They come along every decade or so, and we initially fall for the bait.
The Dallas Cowboys of the mid-1990s.
The Pittsburgh Steelers of a couple of years ago.
Today's New York Jets.
We call them wild and wacky and crazy and amazing, almost begging the adjectives to burst off the page and infuse life into the relatively lifeless. But, for the past 25 years, dazzling words have failed to meet harsh reality. Yes, the Cowboys of
None, however, match the 1985 Chicago Bears.
Not even close.
That it's been 2 1/2 decades since the greatest team in NFL history ran through and over the league is mind-boggling in its own right. Twenty. Five. Years. How can that be? It seems like a season or two ago that
Teams have come and teams have gone, but the '85 Bears, well, they were different. Crazy. Alive. "We walked the walk and we talked the talk and we were never intimidated," Gault said. "There's a reason our legacy has lasted this long. We were a special collection of men."
Chicago finished with '85 season with a 15-1 record -- the only blemish being a Monday Night loss at Miami. They pulverized the Giants and Rams in the NFC playoffs, then destroyed the Patriots in the Super Bowl, 46-10.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary, a pair of books have been released. Ditka teamed with
Writes Telander: "Not only did [the Bears] make it to Super Bowl XX, they snatched the champion's mantle and toyed with it and danced on its fabric like maniacs. ... At its crescendo, that 1985 squad was, almost without question, the best NFL team ever. And it was the first to have larger-than-life characters sprinkled throughout. Quasi-nutcases, some. Or maybe it was just the first to have the media appreciate those characters, dissect them, revel in them, despise them, adore them -- starting with the head coach. It was a sitcom played out for our entertainment."
In New York, people are beginning to act as if the Jets are the real deal. Their coach,
Come Sundays, the Jets hope to win. They want to win. They believe they'll win.
"We knew we'd win," Suhey said. "It wasn't just confidence. It felt like absolute certainty."