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1985 Bears Coverage: Bears' lucky snack just might bite back

Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.

Bears’ lucky snack just might bite back

Marla Paul; Ray Hanania; Lynn Sweet; Robert Feder

Originally published Nov. 18, 1985

What delicacy, fried in a beer batter and served with a cocktail or remoulade sauce, do you serve to a planeload of Bears?

It’s alligator meat.

No kidding. The Monsters have cultivated a taste for the chickenlike substance. It has become a sacred ritual for them to

consume alligator appetizers while flying to away games.

Mike Ditka is to blame. Back in 1983, he and General Manager Jerry Vainisi discovered the tasty reptile in a Tampa restaurant before a game there. They won the game. They ordered more before the next game in Tampa. After that win, a good-luck charm was born.

At first, the exact nature of the appetizer wasn’t announced to the players until the flight landed. But now we can reveal United Airlines executive chef Alt Erwin’s secret ingredient.

How is the meat stored? “There is no reason to put the meat in `The Refrigerator,’ but we do,” said United spokesman Chuck Novak.

See ya later.