Midway’s monsters?

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The Monsters of the Midway was a nickname for the Chicago Bears, originating from a Chicago college football team. The Bears adopted the name and had a dominant defense in the 1940s and 1963, but the nickname died down until it was revived in 1984. In 1985, the Bears had a tough defense and won the Super Bowl, with players like Jim McMahon and Walter Payton. The team was considered one of the greatest in NFL history, with a record-breaking defense and many victories.

The title Monsters of the Midway originated as a nickname in Chicago college football. The “Midway” was located on the campus of the University of Chicago. Other teams that came and went used the name, but the Chicago Bears eventually adopted and kept the title. The Bears not only took on the name, but they also had a knack for taking over, or overpowering, the field. Gazing into the fierce defensive line’s eyes in the 1940s, or again in 1963, made rookies and even some veteran players cringe.

The Monsters of the Midway have earned their name, though that language has died down over the years when the team didn’t give fans that much to brag about. It wasn’t until 1984 when they got to the league that it was revived again. In 1985, thanks to coach Mike Ditka’s winning combination of tough coaches and determined players, the nickname once again rang true. Colorful quarterback Jim McMahon and record-breaking offensive star Walter Payton played big roles in leading the team to victory, but the defense was something players, fans, and coaches also looked in awe of.

In the 1985 season, the team included a defensive line consisting of Richard Dent, Dan Hampton and William “the Refrigerator” Perry, along with linebackers Wilber Marshall, Mike Singletary and Otis Wilson, as well as safety Dave Duerson and Gary Fencik. They were tough and described themselves as “bad.” Mike Singletary stated that he didn’t like using the word “bad,” but after watching movies of games, he couldn’t argue with the term. Plus, with a name like Monsters of the Midway, nastiness is to be expected.

The 1985 Bears refused to allow opponents to complete passes, run, or most importantly, score. They slipped it into two-game losing streak in the championships, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since the 1940s. They soundly defeated the New York Giants, 21-0, then turned around and left the Rams standing in the snow at Soldier Field, listening to the Chicago crowd cheer in their 24-0 win.

Few people believed any team could beat the Monsters of the Midway, much less the New England Patriots who would face them in New Orleans. The game was one of the ten most watched televised events in US history and it did not disappoint. The Bears beat the Patriots, 46-10, setting another record. The team set and broke many records that year, and the ’85 Bears were considered by many to have the greatest defense in NFL history, if not the greatest team overall.

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