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.
There’s no cheer over Honey Bears
Originally published Nov. 11, 1985
No doubt about it, Chicagoans would not take too sweetly to losing the Honey Bears.
Since word got out that Bears management may be considering an alternative to the Honey Bears, fans have been up in arms.
Yesterday’s game against the Detroit Lions was prime time for ticket holders to protest. Pro-Honey Bear petitions were passed around before and during the game. Banners reading, “What good are the Bears without the Honey Bears?” weathered snow flurries and chilly rain better than many fans.
“They can’t get rid of them, no way, they’re a part of the team,” said Rich Caf, an American Airlines employee. “I dropped half my pistachios just looking at them.”
Although Bears management claims to be reassessing the meaning of cheerleading, many fans prefer to leave well enough alone.
“It’s like the American flag and apple pie,” said Steve Robinson, a Chicago Park District employee. “It’s America. Football needs cheerleaders.”
Mike Cetina, an Aurora attorney, said, “It seems whenever Chicago teams start doing well, they start cutting back and raising prices. When they’re doing poorly, they’ll do anything for fans. When they win, they start screwing people over. Getting rid of the Honey Bears would be typical.”
“It would be a tragedy to lose them,” said David Lemke, a Rockford bookstore owner who chartered a bus with 43 others to see the game. “The Honey Bears are why we’re here. You can see the game better at home.”
Bears management will make a final decision about the Honey Bears on Wednesday. Bears public-relations director Ken Valdiserri said he has not received many complaints from fans, but Honey Bears choreographer and manager Cathy Core said she has redirected almost 300 calls to the Bears front office.
Many fans consider the Honey Bears among the NFL’s more respectable cheerleaders. Though their outfits aren’t exactly Victorian, they are more modest than those of other cheerleaders.
“I like the uniforms better than others that are so risque,” said Ann Thayer of Joliet, mother of Bears guard Tom Thayer. “I don’t really pay attention to the Honey Bears, but I know others do and they’re good for enthusiasm.”
Fans aren’t the only ones who would feel the loss; some players would, too. “They’re a great part of the organization ’cause they’re rooting us on,” said linebacker Otis Wilson. “The Bears management doesn’t value our opinion, but as long as we exist, I think the Honey Bears should exist.”
WLS-Channel 7′s Mike Adamle, an ex-Bear, said the Honey Bears are as much a part of the team as the players. “Losing them would be a real shame – if you look at pro football as entertainment, then there’s a real loss. The women are talented, intelligent ladies and are part of the team,” he said.