Posted: 09/30/2004


The Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl Shuffle


by Del Harvey

Still basking in the glow of the ‘85 Bears’ Super Bowl victory? Then this is your kind of movie. From MPI Home Video.

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In 1985, the Chicago Bears were headed for the Super Bowl for the first time in more than 20 years. Riding high on the success of the season, members of the Bears recorded “The Super Bowl Shuffle,” which soon became a celebrated anthem for Bears fans everywhere. This first-ever rap song and music video by a sports team even garnered a Grammy® nomination. At Super Bowl XX, the Bears charged down the field once more with a 46-10 victory over the New England Patriots.

Prior to the inception of the Super Bowl, the Chicago Bears were the winningest team in football. This was, unfortunately, long before the super bowl event was ever created. For years they were a juggernaut, winning the annual football championships more than any other team. The “Monsters of the Midway” are one of only two charter members of the National Football League still in existence. Once known as the Decatur Staleys, after the owner of the Staley Starch Company, the Bears thrived under the sure, guiding hand of George “Papa Bear” Halas. George Halas is attributed with being a pioneer of pro football, helping shape the game as we now know it. For many years, his strongest players were local kids who believed in the game and who were often loyal to the team their entire careers.

One of Halas’ last prodigies was a young, crew-cut, square-headed boy named Mike Ditka. Ditka studied the game and the plays and was a natural leader on the team. So it was only fitting that this young man should return to the team in later years as coach, and in so doing, return some of Papa Bear’s fire to a historic team who seemed to have lost their taste for glory.

In the 1985 season, under Ditka’s coaching leadership, the Chicago Bears surprised everyone by steamrolling their competition, winning every game they entered, and looking, for a brief moment in history, like their famed predecessors. The team, lead by the verbally abusive and blusterous Coach Ditka, featured a cast of colorful characters: punk quarterback Jim McMahon, strict and straight defensive captain Mike Singletary, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, Richard Dent, Willie Gault, and many, many more. Including the heart and soul of the team, and the embodiment of what it means to be a football player, Walter Payton, aka “Sweetness.”

And so, their 1985 league championship won, the boys in orange and blue had a little time to kill before the Super Bowl. Working with the Mayor’s office, they decided to do a music video for charity, the proceeds to go to the homeless for food, clothing, and shelter. The boys who had brought NFL pride back home to the City of Big Shoulders decided to show how the people of the city take care of their own.

The DVD includes three segments: a “making of,” which is really footage shot during the filming of the video; the music video itself; and outtakes. All combined, the DVD features many great moments where the players are themselves—open, honest, candid, laughing at themselves and each other. Yes, it was the “Disco ‘80’s,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone knew how to dance. Get beyond the feathered hair and shiny nylon jackets and there’s an entertaining little video here.

Being a dyed-in-the-wool Bears fan, I wished for more footage about the team’s achievements that year, to better present the reason why the video itself was being made. But, fan that I am, the opportunity to enjoy some candid footage of favorite football players is great, and rare. Still the song in the video will never replace the Bears’ fight song.

The Chicago Bears “Shufflin’ Crew”:

Walter Payton (#34)
Jim McMahon (#9)
William “The Refrigerator” Perry (#72)
Mike Singletary (#50)
Willie Gault (#83)
Otis Wilson (#55)
Richard Dent (#95)
Gary Fencik (#45)
Steve Fuller (#4)
Mike Richardson (#27).
Mike Singletary’s rap:

“I’m Samurai Mike, I stop’ em cold. Part of the defense, big and bold. I’ve been jammin’ for quite a while, doin’ what’s right and settin’ the style. Give me a chance, I’ll rock you good — nobody messin’ in my neighborhood! I didn’t come here lookin’ for trouble, I just came to do The Super Bowl Shuffle.”

For Bears’ fans everywhere, this DVD is a great addition to your collection.

Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly and teaches screenwriting at Columbia College Chicago.

Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly and teaches screenwriting at Columbia College Chicago.

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