They were one of the best football teams in the history of the NFL. The Chicago Bears were also a close-knit bunch of guys. Former quarterback Jim McMahon said it was Thursday nights when he and his offensive linemen would all go to dinner. Soon after, the whole team was joining. McMahon did recount one moment when one of his wide receivers threatened to sue him over the making of the very popular ‘Super Bowl Shuffle’ video.
Jim McMahon and the 1985 Chicago Bears
Although the 1985 Chicago Bears were known for their defense, quarterback Jim McMahon was the leader of the team. The outspoken McMahon was a guy who would give up his body for a first down. He was also a winner. With McMahon as their starter, the Bears were 14-0 that season.
The Bears won their first 12 games of the season and did so in convincing fashion. The Bears allowed less than 10 points in half of those games, while the offense put up at least 20 points in every game but one. In the three games prior to their Week 13 loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Bears outscored their opponents by a combined 104-3.
The Bears suffered their first loss of the season in a Monday Night Football game at the Miami Dolphins. Chicago started the game without an injured McMahon, who came in during the fourth quarter to try and provide a spark. The Bears lost to the Dolphins 38-24.
The Bears’ strong postseason run
After a bye week, the Chicago Bears hosted the New York Giants in their first playoff game of the 1985 season. The Bears held the Giants to 32 rushing yards and 181 yards of total offense. Quarterback Jim McMahon threw a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes to Dennis McKinnon to break open a 7-0 halftime lead and help the Bears earn a 21-0 win.
The Bears followed up that victory with another shutout win in the NFC title game. McMahon’s 16-yard touchdown run helped stake the Bears to a 10-0 halftime lead over the Los Angeles Rams. McMahon then threw a 22-yard scoring strike to Willie Gault to break the game open in the third quarter en route to a 24-0 victory.
The win over the Rams sent the Bears to Super Bowl 20 to face the New England Patriots. The Bears trailed for the first time all postseason when Tony Franklin’s 36-yard field goal gave New England a quick 3-0 lead. Then the Bears just took over. Chicago scored 44 unanswered points as the Bears cruised to a 46-10 victory.
‘Super Bowl Shuffle’ almost cost McMahon some money
The Bears had a lot of fun during their run in 1985. During that run, the team put together a fun video called the ‘Super Bowl Shuffle.’ Bears wide receiver Willie Gault had a friend in the music business and thought it would be a fun idea. Jim McMahon said he was told they were “going to make a record and the proceeds were going to feed the homeless at Thanksgiving and Christmas,” McMahon said during an interview on Golf Sub Par.
“They got four or five of us to go to a studio and do our part,” McMahon said. “About a week or two later, they came back and said you guys gotta do a video. We were like, no we’re not going to do a video. You told us to do a record. We did the record. That’s it. They said everyone does videos now and we have to do one. I said, ‘No, I’m not doing it.’ We found out they were going to tape it the day after we got back from Miami.
“Walter (Payton) and I didn’t go. Three or four days later, Willie (Gault) came to us at practice and said, ‘Hey, if you guys don’t do your part, we’re going to have to sue you.’ I guess the small print said something, I don’t know. So what you see there is Walter and I did our parts after practice one day in the racquetball court at Halas Hall. They just green-screened, blue-screened, whatever they do. So what you saw was one pissed-off white man doing whatever the hell I was doing.”