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Da Bears!: How the 1985 Monsters of the Midway Became the Greatest Team in NFL History Hardcover – September 28, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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(Photos © Bob Baer)
The Famous 46
The Famous 46 defense was innovative, deceptive, and, above all, aggressive. There was even talk that the defense put bounties on opposing quarterbacks.
Payton and McMahon
Early in the season, it was Payton, McMahon and the rest of the '85 offense that bailed out the team while the '85 defense was still finding its way.
Marshall and Singletary
Fast-rising Wilber Marshall (58) and already terrific Mike Singletary (50) gave the '85 Bears two of the hardest-hitting linebackers in the league.
Buddy Ryan
Cantankerous Buddy Ryan, architect of the Famous 46 defense, helped the Bears end their 22-year championship drought,and then left to coach the Eagles three days later.
Mike Ditka
With tightly wound Mike Ditka roaming Chicago's sideline, the mood could switch from calm to volatile in an instant.

From Publishers Weekly

Delsohn provides a fast, unfiltered history of the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears, "the most dominant team" that longtime NFL commentator John Madden claims to have ever seen. To mark that memorable 15-1 season's 25th anniversary, ESPN "Outside the Lines" reporter Delsohn (Talking Irish) tracked down several characters to speak candidly about a season rife with controversy and conflict. We learn that head coach Mike Ditka and defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan rarely spoke to (and often contradicted) each other, quarterback Jim McMahon routinely called audibles on and off the field, and several Bears recorded the seminal "Super Bowl Shuffle" before the playoffs even began. Delsohn grew up in the Windy City and is a Bears fan, but not a fan boy, and his assessment of the team seems fair. Most notably, he addresses the sheer brutality of the Bears' defense, led by middle linebacker Mike Singletary. Many of the Bears' tackles have since been outlawed by the NFL, including the crushing blow right linebacker Wilber Marshall delivered with his helmet to Detroit Lions quarterback Joe Ferguson, who was reportedly knocked unconscious before he hit the ground.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307464679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307464675
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,146,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By David Yamada on October 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Like so many longtime fans of the Chicago Bears, I have something of an obsession with the 1985 team. Among the many remembrances of that season published over the years, this is the best of that entertaining lot, a colorful, no-holds-barred, insider's account that makes for addictive reading.

Steve Delsohn gained access to many players and coaches from the 1985 squad, and they shared their candid stories. It is difficult to say which ones are the most prominent, but the ongoing feud between Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan, the remarkably steady achievements of Walter Payton, the phenomenon of Refrigerator Perry, and the nutty and clutch qualities of Jim McMahon stand out to me.

More importantly, the book captures the rock star quality of this team, replete with its swaggering confidence and its many outrageous, hilarious, and poignant moments.

For Bears and other football fans who may be feeling a sense of sad nostalgia about an era gone by, this book makes the 1985 season as fresh as if it was unfolding before us today. I bought it this afternoon -- started reading it right in the bookstore (feeling a bit foolish as I laughed out loud at some of the stories) -- and finished it tonight. What fun!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jim on August 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a Bears fan who lived this wonderful year, I enjoyed this book immensely.

I had forgotten all of the crazy sub plots and that they all happened that year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was 6 years old when the Bears won the Superbowl. I remember my grandfather, uncles and Stepfather all rooting for the team and enjoying crazy Jim McMahon with his Sunglasses. I saw this book recently at the bookstore and grabbed it just for fun and memories and I was not disappointed! The book portrays a very lively, animated team, with larger than life characters; from the punky QB known as McMahon, to the Refridgerator, to Sweetness and of course to DA COACH! Excellent read for any Chicago Bears Fan, or any sports fan!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Krazy Karl on November 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not a Bears fan, but love the Bears of the mid 80s. Great teams, should have won more titles...that is if not for a disfunctional team chemistry that killed all the hopes for championships, except for the 1985 team.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a transplanted Bears fan, I well remember the '85 season and the Bear's triumphs. This was bought as a Christmas present for our 11 year old grandson who idolizes Walter Payton and plays football in a youth league. Steve Delsohn's book does ample justice to a great memory...Go Bears.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It has been almost 30 years since the now legendary 1985 Chicago Bears, which many consider as the greatest NFL team of all time, took the world by storm. This book provides an excellent story of that team.

I grew up in Chicago in the 1980s and watched every single one of their games on TV. For those who lived in Chicago in 1985, the Chicago bears were the team to remember and certainly the one for the ages. Here are some of the reasons why the 1985 Bears were special:

1)They were dominant and feared. The 1985 Bears did not play fineness football. They didn't rely too much on pretty passes. They relied on smashing, knocking out, and "killing" their opponents. They didn't just win, they dominated and the other team knew it. No other team since played with so much passion, intensity, and ferociousness as the 1985 Chicago Bears. They were really, really fun to watch.

2)The team constantly fought each other. But they hated their opponents even more. The head coach (Ditka) hated the defensive coordinator (Ryan). They often engaged in F word shouts both in practice and in games. The practices were often more difficult than games. Jay Hilgenberg once said the games were easy because the 1985 Bears practices were really ball-bustingly hard. This talented team really gave 110% to everything they did.

3)The whole team was blunt and outspoken. Mike Ditka definitely spoke his mind and he really didn't give a S***. Jim McMahon (QB) spoke his mind on how much he thought Ditka was full of it. McMahon, however, reserved his worst criticism for the cheap Michael McCaskey. Buddy Ryan (defensive coordinator) criticized Ditka and his players, including the future Hall of Famer Richard Dent, for being too girly and not tough enough.
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By Lucas on April 13, 2014
Format: Paperback
In this book, Steve Delsohn, a current reporter for ESPN, describes the 1985 Chicago Bears football season. Delsohn delves deep into the team’s locker room, showing how divided the team, coaching staff, and management actually were, and provides a narrative for the important issues throughout the season. Giving brief biographies for many of the key players in the organization at the time, Delsohn explains why the Chicago Bears focused so much to win a Super Bowl and why conflicts grew within the organization. The book includes an index, but does not include a bibliography. Instead, he includes many of his sources in his acknowledgement section; this will help researchers, because he gives a list of books that help illuminate the 1985 season. As a reporter from ESPN, Delsohn built connections with former Bears players to create an accurate account of the situations during the 1985 season. The book is arranged in chronological order, including key events that helped the Bears become a Super Bowl sensation. The biographies included in each chapter give an added bonus to reading. Delsohn writes the book in a way that it is useful to most readers and inexperienced researchers. [As a college student writing my senior thesis on the 1985 Chicago Bears and current NFL concussion policy, I found the chapter “Monster Hits and Bounties” especially helpful, because it offers insight into the hard hitting culture within the organization.]
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