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1985 Bears Coverage: Honey Bears may get stung

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.

Honey Bears may get stung

Sun-Times Staff

Originally published Nov. 5, 1985

Put the Honey Bears on the endangered-species list.

And just when the Bears were doing so well.

“We’re hoping it won’t be true,” said Sharon Wottrich, the president of the A-Plus agency, which recruits and runs the cheerleading squad. The Honey Bears, noteworthy for their low-cut costumes, wave their pompons around and cheer the Bears during home games.

For some reason, male fans give Honey Bears the same attention that Walter Payton receives on his way to a touchdown.

But the five-year contract between the Bears and the Honey Bears ends in April and it looks like there may not be a renewal.

“We’re just looking at other opportunities,” said Ken Valdiserri, Bears PR chief, but “they could be back.”

“The possibility of not seeing them around is very sad,” said Cathy “Ma Bear” Core, the cheerleaders’ choreographer. “The girls are quite upset.”

The Honey Bears have been a fixture on the sidelines since 1977. They get a little fame (a few have launched modeling careers) but no fortune. This year’s 36 squad members make a whopping $20 apiece per game. (In all, they cost the Bears about $45,000 annually.)

And they don’t even get to make a pass at the players. The Honey Bears contract prohibits fraternizing with the Bears.

A Honey Bear summit will be held Nov. 13 between Wottrich, Bears president Michael McCaskey and general manager Jerry Vainisi.

Should the Honey Bears get ready for hibernation?