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1985 Bears Coverage: Super Bowl fever grips Bear fans

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.

Super Bowl fever grips Bear fans

Larry Finley

Originally published Sept. 30, 1985

“Chicago Bears fans are different than baseball fans,” bartender Madlynn Como said as “Chet the Vet” screamed “No, no, no!” in a one-sided argument with the referee on television at the end of the bar.

“They are much more emotional than baseball fans,” Madlynn said, as Chet shook his fist at the screen and pounded the bar. “They tend to have an opinion on how each play should have been made.”

Super Bowl fever was gripping the football regulars at the Friar Tuck bar. Outside, the sun was shining brightly, but inside the dim den of the tavern all eyes were turned to two color television sets as the Bears dismantled the Washington Redskins.

After years of so-so Sundays and wait-until-next-year afternoons, the Tuck regulars were roaring. The Bears had won three games in a row and were on their way to four.

“The Bears are magic this year,” said Hollis E. Huxford IV. “They refuse to lose. They’ll go to the Super Bowl, and I’ll go, too.”

What about all of the Redskin flubs in the first half of the game that put the Bears ahead?

“Luck comes to those who are ready for it,” Huxford said. “Good teams are always luckier than the bad teams. Look at Walter Payton. He’s magic. Just look at him. Years from now, we’ll be telling our grandchildren we actually saw Walter Payton run.”

Said the Tuck’s owner, Angelo Como, Madlynn’s brother, “The Bears are hotter than my chili.”

Bears, hot chili and cold beer are a 15-year neighborhood tradition at Friar Tuck, 3010 N. Broadway. Como has stirred up a huge caldron of the fiery-hot stuff for the fans for every Bear game.

“Coach Mike Ditka is the difference,” Como said of the Bears. “He’s got them together. There’s no dissension on the team. He brought ingenuity and creativity to them. Ditka is the glue that bonds them behind the scenes. He’s honest, no nonsense.”

“Look,” Como said, pointing at the TV set as the Bears moved down the field. “That’s an unconventional play. The quarterback has caught a touchdown this game, and a back caught a touchdown. Just look at his play selection.”

But regular Bob Crawford was philosophical about the good news Bears and their Super Bowl chances.

“In Chicago, it is almost illegal to believe that they could make it,” Crawford said. “That’s why I choose not to believe until it happens. It’s difficult to watch a Bears team that doesn’t play like Bears, like this one does.”

Chet “The Vet” Krawczyk said, “They’re going all the way. They’ve got a good defense. And their offense is improving. Jim McMahon, the quarterback, is fantastic.”

Chet launched into another argument with television. A medic in the Vietnam War, he wore a Tshirt that proclaimed, “Contestant, Southeast Asia War Games, 1961-1975, Second Place.”

“Hold ’em! Hold ’em!” Chet shouted as the game wound down with the Bears leading 45-10.

“Chet,” Angelo reminded him, “if the Redskins score this quarter, you win $50 in the pool.”

“Go for it! Go for it!” Chet shouted. “The Bears are going to win anyway. I might as well win the pool.”

“Yea, yea,” Chet shouted as the Redskins scored. But the touchdown was called back and didn’t count.

“Well, it’s only money,” Chet said. “My team won. That’s what counts.”