I hate the NFL for not taking care of their players. The best football team ever was the 1985 Chicago Bears. They are all dead or half dead with all kinds of relapsing injuries even now so many years later when many of my readers weren’t even born yet. You youngsters would still love them because as a team they entertained the men, women and children. They were like cartoon figures that performed as a group in TV commercials, shows and entertained the crowds in general. They were also unfortunately playing at a time where the coaches shot up the players with all kinds of pain killers and stuff to get the best results for the game and no one cared about the long term effects of the juice.
No team has ever dominated a season while having so much fun. On the field they took control fast winning 18 games, 4 by shutout. Off the field they did as a team McDonald's commercials where they sang and danced, they made it to the cover of Time Magazine known as The Bad News Bears. They did Coca-Cola ads and the handsome Beach Boy looking Jim McMahon wisecracked his way to the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. So, even if you hated football and never watched it, you still knew these guys. They were regulars on talk shows. They danced the Super Bowl shuffle on TV.
They dared to sing that they would win the Super Bowl that year. They wound up with not just the championship but a Billboard top 50 record too. The entertainment value of that team will never be surpassed. Tackle Steve Mc Michael was the classic take ‘em down guy on defense. Jim McMahon led his quarterbacking with headbands, sunglasses, crazy jackets and a real punk attitude predicting in advance that they would win it all. The laughter and the memories mask the truth of the matter. These guys who once were poster boys are now the games sad tale.
Jim now suffers from deep depression with suicidal tendencies. 23 of his team mates, nearly half of those 85 Bears are now suing the league claiming that the game destroyed their bodies, their minds or both. Mike Dicta was the coach and also looked the tough persona of go out there and get ‘em boys like a cartoon character. The men he led seemed invincible and larger than life. Saturday Night Live did spoofs on them tearing up the place over hot dogs. There was number 72 Refrigerator Perry the giant black guy with the missing front tooth that no one dared to make fun of who was squarely built just like a giant freeze box and the coach used him to entertain everyone.
He was such a good athlete that he could block passes. If he could block passes he could run and if he could run he could catch. So at the Super Bowl on the one yard line they passed the ball to a 350 pound refrigerator missing his front tooth scoring the touchdown. Who does that? No one! Yes I have very vivid memories of a great team on and off the field. Today he is a very fragile individual hardly being able to walk from pain. Now they are all plagued by long term injuries from what was once considered fun times.
Number 95 Mr. Dent was the MVP of the Super Bowl that year and he is full of injuries now too. He remembers bowls full of pills in the locker room and watching players getting shots even during the game everywhere on their bodies. Then on the planes the liquor would be flowing in celebration or to mask the pains as downtime would seep in between games. So guys were high all the time from something and for some injury somewhere on the body. With all these plentiful detrimental things taken who do you get angry with? The team, the sport, the league the coach? It is not going to get any better anytime soon.
Walter Payton died of a rare liver disease in 1999. At age 50 safety Dave Dorson shot himself and wrote a letter saying he would shoot himself in the heart and want his brain donated to science so they can use it to find a solution to all the mental pain he was enduring. The coach says that if he had an 8 year old kid now he would tell him not to pick up a football meanwhile football was his life. The risk is worse than the reward. The league is ignoring all issues and that is the biggest crime of all.