Super Bowl Stories: Mike Singletary

February 06, 2019

PFRPA
Photo Credit: Associated Press

The ‘85 Bears, otherwise known as the "Monsters of the Midway", came out with an easy victory in the big game against the Patriots. 

But life wasn’t always easy for the Bears’ "Minister of Defense".

PFRPA board member Mike Singletary, as the last of 10 kids and having lost two brothers by the age of 12, had his mom sit him down in their Houston home admonishing him to be the leader of the family. He went to his room and wrote down his goals, which included getting a college scholarship and making it to the NFL to buy his mother a house. 

 “That day my life began.” Singletary would remark during his Hall of Fame speech in Canton.

After a stand-out collegiate career in Waco, TX where he became the only defensive player to ever win the Davey O’Brien Memorial Trophy, Singletary would be picked by Chicago in the 2nd round out of Baylor in 1981.

Four years later, Singletary would be recognized as the NFC Player of the Year, the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year and an All-Pro, culminating in a solid performance against Craig James and the underdog Patriots in Super Bowl XX.

"It is a war every day, and you just have to make a decision whether you want to be a part of it, and whether you want to win."
- Mike Singletary

NO SHORTAGE OF TALENT

Coached by legendary Mike Ditka, who would become the second man to win a Super Bowl ring as a player and as a coach, the Bears had plenty of star-power outside of the future Hall of Famer, Singletary.

The roster included Walter “Sweetness” Payton, who at the time was the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Quarterbacking the team was another Davey O’Brien Trophy recipient, Jim McMahon, whose big and bold personality was fitting for the Super Bowl atmosphere. Then, there was William “The Refrigerator” Perry, the round mound of the ground who would famously rush for a touchdown in that Super Bowl.

Yet, one of the most memorable parts of that season was the rap song released by the Bears. The “Super Bowl Shuffle” by the Chicago Bears Shufflin’ Crew managed to crack the top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100, which is amazing considering the dancing was better than the rapping… and the dancing wasn’t all that good. 

Even Mike Singletary flashed his moves and stylish glasses.

THE GAME ITSELF

Fortunately for the Bears, they walked the walk. 

Super Bowl XX, which was watched by an estimated 92 million viewers, resulted in a 36-point margin of victory. Bears’ Defensive Coordinator, Buddy Ryan, believed that to stop the pass you had to put pressure on the pass. His innovative “46” defense freed Singletary to stop the ball-carrier cold and rock him good. 

By halftime, the Bears were halfway to their 46-point explosion.

Often lost in the history of the game is the context that Martin Luther King Jr. Day was observed for the first time the previous Monday. A performance group named, “Up with People,” performed a halftime show titled, "Beat of the Future," which was dedicated to the memory of Dr. King. 

By the end of the game, the defense recorded seven sacks and allowed only seven rushing yards. Singletary broke up a pass that prevented a score and tied a Super Bowl record with two fumble recoveries. Richard Dent would garner MVP honors, though, with an impressive performance including 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

It was an anticlimactic finish to a wild season, but one that will be remembered forever.

For the record, the punter played the cowbell in the Super Bowl Shuffle music video.

The ‘85 Bears knew one thing for sure: you’re going to want that cowbell!

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