The 1985 Chicago Bears remain one of the most popular teams in sports history. Led by their fiery coach, Mike Ditka, the squad finished 15-1 before steamrollering through the playoffs on their way to a Super Bowl championship. As the team celebrates its 25th anniversary, SI looks back at some rare photos of the Bears.
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The biggest player on the team -- defensive tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry -- may have been its most popular. The 6-foot-2-inch, 382-pound rookie was a first-round pick out of Clemson and quickly earned the admiration of fans by his defense on the field and larger than life personality off it.
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Mike Singletary and Wilber Marshall
The core of the team was its defense, which was led by middle linebacker Mike Singletary (No. 50), the 1985 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. The defense held opponents to 10 points or fewer in 11 of 16 regular season games and in all three playoff victories.
4 of 16Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
The team's most colorful player was quarterback Jim McMahon, a fourth-year QB out of Brigham Young. He gained notoriety over the season for a flap with NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who fined McMahon $5,000 for wearing a headband with a corporate logo -- Adidas -- without permission. The next week, the QB wrote "Rozelle" on his headband, which the Commissioner admitted was "funny as hell" (though he didn't rescind the fine).
5 of 16 Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
The team's best player was star running back Walter Payton, who rushed for over 1,500 yards in 1985. He would go on to set NFL records for most career rushing and all-purpose yards (later broken by Emmitt Smith). In his 13 years in the NFL, he only missed one game and finished his career with 16,726 rushing yards, 110 rushing touchdowns and nine Pro Bowl selections.
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Jim McMahon and Richard Dent
Another defensive leader for the Bears was Richard Dent, who racked up an NFL-high 17 sacks during the 1985 season.
7 of 16Ronald C. Modra /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
Gary Fencik and Clint Didier
Chicago safety Gary Fencik crushes Washington tight end Clint Didier during an early season battle.
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Jim McMahon, Steve Fuller, Mike Ditka and Ed Hughes
McMahon chats with Ditka, offensive coordinator Ed Hughes and backup QB Steve Fuller during a game against Green Bay. McMahon threw for 2,392 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions during the 1985 season.
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Jim Covert, Dennis McKinnon and Jim McMahon
McMahon celebrates with Jim Covert (No. 74) and Dennis McKinnon (No. 85) after scoring a touchdown to go up 21-0 during the 1985 NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Giants. The Bears won 21-0.
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Gary Fencik, Mike Singletary and Eddie Lee Ivery
Gary Fencik and Mike Singletary tackle Green Bay's Eddie Lee Ivery during a victory over the Packers.
11 of 16Paul Natkin/Getty Images
Super Bowl Shuffle
No talk of the 1985 Bears would be complete without a mention of the famous Super Bowl Shuffle. The song, performed by the Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew, became an instant hit and reached No. 41 on the music charts.
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Super Bowl XX
Super Bowl XX was played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans on Jan. 26, 1986. The national anthem was performed by Wynton Marsalis; Bart Starr tossed the coin.
13 of 16John Biever/SI
Willie Gault and Fred Marion
The game itself was a laugher. Chicago took a 13-3 first quarter lead and never looked back. In this photo, Willie Gault jets past Patriots cornerback Fred Marion as he catches a long pass from McMahon.
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The most memorable moment of Super Bowl XX was The Refrigerator's one-yard touchdown dive to make the score 44-3.
15 of 16Mike Powell/Allsport
Mike Ditka and Bob Costas
Mike Ditka is interviewed by Bob Costas after the Bears' Super Bowl victory.
16 of 16Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images
The architect of the Bears' famed 46 Defense, Buddy Ryan is lifted on the shoulders of his defense after Chicago's Super Bowl victory.
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