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1985 Bears Coverage: Ditka restores fun to staid football

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.

Ditka restores fun to staid football

Sun-Times Staff

Originally published Nov. 3, 1985

Just when we worried that NFL coaches were showing a lack of innovation, along came the Chicago Bears’ Mike Ditka with his “Back to the Future” look.

Yessir, give us more William “The Refrigerator” Perry’s busting up the middle.

Before long we’ll be back to leather helmets and black-and-white game films.

If this trend continues, before long we’ll be back to eight-man defensive lines. What other way can you stop that 300-pound plus load?

If might be fun, seeing behemoths on the field again. Heck, we could even make goal posts out of wood again.

The question is, will the use of Perry start a trend or is his lining up at blocking back in front of Walter Payton a lark?

The evidence supports the former. Tight ends in the backfield as extra blockers have been in vogue for several seasons.

If it continues, the coaches of the NFL could turn the game into a middle-of-the-field slugging match.

We propose that the NFL look at rules to guarantee this can’t happen. All it would take is a rule stating every team must have two receivers split away from the line of scrimmage.

That would encourage the coaches to keep throwing the ball and keep such antics as a Perry in the backfield a sidelight.