debate the hottest topics in sports with Hall of Fame Chicago Bears Linebacker Mike Singletary.

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