Chicago still loves its ’85 Bears and there’s no denying it.
The 1985 team is still one of the most celebrated Chicago sports teams in history, even though their dominance took place over 30 years ago. The reasoning? Because the team was so damn good and so damn likable that fans never want to give that up.
One of those likable and dominant players was middle linebacker Mike Singletary who captained the defense. Singletary is one of the best players in franchise history and went on to make the NFL Hall of Fame. But do you want to know why he was so awesome? Here are XX reasons why:
He wanted to be a member of the Chicago Bears
Even before Singletary was drafted in the 1981 NFL Draft, he was hoping the Bears would take him. He’s been quoted as wanting to join the Bears as a linebacker out of college.
“I remember saying ‘Lord, if I can play with anybody, let it be with the Chicago Bears,” Singletary said via Chicago Bears.com
The Bears went on to take him in the second round, No. 38 overall and the rest is history.
There have been some pretty awesome nicknames throughout the history of the NFL but Singletary may have one of the best. He was given the nickname of Samurai Mike during his playing career for how intense he was on the field and his intimidation factor to opposing teams.
He’s also been called “The Minister of Defense” after being an ordained minister following his football career. Even current players are giving him nicknames as Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long is lobbying for him to be called the “Secretary of Defense”
The way he played the game
As previously mentioned, Singletary was one of the best linebackers and players in franchise history. He is one of many Bears to be inducted into the Hall of Fame when he got the call in 1998.
When people say Singletary was intimidating on the field, they are right. He was that and much more.
Being just “good” wasn’t enough for Singletary. He had to be the best. He had to punish you. He had to make you remember how good that 1985 Bears defense really was; how dominant they were and how painful they made it for opposing players.
Singletary was the leader of one of the best defenses in NFL history as he was “the man” on the defense. He recorded 109 solo tackles, 3 fumble recoveries, 3 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in the 1985 season. he was named to the Pro Bowl 10 times and was a First Team All-Pro selection 8 times in his career. Did we mention he was named to the 1980’s All-Decade Team?
He preached discipline
Being the captain of the defense requires a lot of attention and studying.
It’s a tough job to call the plays and make sure every player knows where they are supposed to be and gets the signal. Singletary was no pushover. He didn’t take crap from anyone and preached discipline throughout his entire career with the Bears.
That continued when he became the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 2009. Despite finishing with a below .500 career coaching record, Singletary made sure he made his players better men. Just take a look at his incident with Vernon Davis and what the tight end had to say:
Imagine being a NFL quarterback stepping up to the line of scrimmage and seeing the vaunted ’85 Bears defense standing in front of you. You’re scanning the defense then boom you see this staring at you:
Those eyes struck fear in opposing players eyes for years. The look of Singletary just getting ready to punish opponents never gets old.
His Super Bowl XX pep talk
Prior to Super Bowl XX, the Bears didn’t allow a single point in their two previous playoff games that year. They defeated the New York Giants in the NFC Divisional round and then the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.
Prior to the game against the Rams, Singletary gave the team a speech they will never forget.
According to Ditka, who was conducting the offensive team meeting in an adjacent room, Mike gave his teammates ” a little Knute Rockne talk.” Although his impromptu speech began on an even keel, by the time it was over, players were shouting and tossing tables and chairs.
The Bears went on to shut down running back Eric Dickerson and advance to Super Bowl XX.
His love for Buddy Ryan
Defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan had a major impact in Singletary’s career both on and off the field. Ryan served as a mentor for Singletary and the two established a close bond that still exists to this day.
Singletary loves telling the story about how Ryan would get on him during practices in his rookie season. Being frustrated, Singletary wondered if he would ever fit in Chicago. Then a teammate told him that it was the way Buddy showed to you that he liked you. The rest is history.
Here’s a clip from the recent ESPN 30 for 30 on the 1985 Bears showing Singletary and Ryan’s relationship:
There you have it. Seven reasons why former Chicago Bears linebacker Mike Singletary is awesome.
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