Interview With a Legend: Q & A With Former Bears DT Steve McMichael

Interview With a Legend: Q & A With Former Bears DT Steve McMichael

Steve McMichael spent 13 of his 15 NFL seasons with the Chicago Bears. McMichael, who went by the nickname "Mongo" donned the No. 76 in his time in Chicago.

He appeared in 213 games, starting 171 while racking up 838 tackles, 95 sacks, 13 forced fumbles, 17 fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

He was drafted by the New England Patriots in 1980 in the third round out of the University of Texas.

The Bears decided to sign the 6’2″, 270-pound lineman and he helped lead them to a Super Bowl XX victory in 1985 and he was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1986 and 1987.

He had three seasons where he posted 10 sacks or more (1984, 1988, 1992) and he posted 80 or more tackles in five seasons (1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992).

He finished his NFL career in 1994 with the Bears' rival Green Bay Packers. Former Bears head coach and tight end Mike Ditka stated in 2005 that McMichael was the toughest player he ever coached.

McMichael spent five years wrestling professionally in the WCW following his NFL career.

He has been the head coach of the Chicago Slaughter of the Indoor Football League since 2006. In 2010, he was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

I had the chance to catch up with Steve this past week and he touched on everything from the great seasons he enjoyed in Chicago, what everyday life is for him now and what his take was on the coach Ditka and coach Ryan feud.

Here's the interview with Bears' Super Bowl XX champion DT Steve McMichael.

BB: How good was the defense during the 85' and 86' seasons? Did you feel like those teams could make a run at the beginning of those seasons?

SM: From 1980 to 1990, we were number one in every defensive category that they held statistics for, except for number of rushing yards and we were number 2 with that by 0.1 yards.

BB: Was it a big disappointment to not repeat in 86' after enjoying such a great Super Bowl season the year before?

SM: You’ll never know.

BB: Who inspired you most to pursue your dreams of professional football?

SM: My parents inspired to pursue a career in football.

BB: Did you expect to be drafted higher than the third round in 1980?

SM: Yes. 1980 in the 3rd round was the New England Patriots. Waiting to be drafting, it was stressful.

BB: What does an average day consist of for Mr. McMichael?

SM: It just depends on what season you’re talking about. During the NFL season it’s the radio show. You know the restaurant in Romeoville. And all season I'm doing the Chicago Slaughter games.

BB: Could you talk about the argument between coach Mike Ditka and coach Buddy Ryan? What was it all about?

SM: It was like two uncles fighting in the backyard at a family reunion. And that's all you can say bout that.

BB: What was your favorite part of the game of football? 

SM: Walking outta the tunnel to the roar of the crowd.

BB: Do you have anything to say about Chicago Legends golf classic and the Dr. Jeff Foundation? What does it mean to you?

SM: Live by the axiom, I am my brother’s keeper and you will go far.

Don't forget to follow Steve "Mongo" McMichael on Twitter.

The Chicago Legends Golf Classic takes place Friday, August 10, 2012 presented by the Illinois Back Institute. The celebrity style golf tournament takes place in Oak Brook, so get your tickets before it's too late. Contact Kristina Wert for more information, Kristina.Wert@illinoisback.com.

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