This is a book written about the 1985 Chicago Bears from a fan’s perspective. The fans of the Chicago Bears in their 40s today have a dearth of positive experiences to hang their hat on. They have mostly been in the cold purgatory of failure and embarrassment. Thus the 1985 Chicago Bears is not only deeply nostalgic for their faithful fans, but the only positive highlight of the Super Bowl era Bears.
I found the fan’s perspective and the author relaying his chance to actually attend the Super Bowl and his reminisces about being a hard luck Bear’s fan a very engaging aspect of the book. He does a great job of showing what it was like to be a young “adult” in 1985 and experience the excitement of being able to see his favorite team in the Super Bowl. At the time this eager young cub thinks every football season will be just like “this one” with the Bears winning and competing for championships. Then years later that bitter realization that it was all just a brief fling followed by signs of promise but failure, then slippage into perpetual hibernation.
Cohen does a fantastic job of telling the story of the 1985 Bears from the player’s perspectives too. The hatred between Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan, the 46 defense and its goal of taking out the “head” or quarterback, the defiant Jim McMahon, and the rotund and entertaining William “The Refrigerator Perry, and let’s not forget that dreadful Super Bowl shuffle. Then on a sadder note, Walter Payton’s anger over not scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl is addressed too.
And finally the book does a fine job of getting the reminisces of many of the Bears’ players years removed from their glory season. From quarterback Jim McMahon, Mike Ditka, Gary Fencik, and Steve McMichael, among others, we understand how deeply important that one glorious season was to their legacy. And then to be acknowledged as the greatest defense of all-time just put icing on the cake.
While I am not a Chicago Bears fan I did enjoy the book. It is a must read for Bears fans and a fun read for football fans, especially those who remember Super Bowl XX.