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1985 Bears Coverage: Ticking off the troubles is easy

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.

Ticking off the troubles is easy

Dan Pompei

Originally published Jan. 14, 1986

Even if you are blessed by winning the lottery set up by the Bears for tickets to buy a ticket to Super Bowl XX, you would have trouble: (a) getting to New Orleans and (b) having a place to stay.

All flights and rail trips arriving in New Orleans close to the Jan. 26 date for the Bears-New England game have been sold out for weeks, said travel agent Cynthia Hall.

But even if you get there, where do you stay? Hotels within 80 miles of the Superdome have been booked for months at inflated prices.

Finding transportation is “sort of a moot point if there’s nothing available,” said rail agent Shelly Zurek.

Hall said the most timely available flight was one for Jan. 22 to Baton Rouge, about 70 miles from New Orleans. Best Amtrak available also was for Jan. 22, according to Zurek.

There are no tickets available for the general public. Through a lottery, however, the Bears expect to provide tickets for approximately 34 percent of season ticket holders.

Those who get tickets won’t know about it until Saturday or Monday, because the Bears won’t be mailing tickets until Friday.

Season ticket holders were told to mail in certified checks yesterday for tickets at $75 each. A season ticket holder who owns one ticket will receive one Super Bowl ticket if he wins the lottery.

A winning season ticket owner who owns between two and six will receive two. A winning season ticket owner who owns seven to 12 will receive four. A winning season ticket holder who has more than 13 will receive six.

Chances for winning increase based on the number of years the season ticket holder has owned his tickets.

The Bears received 16,000 tickets and allocated 11,225 to season ticket holders. The other 30 percent is going to players, coaches, staff, advertisers and skybox leasers.

SAMURAI ROCKNE: There is a reason middle linebacker Mike Singletary is called “Samurai” by teammates.

Over the weekend Singletary left a room at the McCormick Inn looking like he took a Samurai sword to it.

In a defensive meeting Saturday night, Singletary stood up and told his teammates what they had to do to beat the Rams.

Coach Mike Ditka and the offense was in the room next door, and became alarmed at “such emotion coming from the other side of the wall.”

By the time Singletary was through, several chairs and tables were tossed about.

“He gave a little Knute Rockne talk,” Ditka said. “Mike is a combination of leadership, discipline and effort.”

SHOW BIZ: Quarterback Jim McMahon will appear on the David Letterman television show tonight (Ch. 5, 11:30 p.m.).

William “Refrigerator” Perry will watch with special interest. He did a guest shot with Letterman in November.

REVENGE: Receiver Willie Gault says he’s not disappointed the Bears won’t have a Super Bowl opportunity to avenge their only loss of the season – against Miami.

“Miami beat us, but we beat New England during the season, and they beat Miami. So we’re even.”

SITE SHUFFLE: Why are the Bears going to practice at Memorial Stadium in Champaign this week?

It’s better than practicing in distraction-filled Chicago, says Ditka.

“The Rams said they couldn’t understand why we were leaving town to practice in Suwanee, Ga.,” Ditka said.

“The Giants said they didn’t understand why were leaving town.”

He paused and pointed to his head.

“Now they know.”

INJURY REPORT: The Bears came out of Sunday’s NFC title victory in relatively good shape. Defensive tackle Steve McMichael’s lingering sore knee is the worst problem.

Center Jay Hilgenberg has a badly sprained ankle, Jim McMahon has a sore back and buttocks and Walter Payton has assorted bruises.