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1985 Bears Coverage: Lions will be Bears for a day

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.

Lions will be Bears for a day

Don Hayner

Originally published Jan. 4, 1986

The lions at the Art Institute of Chicago will have their Bears helmets restored tomorrow, and might even roar if the Bears whip the Giants.

Despite pesky thieves, each of the bronze lions will once again be sporting a huge 50-pound helmet for the day.

But this time, the helmets will be protected by a guard stationed nearby. Both helmets have been repaired after being damaged – one by thieves who later abandoned it and the other by would-be thieves who dropped it.

The massive helmets will be worn by the lions from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. tomorrow, said Eileen Harakal, speaking for the museum.

And if the Bears win, the helmets will be worn again the days of the Jan. 12 playoff game and the Jan. 26 Super Bowl.

In addition to Sunday’s regular guard, Patrick Galinski, a museum electrician, also will be keeping an eye on the massive headgear. Galinski repaired the helmets, which have a hat size fit for a king of the jungle.

He replaced both face-guards – one of which was severed, the other smashed – and used a rubber mallet and a propane torch to fix dents, then painted them.

“They turned out pretty nice, I must say,” said avid Bears fan Galinski, 30, who will be there to put the helmets on the lions tomorrow.

The helmets were made for the Art Institute by sculptor Dan Galemb.

As for those who think the lions shouldn’t wear Bears helmets, consider the comments of the late Edward Kemeys, the lions’ creator.

Kemeys, a New York day laborer turned artist, once said, “I believe in things that appeal to the people. I have never doubted the judgment of the people.”