Twenty-six years after one of the greatest teams in NFL history won the Super Bowl, the 1985 Bears will finally get their trip to the White House. This, according to David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com.
The tradition goes back further than anyone alive can remember, and even further still. As far back as anyone has traced it, the Brooklyn Atlantic professional baseball team was invited to the White House in 1865 (146 years ago), after winning a Championship, just five months following the end of the Civil War.
But, just two days after the Bears defeated the New England Patriots 46-10 in 1986, tragedy would postpone the team’s trip. The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven crew members aboard.
1985 Chicago Bears center Jay Hilgenberg: “The next day is when the space shuttle blew up. That ended the whole hoopla. We never got invited to the White House.”
“We figured we'd be back a few more times. In '85, we were the youngest team in the league,” quarterback Jim McMahon said. “We had the players to [repeat],” head coach Mike Ditka commented. “But things have to roll your way and they didn't roll our way at the end of the '86 season.”
Thus, the team never got the opportunity to be honored in the nation’s capital. Kaplan reports that the ‘85 Bears have been invited to the White House by current President, and Chicago Bears fan, Barack Obama, for a ceremony on Oct. 7, 2011. And, according to the report, most of the players and coaches are expected to attend.
So, what do you think Bears fans … Is it cool to see the team finally get its day in Washington, or have you had enough of the ’85 Bears love?