The 1985 Bears defense vs. the 2018 Bears defense: You MUST READ THIS!!!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access.
Try one month for $1!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access. Try one month for $1!
It’s well past the time for someone to re-ask Scottie Pippen if LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan, causing a 24-hour news cycle of outrage, citizen’s arrests and rewritten wills.
While we wait, here’s something to fill the indignation void: The current Bears defense is better than the iconic 1985 Bears defense.
You probably think that’s a pathetic attempt to attract more readers, more eyeballs and more clicks. You couldn’t be more wrong about the media these days!
Three Takeaways from my These-Bears-Are-Better-Than-Those-Bears Hot Take:
† I don’t believe it.
† But we all know that somebody is eventually going to say it.
† The current defense is really, really good. I mean really good. Just not that good.
The acquisition of outside linebacker Khalil Mack has transformed the Bears from a good defense to arguably the best defense in the NFL. He blows past offensive linemen as if they’re mile markers. Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks rents himself out as a car crusher in his off hours. Safety Eddie Jackson has had a pick-six in each of the Bears’ last two games, which begins to tell the story of how good he is, but only just. Rookie linebacker Roquan Smith is a heck of a player on his way to being a hell of a player. And so on down the line.
But better than the ’85 Bears? No.
Four Powerful Ways of Establishing Your Chicago Street Cred:
† Dan Hampton, Richard Dent, Mike Singletary.
† William Perry and Steve McMichael.
† Otis Wilson and Wilber Marshall.
† Mike Richardson, Leslie Frazier, Dave Duerson and Gary Fencik.
OK, that’s 11 ways, but four is visually friendlier and more reader-accessible than 11. Those 11 defenders, as a unit, terrorized opposing offenses in 1985. Sort of like what the 2018 Bears defenders, as a unit, are doing. But the current Bears are still in the embryonic stage. Maybe they’ll get to where the ’85 Bears got. If so, they would accomplish what no defense has before or since.
Similar noise was made about the 2005 Bears defense. I might have even been one of the people making that noise. That unit featured future Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman and Mike Brown, who might have been a Hall of Famer if he could have stayed healthy. The group led the league in fewest points allowed and was near the top in many other defensive categories.
But the passing of time tends to decide arguments, and 13 years later, we can say that, although the Urlacher-led defense was very good, it didn’t have the overall firepower of the 1985 unit.
Two Things You Absolutely Need to Know:
† Lots of Chicagoans are sick of hearing about the 1985 Bears.
† Lots of Chicagoans would be willing to die defending the honor of the 1985 Bears.
Many current fans hadn’t even been born when that team was running over the rest of the NFL. They hear “1985 Bears’’ and begin thinking about elective eardrum-removal surgery. It’s like a teenager having to listen to his father’s high school football heroics. At the first “and then there was the time . . .,’’ the kid has made the decision to become a monk.
But those of us old enough to have seen that defense fuel the Bears to a Super Bowl XX victory — and those who didn’t but who are familiar with YouTube — know how good it was. And we feel not the least bit self-conscious in boldly proclaiming that defense to be the best in NFL history. Not even former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis’ 33-minute Hall of Fame speech/sermon last summer can change that.
Who wins as a football genius, current Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio or late, great ’85 defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan?
Ryan devised his own defense, the 46, which was named after safety Doug Plank’s uniform number. You devise a defense that has a name, you’re going to win most debates. But Fangio has been good everywhere he has been. Ryan was loud and crude. Fangio is more reserved. Vote and discuss.
Five Hot New Trends for Winter:
† Tiny visors atop bald heads, a la Bears coach Matt Nagy.
† Choreographed end-zone celebrations that last longer than halftime.
† Prison sentences for anyone who dares to criticize Mitch Trubisky.
† Mike Lombardi dartboards.
† Inspirational Compliment of the Day offerings from Fangio, with selections ranging from “you’re not bad’’ all the way to “keep it up and someday you’ll be pretty good.’’
Have there been two more different people than the very cocky Jim McMahon, quarterback of the 1985 team, and the more unassuming Trubisky, the quarterback for the current team?
Sounds like a 20-part Internet slide show. And I’d love to stay and watch it. I really would. Alas, I have to go now. There are clicks to count.