The 1985 Chicago Bears had their big reunion party, Allstate Glory Days, last Friday night and yours truly was lucky enough to attend. It was a night filled with laughs, tears and nostalgia. It was a night to remember the greatest team in NFL history. Sure, those pesky ’72 Dolphins will try to convince you otherwise, but make no mistake about it, the ’85 Bears were a team like no other.
I was invited to join the “press” which means I got to go backstage before the event where VIP’s shelled out big bucks to rub elbows with their heroes. The players signed autographs, took pictures, told stories and reminisced. They were generous with their time and everyone seemed to have a great time. Early on, it didn’t seem like a lot of the big name guys were around, but they all showed up and let me tell you, these guys know how to make an entrance.
Coach Ditka just owns the room when he walks in. He is still a larger than life persona and players and fans alike perked up when he walked in. The McCaskeys even came backstage to present the Bears players with jerseys and coaches Ditka and Ryan with sweater vests. Heck, even Virginia was there! The poor little old thing needed some help getting around, but she looked good.
After the pre-game show backstage, the press was able to set up on the “Blue” carpet where the players would formally walk into the event. Outside, a mob scene of adoring fans pushed 10 deep at the velvet ropes waiting for a glimpse of their heroes. It’s amazing after all of these years people would still be so enamored with this team. It’s a testament to the impact this team left on the city.
After the players made their way into the auditorium, the fans were let in and the non-sponsored media were asked to leave. That’s when I was able to drop my credentials and put on my fan hat. Yup, I had a ticket to go watch the show with the rest of the die-hards.
The show was outstanding. MC’s Tom Dreesen and Mike Adamle kept it moving and engaged all of the guests they brought up on stage. I have to admit that Adamle is about a cheesy as they come, painful at times. Then again, this whole event was cheesy. That’s what 25 years of nostalgia will do. I won’t steal the thunder of the show; NBC 5 will be airing a 1-hour special and a half hour behind the scenes special. Check out the scheduled air dates and times:
The program will air on NBC Chicago:
Dec. 4: 7-8 PM
Dec. 19: 12-1 PM
Jan. 8: 2-3 PM
GLORY DAYS ‘Behind the Scenes’ 30-minute Special will air on NBC Chicago:
Dec. 12: 11:30-12 PM
Dec. 18: 1-1:30 PM
Dec. 25: 5-5:30 PM
Check out the some of the pictures I snapped in the mini-gallery that follows.
Great time, great memories!