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1985 Bears Coverage: New Orleans saints, sinners

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.

New Orleans saints, sinners

Brian Hewitt

Originally published Jan. 26, 1986

The Bears spent a month in New Orleans this week. Got a minute?

Jim McMahon, the quarterback that care forgot, made the Big Easy uneasy when he hung a moon at a passing chopper giving new meaning to the nickname “Crescent City.”

Bear tackle Dan Hampton told comedian Tom Dreesen that his offseason hobby was “cheese sculpting.”

And somebody dredged up the response attributed to former New England Patriot placekicker Mike Walker, a Brit, when asked what he planned to do with his signing bonus. “I’d like to go to Florida and buy myself a pandemonium,” Walker said.

Pandemonium was cheap here this week. So were rumors, tortured prose, sunshine and bad wine.

New Orleans wasn’t so much a moveable feast as it was a jambalaya. Here are a few leftovers:

LISTING TO STAR-BORED: Seven suggestions on what Bear quarterback Jim McMahon’s headband ought to say in Super Bowl XX today:


“Wash Me”


“Jerk At Work”


“Kiss My Sass”

“Read The Sun-Times”

NO RELATION TO RICHARD: The first player ever drafted by the New England Patriots attended Northwestern. His name was Ron Burton.

BEYOND SUPERDOME: “You won’t believe this,” said Bear running back Calvin Thomas, “but I’ve been asked three or four times what impact the weather could have on the game.”

CHARM SCHOOL DROPOUT: New England wide receiver Irving Fryar wore a necklace with a small pair of boxing gloves attached. The next day he sported one with the inscription “Cute deleted.”

QUE SERA SURREAL: Officials in Chicago placed a “Go Bears” headband on the Picasso statue.

WE WILL BURY YOU: Patriot guard Ron Wooten suggested President Reagan would be rooting for New England. “Hey,” said Wooten, “we’re the Patriots. They the Bears are the Soviets’ mascot.”

BEAR DOWN DORIAN GRAY: Either Bear president Michael McCaskey aged in a hurry or the picture above his name in Monday’s New Orleans Times-Picayune was of his father, Ed McCaskey.

POT CALLS KETTLE BLACK: On Wednesday, the New Orleans Board of Trade voted overwhelmingly to oppose legalization of casino gambling. Members said gambling would be “the deathknell to trade and commerce in this area.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?: There are 516 churches, 3,700 licensed bars and 41 cemeteries in New Orleans.

LAY ON MACDUFF: When an English broadcaster reminded Bear tackle Steve McMichael of his Scottish roots, McMichael perked up.

“Scootlund, Scootlund, by golly,” McMichael said.

“Do you have any relatives there?” the broadcaster asked.

“I don’t know,” McMichael answered, reverting to his Texas accent. “They’re probably all dead.”

DAILY PLANET HAS LEARNED: The NFL has issued Super Bowl credentials in the past to reporters from the Jefferson Davis Journal, the Opportunity Valley News, the Oroville Register, the Pottstown Mercury and the Opelousas Daily World.

BAD NEWS: The halftime entertainment at Super Bowl XX will be Up With People, the musical equivalent of bread pudding.

PARANOIA STRIKES DEEP: Bear running backs coach Johnny Roland was quoted in one newspaper as saying: “You can’t believe what you read in the newspaper or hear on television. All the time they’re patting you on the back, we’ve come to realize, all they’re doing is looking for a soft spot to stick you with a knife.”

It was nice of him to warn us he probably didn’t say that.

SCRATCH AND SNIFF: The state of Maine’s Penobscot Indians sent 30 pounds of Bear meat to the Patriots. They also sent a tanned skin from a black bear shot recently.

“It’s so that the players may get a feel for the texture of Bear hide and, of course, for their smell,” said tribal governor Timothy Love.

KID’S STUFF: New England guard Ron Wooten said this about the mouthy pronouncements of Bear quarterback Jim McMahon: “I get a kick out of it. But I’ve always been amused by childish pranks.”

OTIS, MY MAN: Patriot running back Robert Weathers was less amused when Otis Wilson said he saw no reason why the Bears can’t shut out the Patriots.

“I’m not going to get into anything with Otis Wilson. I will just say to anyone who actually thinks they’re going to walk right into a world championship and shut out people: I just don’t perceive that as someone that’s aware of where they are or what they’re facing. We’ll see Sunday.

“If they don’t succeed, then they should be man enough to come over later and say they were wrong. But I don’t think a guy like Otis Wilson can do that.

“If Otis Wilson loses and he was absolutely wrong, I think he will be too ashamed to come over and say he was wrong.”

AND FINALLY . . . NBC announcer Bob Costas had this concise appraisal of Super Bowl XX: “I expect the Bears to win. I can see scenarios where the Patriots would win. But the Bears aren’t 10-point favorites for nothing.”